Definitively the most romantic pieces of classical music ever written

11 February 2022, 16:53

most romantic classical music

Have a soppy and indulgent listen to the most romantic pieces of classical music imaginable. Better get some tissues to hand…

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1. Puccini - O mio babbino caro

Dating 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 brilliant soprano Susanna Hurrell instead.

Read more: The 50 greatest classical love songs

2. Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No.2

This concerto was made famous as the heart-rending soundtrack to the film Brief Encounter. But its romance is all its own. Just listen to Alexandre Tharaud perform this stunning slow movement with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

3. 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.)

4. 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.

Read more: The 10 best Romantic era composers in history


5. 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).

6. 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.

7. Handel - Ombra mai fù, from Xerxes

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.

After more classical love songs? Click here to listen to our Romantic Classics playlist on Global Player.