The last Runner’s World issue was dedicated to music. Among the many articles on its (tremendous!) importance was a small feature detailing what music the magazine’s subscribers tend to jam to most often on their runs. The editors expressed their surprise by how often Beethoven was cited as a driving force. Me? Not even!
People talk about growing up in a Beatles or a Stones family. I grew up in a Classical Music Only family. If my mom was in the car, we listened to classical music. With my dad we occasionally listened to some classic rock, but he also likes opera, and then WETA played Classic Kids stories on Sunday mornings, so really it was classical music like 90% of the time. This is but one of the reasons my general pop culture knowledge is so scant.
No matter; I have niche knowledge, which is almost as good, or better if you happen to walk into the right scenario. I can be very useful if a relevant Jeopardy category or trivia night question pops up.
Or, alternatively: looking for some suggestions as to good classical music to run to? You’ve come to the right place. Finally, interning with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra pays off!
READY TO RUN TO SOME CLASSICAL MUSIC?
And so I am extremely proud to present you with this, my Classical Miles playlist:
I started it off with some Beethoven, to ease you in, but if you’re feeling daring you can skip the Spring Sonata and dive right in with Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights.” Either have a good mid-tempo beat that will keep you from starting off too quick. (I hope you enjoy the view from behind the Iron Curtain, because early- to mid-century Soviet composers are a favorite of mine.)
There are some lengthier exceptions, specifically Holst’s “Jupiter” and Michael Daugherty’s “Red Cape Tango.” But the former’s slower middle section has such grandeur I think inspiration alone will keep you going, and placing the “Red Cape Tango” at the end allows you to cool down to it if you’re so inclined.
If you noticed there are no Fantasia 2000 tracks on this list, a) please be my friend because we already have a lot in common and b) you are correct! I specifically challenged myself to avoid any F2000 pieces, as that album is practically a running playlist already. Consider it a worthy replacement if you hate my suggestions.
Still, give my Classical Miles a shot – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of it, and anyway, what’ve you got to lose? Even if you don’t think you’re a classical person, you could surprise yourself. I could surprise you. Prokofiev could surprise you. I just love Prokofiev! Runner’s World, please put him on your list.
BONUS: FOR PRIME USERS
I recreated this playlist in Amazon Prime Music as that’s what I usually use when I run, but I didn’t arrange it carefully or anything because the user interface was annoying. Here’s the link if you want it there; just be sure to hit shuffle. It might help?
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!