What piece would you use to introduce someone to classical music?

What music would you choose? Wesley Tingey/Unsplash

October 06, 2021

“If I could choose one piece to introduce someone to classical music,  it would be _________.” What piece would you choose to fill in the blank? YourClassical MPR received hundreds of suggestions, and we’re playing them now during our October Member Drive.

The campaign kicked off Wednesday, the first day of the drive, with works such as Aaron Copland’s Hoe-Down, recommended by Jonie Heckman in Nebraska; Giacomo Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, suggested by Mary Pohl of Alexandria; and Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, touted by Bernie Hall via Facebook.

One popular piece that received many votes was Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. But the best thing about the selection was this delightful exchange on the YourClassical MPR Facebook page:

“My dad first had me listen to Bolero, by Ravel,” Ariana Klassen-Glanzer wrote. “He told me it started very quietly, so we sat right next to the stereo. It builds to a crescendo by introducing a new instrument every verse(? not sure I'm using the right word). I love the end, when the horns sound like cars about to pile up on a big traffic accident.”

Judy McGuire replied to Klassen-Glanzer: “Many, many years ago you were my piano student! I remember both you and your dad very well. I am glad to hear you like classical music!”

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Other popular works that received many suggestions included:

  • Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance

  • Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9

  • Gustav Holst’s “Jupiter,” from The Planets

  • Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia

  • Peter Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

  • George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

You’ll hear these and dozens more of your suggestions during our October Member Drive, running through Oct. 14. Be sure to listen for your favorite work to introduce someone to classical music, including shout-outs by our hosts to those who suggested them.

And don’t forget to donate to support the music you love!