Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The intelligent truckdriver’s classical music starter pack–Cresswell edition [now with playlist!]


Last week I blogged on New York violinist Philippe Quint, who hit the streets to ask folk how come you’re not listening to classical music?
    In response, a commenter suggested “a top ten list for beginners.”
    Great idea! I thought. Even better idea: why not write one myself, and get well-known classical music enthusiast Lindsay Perigo to write another—the idea being that we prepare a top-ten list for the person I like to think I write for: a fellow I like to call The Intelligent Truckdriver.
    I posted Lindsay’s yesterday.
    So here’s my own laundry list of reasons to give classical music a try: because you deserve something better than rage, pain, anger and hurt—because classical music can touch you in places that rock, jazz, hip hop and even blues can’t,and provide you with real emotional fuel.
    And here’s my own list of classics to seduce The Intelligent Truckdriver – ten or more moods of classical music (you see what I did there?), starting with pieces by Wagner and Beethoven (because if rock music and beats are your thing, then Beethoven is the ultimate writer of riffs) and the riffs they pinched for Jaws and for every war film and video war game . . .

[NB: links are to YouTube vids, which is easy but not always ideal. Do let me know if any links pack up. And try if you can, to listen on something decent, and with a better than decent pair of speakers – and no, Virginia, what came in the same box as your laptop probably isn’t decent enough.]


Exaltation & Intensity

Reflection & Resolve


Tragedy & Turmoil



Work Songs



Orgies & Orgasms

NB: Spotify Playlist coming soon . . . and here it is!


  1. Great list. Gonna print and listen to 'at appropriate times'. Even orgies and orgasms with a bit of luck. Although Mrs H is more a Cher type.

    1. Ah, if you could turn back time ...

  2. One thing I notice in both your and Perigo's lists (and Perigo went so far as to state it as a selection criteria) is that they are heavy on the Late Classical/Romantic Eras and do not attempt to give an "Overview" of classical music. No Handel, Vivaldi or JS Bach? No Haydn, CPE Bach and only very little Mozart?

    I know Perigos preference for the Romantic period (going so far in an older post as to say that it is objectively the only truly beautiful music), but surely your truck driver might want to have a broad overview and context within which to make up his own mind?

    1. Please note: This is in no way critical of the music you did select, as there are some absolute gems in there. I'm just thinking of this as an educational tool.

    2. Oh sure, guilty as charged.

      I guess I'm picking things I think would and did grab me when I was a newbie.

      Feel free to suggest a short playlist of your own filling in the gaps. That could be fun too. :-)

    3. Fair call. Maybe I'll put something together.

    4. I'll look forward to it. Maybe mail it to: organon at ihug.co.nz

  3. This classical music genre is difficult. It seems to have some time constraint but then I saw an article by Lowell Hohstadt which allowed a broader time. He writes // "However, the term "Classical Music" has come to be known as a term for a genre of music that spans the course of hundreds of years, including all the music from Palestrina to Stravinsky, to the current day. Many people are unaware that Classical music is still being composed today, although it is far different than what was created several hundred years ago." ? //

    I will download this selection to my laptop in the living room to play through the big speakers tonight. Would you believe that when I upgraded the Windows 7 base to Windows 10, the laptops will not display on two screens . That is You tube video can play sound but not display on two screens in the upgrade to Windows 10. With viruses intact I went back to windows 7, but I think we are slowly witnessing the death of the classical PC Windows operating systems as we know them. Too old.

    1. The term 'Classical Music' is both broad and confusing.

      As you say, it encompasses a huge number of styles and eras. It encompasses its own era. And its boundaries morph over every era with music of other types and styles.

      No wonder Duke Ellington's highest compliment for any piece of music was that it was "beyond category."

  4. Thanks for this, Peter. I'm afraid I can't listen on anything decent, but I will work my way through them and save the listening on something decent part for another year.


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