7 classical works to listen to if you hate Valentine's Day
Around Valentine's Day, it can seem that every piece of music is a love song or sappy. From arias to serenades, it's hard to escape romantic music this time of year.
But don't fret — there's plenty of classical music for those that abhor the holiday. Check out these works that will get you into the anti-Valentine's Day spirit.
Hector Berlioz — Symphonie Fantastique IV: Marche au supplice
Yes, this work was written so Berlioz could attract a girl he had a crush on, but don't let that fool you. This opium-induced fever dream ends with the hero getting his head chopped off via guillotine. Very anti-love if you ask me.
LISTEN Hector Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique: Marche au Supplice
Johannes Brahms — Tragic Overture
Johannes Brahms' Tragic Overture is a companion to his Academic Festival Overture, and he described the difference in character by saying "one laughs while the other cries." If you want to cry your heart out, this is one of those pieces to listen to.
LISTEN Johannes Brahms Tragic Overture
Alban Berg — Lied der Lulu
Oh boy, nothing like a good murder to kill any romance. In Berg's opera, the main character Lulu sings this song to ask for a divorce. When her husband says he'd rather kill her and make it look like a suicide than get a divorce, she shoots him 5 times when he's distracted.
LISTEN Alban Berg Lied der Lulu
If you're in the mood for more dramatic opera death scenes, check out this list from Limelight Magazine.
Kurt Weill — Je ne t'aime pas
Kurt Weill's cabaret song translates to "I Don't Love You," and its lyrics just drive home the feeling of heartbreak and seeing someone else with the person you love:
Pull back your hand, I don't love you
For you wanted it, you're just a friend.
The crook of your arm was made for others
And your dear kiss, your sleeping head.
I don't think there's a song more fitting to listen to while cracking open a pint of Ben and Jerry's
LISTEN Kurt Weill Je ne t'aime pas
W.A. Mozart — "In uomini, In Soldati"
The aria sung by Despina from Cosi Fan Tutti has a mantra that you can repeat to yourself on Valentine's Day — basically, all men are pigs and cannot be trusted. Better to just trust yourself and stay single!
LISTEN W.A. Mozart In uomini, In Soldati
Songs of a Wayfarer — Mahler
The first song in Mahler's cycle is called "When my love has her wedding-day" and it outlines the grief associated with seeing someone you love get married to someone else. Even if your unrequited love isn't joining a lifelong bond with someone else, Mahler's song will resonate with you.
LISTEN Gustav Mahler Songs of a Wayfarer
None but the Lonely Heart — Peter Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky set a poem by Lev Mei to music, and boy did he capture the feeling of being alone and heartbroken. "None but the lonely heart/can know my sadness" opens up the song, and highlights the feeling that no one else can understand the pain of being alone. The recording featured is an orchestration with a violin soloist, showing that eve without the words the song is heart-wrenching.
LISTEN Tchaikovsky None but the lonely heart
Still looking for more anti-Valentine's Day songs? Check out our playlist with plenty of sad classical works to fit your needs.