Ba da da da da bididi ba da da da da da BWAAAAA 

I am no athlete but damn, I love me some workout playlists. I use them when I clean my house or to energetically soundtrack my walks to the grocery store…

Like I said, I am no athlete.

But now it is the Winter Olympics. A precious time when all Americans suddenly become experts in sports they completely ignore for three out of four years, and everyone tries and fails to land a triple salchow in their living room.

(For the love of God: DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME)

Luckily, I have some friends who were willing to give me input on what athletic types like/want when they work out, and I tried to keep the BPMs between 90-180 increasing as the playlist goes along so you can skip ahead to wherever you like your BPM or whatever athletic people do*. At the end, there are two MAGNIFICENT triumphal fanfares to send you off as a true hero of sport, or at least, a sporty attitude.


Here’s the list, Spotify link** at the bottom

Olympic Level Workout Fodder

  1. Mlada Suite: 5. Cortège –Rimsky-Korsakov  (So you can Olympically process into whatever you’re taking on and/or warm-up)
  2. Peer Gynt: 8. In the Hall of the Mountain King – Grieg
  3. Die Walküre (The Valkyries): Act III “Hojotoho!” – Wagner
  4. Sylvia: Act III “Cortège de Bacchus” – Delibes
  5. 2-Part Inventions, BWV 779: Invention no. 8 in F major – J.S. Bach
  6. Violin Concerto in D Minor, No 3. Allegro, ma non tanto – Sibelius
  7. Ercole sul Termodonte (Hercules in Thermadon): “Non fia della vittoria” – Vivaldi (May no cloud of cruelty ever overshadow the pride of victory.The glory of winning is enough, and that glory shall be mine.)
  8. I Masnadieri (The Bandits): “Carlo vive?” – Verdi (lyrics are…less applicable here)
  9. Petrushka: Russian Dance – Stravinsky
  10. Swan Lake: Act III, No 21. “Spanish Dance” – Tchaikovsky                                          
  11. Concerto in F: III. Allegro agitato – Gershwin
  12. Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, 4. Finale – Tchaikovsky
  13. 4 Dance Episodes from Rodeo: Hoe-Down – Copland
  14. Violin Concerto No 2. The American Four Seasons: Movement III– Glass
  15. The Rite of Spring, Part 2: The Sacrifice, III. “Glorification of the Chosen One”– Stravinsky (…real quick…everyone knows about THIS VIDEO right?)
  16. Swan Lake (yes, again. It’s peppy as hell) Act II, No 13 Coda: Allegro vivace
  17. Symphony No. 6 in C Major, “Dollar Symphony”: III. Vivace – Atterberg
  18. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Overture – Mendelssohn (if you don’t pretend to be a fairy during this music, you’re doing it wrong)
  19. Die Fledermaus (The Bat): “Im Feuerstrom der Reben” (“In the firestorm from the vines”) (That hyperbole is about champagne as is the whole thing. There is a *primo* fist pump moment in each verse too. DIY instructions at the link)
  20. Double Bass Concerto “The Wolf” III. Allegro vivace – Tan Dun                                   
  21. Symphony No 25 in G Minor, I. Allegro con brio – Mozart
  22. Auf der Jagd (On the Hunt) – J. Strauss II (There are “gunshots” on this so fair warning, it might be confusing if you’re training for a biathalon while listening to this)
  23. Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov (I went with the violin version, but you could have an orchestral version, a brass version, a choral version, a flute versiona piano version
  24. Michelangelo ’70 – Piazzolla
  25. Concerto Fantasy for 2 Timpanists and Organ (arr. M. Lortz for 2 Timp & Wind Ensemble) III. – Glass
  26.  “West Side Story” Symphonic Dances: 4. Mambo – Bernstein
  27. Estancia Ballet Suite: 1. “Land Workers” – Ginastera

