Sometimes we need a break from words. I like your idea of listening to classical music as you knit or drive.
Although I played in orchestras for a 6-year chunk of my youth (cello, never higher than the third chair due to the caliber of adolescent cello-playing in 1970s North Omaha), I did not learn much about composers or music history. If I spent enough time learning my part to play a piece, I loved the composer, simple as that. (Still very fond of Handel’s Water Music, and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, which for some reason was always the finale to an All-City High School Orchestra concert.)
In my household we have a passionate fan of Dmitri Shostakovich, who recommends the Leningrad Symphony, a heartbreaking work. There are many interpretations on YouTube, but I picked the one above, a performance by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, conducted by Marin Alsop.
To try to bridge the Shostakovich knowledge gap between my son and me, I’m reading a YA book, Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad, which is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction.
If this is not upbeat enough to accompany one’s relaxing weekend knitting, there’s always the Water Music.