As we close the weekend, I’ll leave you to enjoy a few pieces I’ve been listening to frequently.

First let’s begin with Sibelius’ legendary 2nd symphony, a romantic masterpiece of melody and emotion, and arguably Sibelius’ finest work. This version is played by the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Bernstein:

YouTube video

If you’re in the mood for more piano and fewer strings, enjoy one of Beethoven’s greatest and most accessible works: the Piano Sonata Number 8, also known as the “Pathetique.” The 2nd movement is by far the most famous part, having been repurposed into a popular golden oldie. But the entire thing is extraordinarily beautiful, and Daniel Barenboim’s interpretation is filled with power and precision.

YouTube video

Finally, in honor of the Star Wars Episode VII trailer arriving tomorrow (and in the hopes that the film will actually be good!), enjoy an hour of the “Force” theme, perhaps John Williams’ most famous melody of all time and a perfect musical embodiment of the power of hope:

YouTube video

Have a great week!

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.