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Great Openings In Classical Music

For those of you [old enough like me]  who loved the pop, rock and roll, and Motown music back in 60’s and 70’s, there were songs that just by the first few notes or first phrase everyone new what the song was and who sang it [without any words having to being sung].  Great songs like the Temptations, “My Girl”, or The Rolling Stones, “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” or Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” made you smile and come to your feet when you heard the guitars electrifying openings of those songs.

So, it is with classical music.  There are some great beloved pieces that have memorable, and in many cases exciting, openings that all recognize just by the opening few notes or first few measures.  


is exciting music!

In the following video I put some of the pieces with great openings I could remember and I know I probably have forgotten some obvious ones [that you are free to tell me]  :-).  I tried to pick ones with not just memorable openings but also exciting openings.  I did not put them in any specific order. 

Note:  In my last two examples on this video, they are not really the opening of the piece, but the opening of the final movement of those two pieces.

“Tales” examples of great openings in classical music:



Now please turn up the volume and enjoy the entire movement from some of the examples I gave.  I will try to pick some pieces that I have not played on this blog numerous times.  

Carl Orff: “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana:


Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A-minor, movement 1, Allegro Molto Moderato:


Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2 in C-minor, Movement 1, Moderato:


Richard Wagner: “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walkure:

Authored By Tales from a tribble

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