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The sexy side of classical music

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Think classical music can’t be hot? Think again.

Just because there aren’t X-rated lyrics or scantily clad women gyrating across the screen doesn’t mean classical music doesn’t have its finer moments when it comes to seduction. Tom Huizenga at NPR has rounded up a collection of classical pieces that’ll steam up a brass section before you can say “Beethoven.”

Just remember, if the concert hall’s a’ rockin’, don’t come a’ knockin’…

Strauss: Dance of the Seven Veils (from “Salome”)

Kissing the severed head of John the Baptist, which indeed occurs in Richard Strauss’ Salome, is not sexy. No way. But other parts of the opera are, such as the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” essentially a strip tease wherein the sensual and powerful Salome peels off clothing until finally she’s left with none. The opera was banned briefly at the Met in New York after its 1907 debut, but it achieved wild success later. In 2004, the stunning soprano Karita Mattila made headlines by ending the scene completely au naturel. This tantalizing music undulates and slithers.

Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy

Just about the time Salome was titillating opera audiences in New York, Russian composer Alexander Scriabin was finishing off his symphonicPoem of Ecstasy. The 20-minute piece is filled with kaleidoscopic colors, deliciously languid episodes and lurching trumpet calls. It is based on one of Scriabin’s own poems, which speaks of a “thirst for life” and surrendering to the “bliss of love.” It’s long been thought that the music represents the very act of lovemaking, cresting in a blazing climax of eight horns, pipe organ, bells, harp and trills high up in the winds. After all the excitement, the strings are left panting softly. Get it?

Full story at NPR.

A new reason to love classical music.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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