Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Music for emotion

I am, as a rule, not the first guy to get emotional - to say nothing of actually draining some saline out of my ocular region - but, after seeing these posts*, I figure that it couldn't hurt listing some of the music that brings some emotions to the front of my mind.

Gustav Mahler, Symphony no. 2
Really, the whole thing gets me in a charged state of mind, but the final chorus, "Aufersteh'n, ja, aufersteh'n wirst du," can really stick me.

Richard Wagner, Götterdämmerung
The Immolation Scene in particular can be a tough one, especially when the soprano can actually act and the conductor knows what he is doing with Wagner's music. It might be the most profoundly affecting music for me.

Francis Poulenc, Dialogues des Carmélites
The last scene, with "Salve Regina," is affecting enough, but when Blanche comes in at the very end, "Deo Patris...," that has some emotional content.

Gabriel Fauré, Requiem
Two words, "In Paradisum."

Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello suite no. 6 in D major, BWV 1012 (Prelude)
The way that the hard-driving rhythm becomes that sweet melody can really hit me on the right day. There about fifty pieces of which I can think, all of which have affecting content, by Bach.

Johannes Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem
I'll second this one, from beginning to end, especially Otto Klemperer's recording on EMI. In "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras," right around RN 206-207, where Brahms gives the indication Allegro non troppo, the strings get that driving theme, and the basses kick into "Die Erlöseten des Herrn werder wieder kommen," is one of the most unabashedly joyful moments in music, to my mind, and I'm no Brahms fan.

Gustav Mahler, Symphony no. 8
Pretty much everything from "Komm! hebe dich zu höhen Sphären" through "Blicket auf" to the conclusion does me in.

There's more, but I wouldn't want people to think that all I do is sit around listening to Gustav Mahler and weeping softly.

*Heather Heise (5 October), Tim Mangan (19 October), Lisa Hirsch (19 October), and Alex from Wellsung (21 October)


At 2:05 PM, Blogger T. Ambrose Nazianzus said...

Finally downloaded the Poulenc from Itunes. I made the mistake of listening to the final scene on the bus home. Wow.

Of course, Wagner and Mahler are givens. For some reason, the Overture of Die Meistersinger would be on my list. It doesn't matter how terrible my mood is, it always brightens things up a bit.

I hope Mr. Ross makes it to the Bible belt so you can meet him. It was an absolute pleasure.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

Yeah. The Poulenc is not good public transport music, especially the finale.

The Sangerkrieg from Tannhaeuser is another scene that can always cheer me up a bit, especially Tannhaeuser's response to Biterolf's complaint.

If Alex Ross came to Indiana, I would go.

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