6 July 2022, 11:54
Here’s our pick of those tunes to help you unwind after a long day and keep you company through the wee hours.
Looking for that perfect nighttime classic masterpiece? We’ve found classical music tracks that are perfect for creating that oasis of calm you need after a long day.
Read more: 10 Most Relaxing Classical Music Songs
Satie – Gymnopédie n°1
Succulent chords, slow tempi and a magnificent, drifting mood, French composer Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies have become synonymous with relaxation and peaceful moments. The first in the series is perhaps the most famous of the collection, and it truly invites you to close your eyes and float away for the night.
Holst – Venus the bringer of peace (The planets)
After being introduced to astrology in 1913, Gustav Holst was inspired to write a sequel based on the planets of the solar system and their corresponding Roman deities. And it is an absolute masterpiece of 20th century orchestral music. The second movement, “Venus”, is a beautiful and mystical tribute to the goddess of love, beauty, desire and prosperity. The solo horn and fiddle passages are exquisitely tranquil – just what you need in those moments before you hit the hay.
Chopin – Nocturne No. 2, Op.9
Frederic Chopin is undoubtedly one of the masters of the Romantic era, writing an abundance of beautiful, relaxing piano works. This magnificent nocturne was written when he was just 20 years old and oozes with delicate beauty, perfect for a relaxing late night. It’s the one to dive into with this late-night chamomile tea.
Ravel – Piano concerto in G major (2nd movement)
Although at first it may sound like a piece for solo piano, the beautiful entry of a flute finally confirms the presence of the orchestra to accompany the exquisite melody of the piano with curiously magnificent harmonies. This waltz is pleasantly serene and its idyllic tone is the perfect recipe for a night’s sleep.
Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata (first movement)
The silent masterpiece that is the first movement of this famous piano sonata by Beethoven is quite ideal for falling asleep. The soft arpeggiated figures in the right hand accompanied by sustained notes in the left create seductive harmonies, which perfectly define this nocturnal atmosphere. Listen and get carried away…
Bill Evans – Peace Piece
Bill Evans is one of the greatest jazz pianists to ever live, renowned for his innovative, almost impressionistic harmonies and the evocative beauty of his pieces. “Peace Piece” is taken from his famous 1958 album Everybody loves Bill Evans and has an almost meditative quality, due to the repeated figure in the left hand. While some jarring harmonies occur in its improvised right-hand solos, the piece consistently echoes a peaceful artistry that’s perfect for a relaxing (and slightly jazzy) night.
JS Bach – Prelude No. 1
Bach is undoubtedly one of the all-time masters of classical music. This heavenly prelude from Bach’s collection The Well-Tempered Keyboard of 48 Preludes and Fugues is world famous for being such a simple piece of beauty, composed of broken chords. Perfect for putting a baby to sleep (letting parents have a glass of wine and enjoy the other 47 Preludes and Fugues).
Massenet – Meditation (Thai)
This romantic and meditative interlude comes from the second act of the opera Thais by Jules Massenet (composed in 1894) when the courtesan Thaïs, previously hedonistic, decides to lead a life of piety. The soft broken chords of the piano perfectly accompany the flowing melody of the violin, the epitome of beauty in this piece. Although Massenet presents more intense parts, ultimately the calm pace of the violin will make you dream.
Debussy – Reverie
This short piece for solo piano is perfectly suited to falling asleep, its French name literally meaning “dream”. Composed quite early in Claude Debussy’s career, this gently meditative piece with beautifully laid harmonies shows the first signs of what was to become Debussy’s signature sound.
Mozart – Concerto for flute and harp (2nd movement)
Although the combination of flute and harp in a concerto may seem unusual, Mozart’s mastery really shines through in his masterpiece. The soothing tempo is instantly relaxing and the beautiful lightness of the flute combined with the grace of the harp is so delicately exquisite that you will fall asleep in the calmest possible way.