Beloved Classic Music
I remember a cartoon of Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin is listening to record called 1812 Overture and comments to Hobbes that the percussion is very unusual. Hobbes tells him that they use real cannons in that piece and Calvin grins as he says "Wow! Cannons! And I thought classical music was boring!"
Beethoven, Mozart, Bach etc are all fantastic but the only "upper echelon" classic composer that I regularly listen to is Tchaikovsky. I prefer, I guess you would call them "the lesser classics" of men that are considered great, but not up with the previous four.
Strauss is perhaps best known for his ubiquitous Blue Danube and that is a masterpiece that I enjoy, however as he is my favorite composer and my favorite piece by him is Tritsch Tratsch Polka. It is energetic and exiting as well as a pleasant melody. I can listen to it over and over again and I can't help by grin with pleasure as I listen to it.
Of course there was another composer named Strauss and he wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra which is often mislabeled as Theme From 2001 A Space Odyssey. I love how this piece overwhelms the senses and emotions. It almost creates a sense of excitement and anticipation just by being listened to.
I have to admit that I got part of my love for classics from watching some Stanley Kubriks works. He may have had a screw loose but he knew good music.
And of course there are classical works that are vocal rather than just pure instrumental, though many songs known primarily as instrumental pieces have lyrics as well. However, some classics are vocal through and through. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus is such a piece and it is so overwhelming that George III couldn't help but rise as he listened to it and there are some who insist that one should stand as this song is performed. Perhaps they're right.