- Satie – Gymnopédie No.1. Luscious chords, slow tempi and gorgeous, drifting mood, the Gymnopédies by French composer Erik Satie have become synonymous with relaxation and peaceful times.
- Holst – Venus the Bringer of Peace (The Planets) After being introduced to astrology in 1913, Gustav Holst was inspired to pen a suite based on the planets of the solar system and their corresponding Roman deities.
- Chopin – Nocturne No.2, Op.9. Frédéric Chopin is undoubtedly one of the masters of the Romantic era, writing an abundance of beautiful, relaxing works for piano.
- Ravel – Piano Concerto in G major (2nd movement) Though at first this may sound like a solo piano piece, eventually the beautiful entry of a flute confirms the presence of the orchestra to accompany the exquisite piano melody with curiously gorgeous harmonies.
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- Freya Parr
- Jean-Philippe Rameau: 6 Concerts transcrits en sextuor: I. La poule. Recommended recording: Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski. DG Archiv 4775578. This is a glorious and powerful portrait of quite an unassuming creature: the hen.
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, 'Pastoral': I. Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside. Recommended recording: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner.
- Messiaen: Le merle noir. Recommended recording: Patrick Gallois (flute), Lydia Wong (piano) Naxos 8557328. When people tell me they hate atonal music, I say, 'Oh, so you hate birdsong then?'.
- Pierre Henry: Variations pour une porte et un soupir: VII. Gestes. Recommended recording: Pierre Henry. Decca 4855652. It was not only Messiaen who opposed the purist approach of many leading composers in the years following the Second World War.
From its starting point, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 — also known as the Pastoral Symphony — recalls nature and its attributes. Composed in 1808, it contains five movements each associated with a programmatic title, such as “Scene by the brook” or “Thunder, Storm”.