A favorite critique of pop and rock music: “Great to work out to!” And yeah, a strong beat and bouncy/motivating lyrics can keep you rolling longer; why, just last night I myself spent a happy hour on the cross trainer with Cage the Elephant and I’m not ashamed to admit it even if this is a primarily classical blog so hush.
My point, though, is that rarely do people say it about classical music, except when they’re talking about, oh, unwinding and serenity and similar nonsense, as if all classical music oozes Zen, especially Schoenberg. And that one time on Dexter when that FBI guy tells Deb to jog to Chopin, but I think that was more character development than anything else.
Regardless, I am here to correct this notion with my own classical music workout mix. Because I can. Nothing really groundbreaking about this list, but it’ll keep you moving. At least promise me you’ll give it a try.
- “Lezginka” from Gayaneh by Aram Khachaturian
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, 2nd movement, by Dmitri Shostakovich
- Lieutenant Kije Suite, 4th Movement (“Troika”), by Sergei Prokofiev
- Symphony No. 7, 4th Movement, by Ludwig van Beethoven (4th movements are good, okay?)
- “Mazurka” from Coppelia (Act 1, Scene 4), by Leo Delibes
- Piano Prelude No. 1, by George Gershwin (I rebelliously prefer the Joshua Bell version)
- “Danse Russe” from Petrouchka, by Igor Stravinsky
- The Bach Double performed by Time for Three (they swing it!)
- “Sabre Dance” from Gayaneh, by Aram Khachaturian
- Serenade for Strings, 1st movement, by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (for your cooldown, of course)
I think what we can all take away from this is that the Soviet Union was a great place to exercise.