More Dumb "Classical" Stereotypes

As little as I know about "classical" music (in the Tower Records sense of the word) even I get bored and offended to hear people say "I LOVE "classical" music -- it's so RELAXING!!" Isn't more baroque music is played in coffee shops and dentist offices to "relax" people? I find Stravinsky quite fascinating and wonderful, but certainly not "relaxing." Whatever the distinctions or period confusion I have, I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for "classical" music that you find relaxing and conducive to concentration and/or happy "classical" music that fills you with energy and optimism. Obviously, a great recording would be an added bonus.
vivaldi, la primavera (spring), from the four seasons is one of the most uplifting pieces of music i know. for relaxation, i prefer adagios; e.g., albioni giazotto, adagio in g minor ( cisco has a marvelous version with gary carr on cello and harmon lewis on pipe organ). for an energy boost, you might try some of the overtures by franz von suppe (a great disc for these is chas. dutoit's on london). happy listening -kelly
I have a CD of pieces by C.P.E. Bach, Quantz, Telemann and Vivaldi. All of the music is performed on period instruments and it is very relaxing. If I had to I would guess that the music style is Baroque with all of the trills and such. The CD was realeased by MHS (Musical Heritage Society, Inc.) and the recording is OK to good.
Most Baroque period music is relaxing, Pachebel Canon for those comotose moments, Handel’s Water Music, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Bach, too many to name, Vivaldi, Mandolin Concerti (VERY relaxing). For uplifting without feeling the need to concentrate, but you can without penalty if you want, try a Mozart piano concerto maybe #20 or 21 or 24, you get the picture. But then again maybe I'm prejudiced. With Mozart you can listen as background music but also to the unforced, elegant depth of his music and never tire of the freshness that it evokes upon repeated listening. Alfred Brendel does it right for me.
I find the above posts, particularly Tubegroover's, to be excellent recommendations. I might add for an uplifting Baroque piece Bach's Brandenberg Concertos, particularly Nos. 4 and 6. Although it's not a great recording, the Archiv recording with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert is my favorite performance of it, very upbeat and well-played. Also, check out the Correlli Concerti Grossi, with McGeagan and the Philhamonia Baroque on Harmonia Mundi--uplifting at times, relaxing at others, and a superior Peter McGrath recording, if I remember. Like Tubegroover, I find I can either relax to Mozart or get engrossed in it--it's funny how I might not initially feel like listening to Mozart, but once I start I'll spend the night listening to his music. I find it almost impossible to listen to Bach as background music, though, as it fascinates me and I wind up following all the musical lines. Another suggestion on the Suppe overtures would be the Mercury recording with Paray and the Detroit Symphony, I think, a very dynamic and well-recorded performance, though a little bright, as are many of the Mercs.
I just listened to disc two of the Brandenburgh Concertos 4-6 and agree that it is not background music. It is not heavy and brash but it is very involving and I am worn out. I have had it for a couple of months now but never gave it a play. It will get more action now.
Reprince so far as Bach being relaxing I do find the following pieces relaxing "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and Air on a G String among them. But overall your right Bach demands attention. Another beautiful Bach piece is Cantata #140 which is probably his most famous but it sure isn't background music. Thanks for the recommendation on the Correlli Concerti Grossi, I'll be sure to pick up a copy. Another recommendation with mostly Bach is Yo Yo Ma's Simply Baroque on Sony Bach and Boccherini. The Cello is soooo soothing. I think this album fits the bill.
Make a tape, or burn a CD of the second movement of all of Mozart's Piano concertos.
Sugarbrie /You and I have similar tastes. The slow movements in all Mahler. The slow movements in all Beethovan piano/Mendelssohn, Midsummer Night's Dream,Elgar's Enigma Variations /all great examples of why I love this music/equipment hobby.
Also very relaxing is Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. Wagner wrote this for his wife as a gift when their son was born. He hired musicians to play it on the steps of his Villa on Christmas morining. How romantic!
Classical music as relaxing music,hmmmmm. Most of Mozart's
music is light and airy, ditto, Haydn. Mozart's Divertimenti
are relaxing enough(you hear this stuff in restaurants). If you want something a little more exciting, but still relaxing try Schubert's Trout Quintet(it has nothing to do with fish).
We're forgeting recommendations. For Schubertmaniac I recommend the Trout with Clifford Curzon and members of the Vienna Octet. It has been in the record catalogs continuously since its release in 1957. Curzon's solo Schubert piano sonatas are also great, as well as an older recording by Ashkenazy on Decca/London Classic Sound. I'll add Schubert Trios with the Beaux Arts Trio. Mozart Piano concertos either Curzon again, Perahia, or Uchida. Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, the most unique performance is a 1983 recording conducted by Glenn Gould. It was Glenn Gould's conducting debut. He died shortly later, so its also hes only conducting effort.
For relaxing most of Bach and Brahms are soothing and relaxing. But you also mention music to work to--you don't want to fall asleep (or maybe you do)--but I would recommend Mozart's work for that. There have actually been studies that showed listening to Mozart raised one's IQ a few points.
Almost anything by Bach I find very relaxing. The other day, the Cello Sonatas played by Rostropovich (on EMI)worked wonders for me. However, Goldberg Variations and the Well-Tempered Klavier played by Glen Gould I find distracting after a while. I can't get over that humming and singing. His playing is great, but too bad one can't filter out the voice track...