From Heifetz to Perlman with some lesser known violinists in between, David Mellor believes these are the five players from the gramophone era that no one can beat. What do you think?
Have a soppy and indulgent listen to the most romantic pieces of music imaginable - from anguished relationships to new-found love and most things in-between.
Elgar - Salut d’Amour
If you have a moustache or are in any way British or emotionally repressed, all you have to do is stick this piece on the stereo, stand awkwardly in the corner and wait for the object of your desire to shower you with kisses. Guaranteed*. (*Not even slightly guaranteed.)
Puccini - O soave fanciulla, from La Bohème
Let Pavarotti do the talking. Singing. Whatever. Either way, Puccini does romance, anguished or joyful, better than most, and this aria is one of his most charged duets.
Rota - Love Theme, from Romeo and Juliet
So the story itself didn’t end all that well (whirlwind holiday romance goes insanely wrong, teens take drastic action etc), but the music inspired by Shakespeare’s most famous romance is so affecting, so purely emotional, that you’ll probably want to visit the apothecary as well (not really).
Mascagni - Intermezzo, from Cavalleria Rusticana
Oh, can’t you just feel it ruddy well oozing out of you? Romance, that is. Blimey, just one blast of this at full volume is guaranteed to melt absolutely anyone.
Handel - Ombra mai fù, from Serse
Simple, sweet, plaintive, innocent. This is the sound of love beginning, a perfect choice if you’re cooking for a date and want to appear both intelligent and emotionally accessible.
Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2, 3rd movement
It’s sort of like the cooler, less famous cousin to Tchaikovsky’s super-slushy love theme from Romeo & Juliet. Stately, restrained and, when it finally lets go, absolutely shattering.
Puccini - O Mio Babbino Caro
Date advice: do not attempt to sing this song to your partner to make them like you more or to make up for a lack of Valentine’s Day presents. Leave it to Renée Fleming instead. Always leave it to Renée Fleming.