Top Four Life-Affirming Classical Gems

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Second Movement – Stirring, spooky, then gorgeous

Gustav Holst’s The Planets: Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity – Full horns take command; ultimately, luscious strings touch the heart

Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite: Waltz of the Flowers – Elegant, light and sweet; familiar as if it’s woven into our DNA

Leonard Bernstein’s Candide: Overture – Impossibly quick, then a breathtaking, lyrical melody

(Photo of author c. 1972)