It can be hard to stay focused when you’re working from home, with so many distractions you wouldn’t find in the office. However, studies have suggested a correlation between listening to classical music and boosting productivity and concentration!
With this in mind, our Music Department have put together a classical music playlist get you through the working day.
If you feel like really procrastinating, find out a bit more about some of the playlist song selections, or just jump straight into the playlist.
Mozart’s 'Soave sia il vento'
Phelim McDermott’s production of Cosi fan Tutte
If you’re new to opera then Mozart is a great entry into classical music, being responsible for some of the most famous opera songs in the canon. He also lends his name to a scientific theory dubbed the Mozart effect, which argues that listening to classical music helps to boost brain activity.
Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte (loosely translated to ‘women are like that’) contains some of the most beautiful arias that were wildly under appreciated when it first premiered in 1790. Act 1 sees a very distinctive moment where the calming ‘Soave sia il vento’ song brings a welcomed break to the madness of the dramatic opera.
Known as ‘May the wind be gentle’ in English, this is the perfect, relaxing background music to help you keep focused on the task at hand.
Puccini's 'Nessun Dorma'
Opera songs don’t get much more famous than ‘Nessun Dorma‘.
Taken from the final act of Puccini’s Turandot, it has become one of the most recognised tenor arias in the world, due to performances from artists like Pavarotti, Paul Potts and even Aretha Franklin.
The opera follows the twisted love story of the cold-hearted Princess Turandot and enamored Prince Calaf, who sings ‘Nessun Dorma’ as a boast that he will win the princess’s hand in marriage. With all that drama you won’t be missing the telly when you’re trying to work!
Verdi’s 'Bella Figlia Dell'amore'
Jonathan Miller’s production of Rigoletto.
The song depicts Rigoletto and his daughter Gilda overhearing the Duke being unfaithful to her, which sparks his fatherly desire for revenge. But, he does not end up victorious as he’s hateful need for vengeance leads to the destruction of the daughter he loves.
Verdis heartbreakingly tragic opera is one of his most popular works and earns a well deserved place on our playlist.
Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde Act 1 Prelude
Daniel Kramer’s production of Tristan and Isolde.
The prelude to one of Wagner’s best loved operas, Tristan and Isolde, features the ‘Tristan Chord’, which some regard as the start of modern music due to its significant influence on other artists and poets.
The opening bars are referred to as ‘langsam und schmachtend’ which means ‘slow and yearning’, a fitting melody to a tragic love story.
Believed to be based on the love triangle of Guinevere, Lancelot and King Arthur, the opera follows the devastating, adulterous affair between Tristan and Isolde.
Romance, drama and medieval legends all set to revolutionary music, what more could you want?
Glass's Akhnaten Act 1 Prelude
Phelim McDermott’s production of Akhnaten.
Phillip Glass is one of the more contemporary composers on our playlist.
Ahknaten‘s prelude ends with a dramatic proclamation by The Scribe as he reads the pyramid texts along to the extraordinary music.
With Glass being a minimalist composer, the music from Akhnaten is a bit different from your typical classical piece.
Have a listen to all these songs and more in our working from home playlist!