8 of the most uplifting classical pieces to brighten your day

20 March 2020, 11:10

8 of the most uplifting classical pieces

You know those days when everything seems grey? Well, we've found some of the most joyous music to banish those blues. Here are eight of the cheeriest pieces to help brighten your day.

Mozart - Sonata No. 17 in C

Feeling in need of a musical pick-me-up? This ought to do it:

Listen to how the interplay between instruments grows in intensity as the piece goes on – and how the performers react to Mozart's encouragement. Seems like you can't be sad and play this piece. Filmed by Fly on the Wall, this breathtaking performance comes from Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien.

Prokofiev's 'Classical' Symphony

If this exuberant symphony doesn't make you smile, this performance by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra is sure to! They're rehearsing in the stunning Aula at the University of Oslo, which is decorated with paintings by Edvard Munch. 

The symphony is nicknamed the 'Classical' because Prokofiev used the music of Haydn and Mozart as inspiration and a rough template for the piece – which explains why it sounds so different from the composer's other works. 

The Marriage of Figaro – Mozart

Mozart certainly knew how to kick-start an opera. The overture to his wonderful The Marriage of Figaro is an exuberant, unashamedly joyful piece – and one of his best-loved pieces. We bet you're feeling cheery already…

More on the Marriage of Figaro >

Ruslan and Ludmilla (Overture) – Glinka

Glinka's opera includes monsters, magic and a wizard called Finn – and the overture is as bonkers and over the top as you'd expect. It's guaranteed to leave you with a (manic?) smile on your face.

Hoe Down – Copland

Whisk yourself away to 1940s America with Copland's infectious 'Hoe Down', from his ballet Rodeo. The tune is based on a piece written by a Kentucky fiddler, and what a tune it is.

'Largo al factotum' (from The Barber of Seville) – Rossini

Rossini's Figaro is a jack of all trades and this wonderful aria is the first thing he sings in the delightful opera The Barber of Seville. Now that is what you call an entrance.

When Robin Williams sang Largo al Factotum as a parrot >

Jupiter the bringer of jollity (The Planets) – Holst

We couldn't possibly leave out Holst's 'Jupiter', a piece inspired by cheerfulness personified. We won't tell anyone if you hum along with the famous tune…

Holberg Suite (Rigaudon) – Grieg

Grieg's lively 'Rigaudon' is just one of the movements from his Holberg Suite, an unashamedly toe-tapping work for strings. It may actually be impossible not to tap your feet to this…