|Nice try. Now give me back Marvin Gaye.|
If you haven't decided if you really want to hurl yourself into a bunch of dead white Europeans or ask you grandpa about how to pronounce Furtwängler, but still want a taste of classical music. Look no further.
If you normally get your annual dose of classical music by picking up albums with delightfully subtle and tasteful names (like Make Out To Mozart) in Spotify's search results for "classical music". Thank whoever leads you to this place.
If you are a true hipster that collects all kinds of aural wallpapers but so far hasn't found a classical one (or you have a compilation like The Most Relaxing Classical In The Universe but your freckle-faced cousin already liked it on Facebook), today is your lucky day.
Phew. I never thought that I could talk like Lang Lang's PR.
Seriously, this playlist offers some of the best easy to access classical compilations, including: Deutsche Grammophon's four Yellow Lounge releases (classical mix albums for real, all the peaceful movements transition smoothly between one and the next) and Classical Choice series (15 albums featuring famous composers and their works as well as different topics e.g. Meditation, Good Morning or Love´s Dream.); Decca's Set Your Life To Music series (Bach at Bedtime, Debussy For Daydreaming etc.) and Bluebird - Music Of Contemplation; Serene Journeys Through Classical Music and Horizons - A Musical Journey from Delos; Mystic Classics - Visionary Choral and Orchestral Masterpieces from Naxos; the Atmosphere series from Analekta (Night, Morning, Winter and Fall); and Berceuses: Evening Music for the Whole Family from Aeon.
I only included albums that 1, offer excerpts (i.e. the big tunes) and single movements from multiple-movement works; 2, organized upon moods and pragmatic themes; 3, performed by top-notch artists. There's many other fine albums for classical newbies, like Naxos's recent "My First Mozart/Bach/etc. Album" series, but I intended to make this playlist as barbarian-friendly as possible. This playlist is just meant to help you to get used to the sound of classical warhorses, not to get you into Bach or any composer. I am really not sure if you want to know Bach and get your "first Bach album", but I suppose you go to bed every day and Bach At Bedtime may come handy when Red House Painters can't get you to sleep anymore. These compilations present classical works as well constructed, lushly orchestrated and out-of-this-worldly catchy pop music, for newbies, there's nothing wrong with this approach. It's as nature as introducing people to Elton John with Tiny Dancer. Hand on heart, how did you feel when you first heard the 11-minute opening track in Yellow Brick Road, when you were eight?
Here's the Spotify playlist: Easy Listening Classical For Study, Work, Relaxing, Chillout, Anything But Serious Listening (523 tracks, total time: 41 hours) It works better in Album view. I will add more fitting albums when I stumble upon them; suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
Hope you enjoy the music. After a while, maybe you will find yourself just can't get a certain tune off your head and decide to dig more about that composer, use Google or the library, and come back here to get the dude's complete works in one playlist. Most likely you will find him in the composer list here. I look forward to see you around.