5 Pieces Of Classical Music To Run/Walk/Roll With

Musical To Inspire You To Join WPR's Free 5K Virtual Event

sheet music
Brandon Giesbrecht (CC-BY)

Music lifts our spirits and helps focus our energies. Exercise gives us energy and keeps us healthy. Celebrate the power of both with WPR’s virtual Classical 5K Run/Walk/Roll this June.

It’s free and open to all ages and abilities. You can go at your own pace on your own schedule, wherever you want, between June 12 and June 19. You can even order a fun t-shirt! Find more details here.

Here are some great classical pieces to inspire you along the way.

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Mendelssohn: ‘Italian Symphony’ (first movement)

Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, known as the “Italian Symphony,” has one of the most energizing openings of any symphony. It pulls you in right from the first notes. Here’s the opening movement (it’s worth checking out the entire symphony, too).

Florence Price: ‘Dances in the Canebrakes’

Florence Price wrote this as a set of short piano pieces in 1953. Later William Grant Still arranged the music for orchestra. It includes elements of jazz, blues and popular songs and dances.

Rodrigo: ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ (first movement)

Joaquin Rodrigo’s guitar concerto was inspired by the gardens of a former Spanish royal palace. It’s a great piece to enjoy outside — Rodrigo said it was meant to evoke the sound of birds singing and the beautiful fragrances from the garden.

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 (final movement)

The final movement of this concerto follows a wistful, romantic slow movement. Its joyful energy is infectious.

Beethoven: ‘Pastoral Symphony’ (first movement)

Beethoven loved to take long walks in the Vienna Woods, and it’s been suggested that some of his music echoes the pace of his walking. The first movement of his Symphony No. 6, known as the “Pastoral Symphony,” is a good candidate. It’s subtitled “The awakening of happy feelings upon arriving in the countryside.”