Some Like it Hot – Classical Music for a Hot and Sultry Date Night
"Hot and sultry" describes summer days, movies like Body Heat, dances like the Argentine Tango, and . . . classical music?
Yes! Classical music is not just for the serene and cerebral music lover. Many of our favorite composers had spouses - and lovers - and deep romantic desires that they expressed in their music. Many of them composed music to woo a lover - or to spark a flame in the heart of the object of their desire - or to describe their own passions. So, how did they do it? What are these hot and sultry pieces? What's out there - beyond Bolero?
Here are 7 to get you started - hot and sultry classical music pieces - perfect for that sizzling night with your beloved:
1. Danse Bacchanale from Camille St. Saens "Samson and Delilah"
The word 'bacchanale' brings to mind Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and male fertility and stories of wild, rowdy (and raunchy) parites associated with Bacchus. While that isn't exactly the kind of scene for which this music was written, it does depict a losing of one's self control and sets the scene perfectly for Samson to "lose it" when he destroys the temple. When you hear the music you'll catch all of the musical references to a raucous, Bacchus party.
2. 'Che Gelida Manina' from Puccini's "La Boheme"
Mimi never had a chance when Rodolfo, the poor poet, approached her that night, in the moonlight as they searched in vain for her key on the steps of that cold little Paris garret. He sings to her about his dreams and castles in the air. But his coup de gras is when he sings to her of the jewels that are her eyes. And when Luciano Pavarotti sings it, forget it. Whew!
3. Malaguena by Ernesto Lecuona
Ernesto Lecuona has been called the Cuban George Gershwin but neither Lecuona or his music need to be categorized as anything else except maybe HOT! The entire Andalucia Suite is on the steamy side. My first CD recommendation is Malaguena only. The second is an amazing arrangement by Pink Martini of 'Andalucia' taken from the suite by the same name.
4. The Preludes, Etudes and Mazurkas of Frederic Chopin, ALL OF THEM but particularly the 24 Preludes of Opus 28
Frederic Chopin was at the heart of the Romantic era of music (1815-1910) and was himself the embodiment of the romantic ideal. He has been called the poet of the piano making the most complex of works sound like simple impromptus.
5. 2nd Movement, Symphony No. 7 in A Major by Beethoven
One of the first things people learn about me is that I love Beethoven. I mean I LOVE him. I've had dreams about him. I daydream about meeting him and talking to him. I think about the questions I would ask him. But one thing I know for sure, if I had a chance to say just one thing to him I would thank him for the second movement of his Symphony No. 7. Just listen to it. It's tragic and mournful and at the end daylight appears. I categorize this music as romantic because it's what made me fall in love with him.
6. Piano Concerto No. 3 in d minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff
I don't think I'm allowed to write why I find this piece so sultry ... but I do.
7. "Carmen" by Georges Bizet
I don't expect you to sit through an entire CD recording of the full opera (although I know you would really enjoy it) and so I give you the Carmen Suites. You'll feel the heat of the Spanish sun, smell the intoxicating fragrance of orange blossoms wafting in the air and once you meet Carmen, it's all over.
What classical pieces do YOU think of, when you think of seduction and romance?
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