Looking for classical music for your rush-hour commute – or for a road trip with the family? We’ve got you covered. One of the biggest challenges about listening to classical music in the car is that it can be so hard to hear the quiet sections (and then when you turn it up to hear the soft spots, you often get blasted when the piece goes back to full volume)! This playlist features music that primarily stays on the louder side of the spectrum, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling with your volume while you drive. (Though, make sure to watch your speedometer – some classical music can really get you going.)
Johann Strauss I – Radetzky-March
This steady march is a great accompaniment for a drive – an even tempo (speed) and volume.
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony no. 7, Movement 4
This piece has just a few quiet interludes throughout, but we don’t recommend you turn up your volume as the music jumps quickly back up to a louder volume. This 4th movement is an exciting to finale to a brilliant symphony. Beethoven Symphony no. 7 is one we definitely recommend you listen to from start to finish!
Gustav Holst – The Planets: Mars
This piece, from Holst’s The Planets Suite, is about the god Mars, the bringer of war. Listen to this and you’ll feel like you’re on an epic journey on your way to the grocery store.
Gustav Holst – The Planets: Jupiter
Another glorious piece from Holst’s Planets, Jupiter starts and ends with fast and upbeat sections, with a soaring full orchestra melody in the middle. It’s a great piece to turn up the volume and bask in the sound.
Franz von Suppé – Light Cavalry Overture
This overture is one of von Suppé’s most famous works. About 2.5 minutes into the piece you’ll hear a bouncy melody that is the perfect time to pretend that your car has turned into a galloping team of horses.
Aram Khachaturian – Gayane: Sabre Dance
This is one piece that doesn’t stop moving. Hold on tight to your steering wheel; you’re in for quite a ride!
Richard Wagner – Ride Of The Valkyries
The Valkyries are Norse goddesses and in Wagner’s opera, this song is played as they ride heroically into battle. This piece is perfect for when you finally break through the traffic and soar on the open roads with your family in tow.
John Adams – Short Ride in a Fast Machine
A playlist for driving in the car couldn’t be complete without this song, that was written to evoke the excitement of driving in a fast sports car late at night (I know, what a very modern theme.) It was written in 1986 and is one of John Adams best-known and most-performed pieces.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade
This promenade is actually meant to evoke walking (through an art gallery) but is a great loud piece to fill up your car.
Leonard Bernstein – Overture to Candide
Leonard Bernstein was a famous American composer and conductor. This is a joyous and silly piece of music that will have your kids dancing and swaying in the backseat.
Georges Bizet – Carmen Suite #1: Les Toreadors
This piece from the opera “Carmen” contains two famous melodies, both equally as fun!
Let us know what which ones were your favorites!