    (The rest of the playlist is longer form, less regularly rhythmed pieces, but  pieces that people informed me they actually exercise to
  28. Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville): Overture – Rossini
  29. Marche Slave – Tchaikovksy
  30. Romeo and Juliet: Act 1: “Dance of the Knights” –Prokofiev
  31. Symphony No. 2 in C Minor “Resurrection”: 1. Allegro maestoso. mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck (with serious and solemn expression throughout) – Mahler
  32. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor: IV. Allegro – Beethoven

  33. Sinfonietta: 1. Allegretto-Allegro-Maestoso – Janácek
  34.  *super secret bonus track*

Good luck to all of you actually training your bodies to be strong and impressive, and a special shoutout to the rest of us participating in the daily Olympics of the modern world who just need some motivating music. Heck, maybe I’ll even do a pushup today.

*If I am really on top of it all I hope to have some shorter, genre/era specific playlists too so if you’re dying for a minimalist/baroque/opera/20th century percussion ensemble workout playlist LEMME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! There are some very nice viagra salesbots down there  you can meet too.

***Making youtube playlists takes forever so if anyone actually wants one, please be the first non-sex-robot to leave us a comment and I will make it just for you, until then, Spotify takes the gold.

Halloweekend Jams

Oh we are so close to Halloween now my friends…

This is our second spookiest playlist because the last one (drops midnight of Halloween-eve) is basically nails on a chalkboard, so this is the last stop for discernable melody and joy. Like, evil mad scientist joy though.

This playlist is givin’ ME life, but I can’t promise it’ll bring back the dead…

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Properly Scary Halloween


We believe in treats not tricks so we’re rollin out playlists aaaaalll weekend. No more messing around, these are not cute THESE ARE SCARY!!! Fine…maybe a little cute but MOSTLY SCARY!!!

Continue reading “Properly Scary Halloween”


Halloweenfest continues with one of my very favorite seasonal treats today! David Del Tredici’s Dracula, a twenty-minute “monodrama”, is a campy-yet-genuinely-disturbing take on the classic Dracula tale is a total gem in the repertoire.

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Gettin’ Spooky…


Happy Friday the 13th and almost halfway to Halloween! Friday the 13th is all about the milder superstitions like black cats and ladders and things that are unsettling but not like…ax-murdering ghost unsettling and that’s what this playlist is. Like any good fall-themed cocktail it starts off sweet, gets a little spicy and by the time you’re done with it you might feel a lil messed up.

Continue reading “Gettin’ Spooky…”

Pumpkin Spice Playlist


Classical music has so much wonderful and terrifying Halloweeny music that I ended up making three different playlists to best fit everyone’s varying Halloween spook levels. We’ll release one post a week (with at least one scary walkthrough) in increasing scare levels till the big day. This week we’re starting off nice with Pumpkin Spice. This is a playlist for anyone out there who likes their pumpkins covered in glitter, their ghosts friendly and their latte…well you know.

Poof! This playlist is scare-free!

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The Godfather Suite

The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are two of the greatest movies ever made. The films have won Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys, and BAFTAs, and are featured on pretty much every single one of AFI’s countless lists of the best films ever made. And while the films feature incredible performances by stars like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola’s extraordinary direction, and some of the best, most quotable lines in film history (“Leave the gun, take the cannoli,” “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”), the incredible score by Nino Rota elevates the pair of films to modern-day opera. As Awesӧme Orchestra prepares to perform The Godfather Suite on Sunday, October 8, allow Canon Fodder to be your guide through this epic story about family, power, vengeance, loyalty, and a whole lot of food. (For the purposes of this post, we’re just going to go ahead and skip Godfather Part III, which we wish Coppola had done, too.) In case it’s not already clear, I love these movies like I love a good Bolognese, so let’s dig in!

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Well, it’s September. A chill is in the air, kids are going back to school, and spooky stories are starting to come up in conversation. In that spirit, we’re jumping into one of my all-time favorite film scores because nothing says “fall” quite like Vertigo…

See what I did there…

Continue reading “Vertigo”