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April 21, 2009

5

Musical Goose Bumps: top classical shiver moments

by quaesitor

Ok – this won’t include U2. In fact it won’t include anything remotely connected to the rock world. Just the product of insomnia: for when i can’t sleep it seems that the urge to list is uncontrollable. So here it is. Sometimes it’s particularly hard to pick out bits, so i’ve just listed the whole thing.

16th Century

  • Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli (1562)
  • Thomas Tallis: Spem in Alium, the 40 part motet  (c1570)

17th Century

  • Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610)
  • Henry Purcell: “Sound the trumpet  (1678)
  • Henry Purcell: “When I Am Laid In Earth” (Dido’s Lament) from Dido & Aeneas (1689)

18th Century

  • GF Handel: Eternal Source of Light Divine, written for the birthday of Queen Anne (1713)
  • JS Bach: “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein” Bass aria, St Matthew Passion. (1727)
  • Vivaldi-Bach: Organ Concerto in A mi, BWV 593 (Bach transcribed (aka ‘stole’) this from Vivaldi’s concerto op. 3 no. 8 for 2 violins and basso continuo)
  • JS Bach: Italian Concerto for 2 manual harpsichord, BWV 971 (1735) esp when played by the humming Glenn Gould
  • WA Mozart: Serenade K361 “Gran Partita” for 13 Wind Instruments: 3rd Movement, Adagio (1781) used to great effect in the film Amadeus to explain Salieri’s jealousy
  • WA Mozart: “Ach, ich fühl’s” from The Magic Flute, Op. 620 (1791) the heart-ache moment when Pamina mistakenly thinks Tamino no longer loves her
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: ‘Pathétique’ Piano Sonata in C mi, Op. 13 (1798)

19th Century

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: ‘Pastoral’ Piano Sonata in D, Op. 28 (1801)
  • Franz Schubert: Winterreise, esp XXIV Der Leiermann (1827)
  • Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in B flat D960 (1828) his last piano sonata
  • Franz Schubert: Adagio from String Quartet in C D965 (1828) the one they always choose on Desert Island Discs, but who cares!
  • Modest Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (1868/9)
  • Anton Dvorak: Romantic Pieces for Violin & Piano, Op 75, esp. 1st movement (1887)
  • Edward Elgar: Serenade for Strings, Op. 20(1892)
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (1888/94)
  • Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Sonata in E flat, Op 120 (1894)
  • Edward Elgar: Finale from Enigma Variations (1899)

20th Century

  • Edward Elgar: Dream of Gerontius (1900) despite its theology!
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams: Five Mystical Songs (1906-1912)
  • Jean Sibelius: 3rd Movement from Symphony No. 5 in E Flat, Op.82 (1915) Remember Strawberry Switchblade in the early 80s? Well, they completely nicked the big theme. But Sibelius actually knew what to do with it
  • Richard Strauss: Sunrise from Alpine Symphony, Op. 64 (1912-15)
  • William Harris: “Faire is the Heaven” for unaccompanied double choir (1925) truly a foretaste of heaven
  • Francois Poulenc: Novelette in C for piano (1927) idyllic French summers
  • William Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast for bass, double choir, and orchestra (1931)
  • Francois Poulenc: Larghetto from Concerto for 2 Pianos & Orchestra (1932)
  • Sergei Prokofiev: The Battle on the Ice and Alexander’s Entry into Pskov from Alexander Nevsky (1938)
  • Aaron Copland: Quiet City for orchestra (1940)
  • Marcel Dupré: Évocation no III, op. 37  for organ (1941)
  • Benjamin Britten: Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes‘ (1945)
  • Gerald Finzi: “Lo, The Full Final Sacrifice for choir and organ (1946)
  • Benjamin Britten: Fugue & Finale from The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1946)
  • Maurice Durufle: In Paradisum from his Requiem (1947)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: 2nd Movement (Andante) from Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 102 (1957)
  • Benjamin Britten: War Requiem (1962), esp. “Dies Irae” & “Let Us Sleep Now
  • Herbert Howells: Take Him Earth For Cherishing (1964) written in memory of President John F Kennedy
  • Arvo Pärt: Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (1982) esp the last 10 minutes
  • John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986)
  • James MacMillan: Veni, Veni Emmanuel – percussion concerto (1992)

There are loads of others – but this is as far as I got. I’ve probably committed loads of crimes of omission. But if it helps you appreciate even just one of these for the first time, then I’ll be a very happy bunny. And I know you’d want that, wouldn’t you.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 21 2009

    Excellent choices! Nice to see plenty of modern repertoire there too.
    (Also very glad to find another fan of the Howells “Cherishing”!)

    Reply
  2. Apr 22 2009

    Thanks – I love the Tallis piece, though as a classical philistine I hardly recognise any of the others!

    Reply
  3. Apr 23 2009

    Btw, have you seen the interesting little interview with James MacMillan in The Telegraph?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturecritics/ivanhewett/5202098/James-MacMillan-interview.html

    Reply
  4. Apr 23 2009

    hi huwie
    no i hadn’t – thanks for the tip

    Reply

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