These are some of the most heart-rending pieces of famous classical music ever written…
1. Giacomo Puccini - Sono andati? (from La Boheme)
Because this is an opera, someone has to die. Unfortunately for poor Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme, it's her. Not only is she separated from her true love, riven with consumption and hacking into her hanky like an audience member in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, she's also decided that Rodolfo is her one true love - here, the two of them reminisce as Mimi meets her tragic end…
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem Mass in D minor
It'd be nice to think that the rather more dramatic scene depicted in Amadeus , where Mozart on his death bed blurts out his last ever composition to an eagerly transcribing Salieri, was exactly how it happened. However, it's widely accepted now that it was a rather more sedate affair - Mozart slipped away in the night, and a fellow composer, Franz Sussmayr, assembled the broken fragments and finished it off (in fact, he actually did most of the work on the piece).
3. Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings
You might know this one from some of the key scenes in Oliver Stone's less-than-cheery Vietnam epic Platoon . You might also know it from how it makes you want to curl up on the kitchen floor and sob into a dishcloth.
4. Tomaso Albinoni - Adagio in G minor
It's a staple here at Classic FM, but to do justice to Albinoni's Adagio you really do have to put your headphones in, imagine life in sepia and think back to that time the family pet was put down.
5. Johann Sebastian Bach - Come, Sweet Death
With a title like that, it's unlikely that you'll be skipping down the street with this pumping from your iPod. No, we recommend some dark clothing, a stiff drink and possibly some more gentle sobbing.
6. Edward Elgar - 2nd Movement, Serenade for Strings
Even if it doesn't, this belter of a second movement is premium lip-wobbler material. Watch out for the tingly high strings in the middle. Hankies at the ready...
7. Henryk Gorecki - Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
If any piece deserves the label 'modern classic', it's this. Gorecki used the words etched into the walls of a Gestapo prison by an 18 year old girl during the Second World War as his inspiration, and the results are as chilling as they are moving.
8. Henry Purcell - Dido's Lament (When I Am Laid In Earth, from Dido and Aeneas)
No, it's not an account of the popular late-90s singer's descent into obscurity, it's actually one of Henry Purcell's most poignant compositions. Taken from his opera Dido and Aeneas, it comes as Dido (not that one) is preparing to face her imminent death.
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