Love Is in the Air

It’s been a harsh winter so far, so what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by cuddling with your sweetheart and listening to some love-inspired tunes? Here are a few of our top picks for your Valentine’s Day playlist.

Gustav Mahler was inspired to write Adagietto (from Symphony No. 5) as a declaration of love to the woman he would marry. He actually sent her the score in manuscript form … quite the love letter! Listen to Leonard Bernstein conduct the work here.

The tragic story of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet has inspired many composers, among them Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You can listen to his Fantasy Overture here.

A few Beatles songs really lend themselves to orchestral arrangements, and “All you need is love” is one of them. Check out this recording by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (performing virtually, by the way).

Apparently poor Ludwig van Beethoven had a hard time finding happiness in love. Thank goodness for the silver lining – his ability to pour his emotions into beautiful music for the rest of us to enjoy. One example is Romance, here performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Staatskapelle Berlin.

Listener praise is effusive for violinist Daniel Hope’s rendition, here, of Salut d’amour by Edward Elgar. Elgar composed the piece as an engagement present to Caroline Alice Roberts, who had gifted him with a poem. How romantic!

Said to have been inspired by the rhythmic sound of rain, Frederic Chopin composed Raindrop Prelude while vacationing in Majorca with his lover, novelist George Sand, and her two children. This performance is by pianist Yundi.

Ah, young love! Michael Fabiano captures it beautifully as he sings the Che gelida manina aria of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème in this Royal Opera performance.

With beautiful music like this, we’re certain you’ll have a lovely Valentine’s Day!