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A few years ago (five, I guess!) when Kent and I were driving from Minneapolis to Banff to go hiking before my brother’s wedding in Kelowna, we brainstormed a list of “The World’s Most Beautiful Music”.  This was, of course, before we had smartphones, so this was totally out of our own heads, late at night, with a little help from the songs I had on my computer.  We ended up with 75 songs, and I’ve added to it.  I was hoping to get 100, but I seem to not be able to narrow it down; rather, I keep adding more (I have 115 at this moment).  Our initial criteria were haunting, often melancholy, and phrases that pull at your heart.  There are other wonderful songs we didn’t put on there, and probably some on there now that Kent would disagree with.  I thought it might be interesting to see what everyone thought.

I’ve separated the list into types of music (roughly, as some cross genres).  Maybe in the comments, put your favorite song from each genre?  I’ll try to add links to videos as I can.  If you have one you think should be on the list, tell me that too.  Of course I’m sure it’s by no means exhaustive, and I have my personal top five or so.   I have to admit, there’s a lot of choral music on there.  I am more familiar with that genre, and keyboard, than with orchestra or opera.

Choral/Vocal

  • Adoramus te Christe
  • Bach Jesu Priceless Treasure
  • Bach-Gounod Ave Maria
  • Beautiful Savior (F. Melius Christiansen)
  • Biebl Ave Maria
  • Cantique de Jean Racine
  • Chichester Psalm 2nd mvt
  • Creator of the Stars of Night
  • Dante’s Prayer
  • Duet from the Pearl Fishers
  • E’en So Lord Jesus
  • Faure Pie Jesu
  • How Deep the Father’s Love
  • Jesus I Adore Thee
  • Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
  • Mozart Ave verum corpus
  • Mozart Lacrimosa
  • My Lord, What a Morning
  • My Song in the Night
  • Prayer of the Children
  • Precious Lord, Take My Hand
  • Queen My Bijou
  • Rachmaninoff Vespers Bogoroditse Devo
  • Rachmaninoff Vespers Six Psalms
  • Rachmaninoff Vocalise
  • Rodrigo En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor
  • Rusalka Song to the Moon
  • Rutter Requiem Agnus Dei
  • Rutter Requiem Out of the Deep
  • Rutter Requiem Psalm 23
  • Rutter What Sweeter Music
  • Stay With Us
  • Steal Away
  • The Blue Bird
  • The King Shall Come
  • The Lord Bless You and Keep You with long Amen
  • The Prayer
  • Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasilieras
  • Webber Pie Jesu

Christmas

  • Bach Wachet Auf
  • Bethlehem Down
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Jul, Jul
  • little tree
  • Lute Caroll
  • Lux Aurumque
  • O Day Full of Grace
  • Of the Father’s Love Begotten
  • Silent Night (with Night of Silence)
  • Stanford Scriven’s Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
  • Victoria O magnum mysterium

Folksongs

  • Carrickfergus
  • Greensleeves
  • Kathleen Mavourneen
  • Londonderry Air
  • Myfanwy
  • Shenandoah
  • The Water is Wide
  • To a Wild Rose
  • Wayfaring Stranger

 Keyboard/Organ

  • Bach Alle Menschen
  • Beethoven Emperor Concerto
  • Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 2nd mvt
  • Beethoven Sonata Pathetique 2nd mvt
  • Chopin Fantasie Impromptu
  • Chopin Nocturne in Eb
  • Debussy Cathedrale engloutie
  • Debussy Clair de Lune
  • Glencoe by NEYEII
  • Granados Asturiana
  • Highland Cathedral
  • Mendelssohn Organ Symphony #6
  • Rachmaninoff Elegie
  • Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme from Paganini, var. 18
  • Saint-Saens Organ Symphony last mvt.
  • Satie Gymnopedie No. 1
  • Schumann Piano Concerto
  • Saint-saens The Swan
  • Tchaikovsky Pathetique Symphony
  • The Lark Ascending

 Orchestral/Instrumental

  • Band arrangement of Battle Hymn with Taps
  • Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Faure Pavane
  • Gabriel’s Oboe
  • Grieg Solveig’s Song
  • Holst Jupiter
  • Intermezzo from Cavilliera Rusticana
  • Meditation from Thais
  • Mendelssohn Hebrides
  • Mendelssohn Scottish Symphony
  • Nimrod from Enigma Variations
  • None but the lonely heart
  • Ravel Pavane pour une infant defunte
  • This is My Will by NEYEII

Popular (including movie soundtracks)

  • Ashokan Farewell
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Braveheart Gift of a Thistle
  • Dead Poets’ Society Keating’s Triumph
  • Far and Away
  • Far Over the Misty Mountains
  • Fields of Gold
  • For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her
  • Henry V Non Nobis Domine
  • James Galway Concerning Hobbits
  • James Galway playing Annie’s Song
  • Hymn to the Fallen
  • Last of the Mohicans, Main Theme
  • Legends of the Fall, The Ludlows
  • Rocketeer theme
  • Schindler’s List
  • Somewhere My Love from Dr. Zhivago
  • Suo Gan
  • The Abyss
  • Time… from Romeo and Juliet
  • Trombone Amazing Grace from Gettysburg

Tonight, my favorite piece of music is Barber’s Adagio for Strings, as conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Enjoy, with your heart.

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Starlight shines, the night is still
Shepherds watching from a hill
I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

A perfect child gently waits
A mother bends to kiss God’s face
I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

Angels fill the midnight sky and they sing
Hallelujah, He is Christ, our King

Emmanuel, Prince of peace
Love come down for you and me
Heaven’s gift, the holy spark
To light the way inside our hearts

Bethlehem, through your small door
Came the hope we’ve waited for
The world was changed forevermore
When love was born

I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

— Mark Schultz

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one reward of teaching

beginning band

is helping them learn enough

so that one day i turn and see

a black boy

a white girl

an Asian girl

who taught themselves how to play

“Lift Every Voice”

and their smiles are exactly the same

as mine

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solo

flying notes cascade

pool in glistening streams

rivulets and

cataracts from quick-certain fingers

dancing

sparkling

scintillate showering

dusting the motionless orchestra

with floating gold

frozen expectant humming

trills and torrents

shimmering flashing rills

flowing over listening grey stone

blushes

stirs

raising living bows

poised and dives

joyously

headlong over the edge

into the final cadence and

leap

of a curling

breaking

wave of song

.

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when November comes

i look for stark beauty

sere golden reeds

rippling to the reflected blue edge

of an overcast sky

a single scarlet leaf

caught

in an empty branch

the ancient high calls

of a v-wedge of dark birds

escaping the frost

naked trees spiked on a

burning sunset

and the faint silver music

of a lonely cold

star

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so sad!

Les Mis is coming to Minneapolis and tickets *start* at $97!!! 😥 and that’s for the nosebleed section. I definitely don’t have enough money to support my highbrow musical tastes. Pooh.
On the bright side, I’m still eligible for the SPCO’s 20-30 club. $10 tickets for any seat, any concert 😀 Only 9 more years though till I have to have enough money to pay full price…

*www.i-need-a-money-tree.com*

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the days shrink

the night frays the edges

a little more

every morning

the sun is later

deeper shadows and darkness is

coming

.

flowers wither

stems straggle and trail

brown

limp

the year grows cold

so tiredly

.

“do not go gently”

.

time to remember

to make our nests warm

pull our memories around us

this laughter

those tears

that life

wisped away in the smoke of burning leaves

.

in the shadows what waits

in darkness we know nothing

ghouls

monsters

goblins

we give face to

fear

of our own mortality

.

“do not go gently”

.

let the dark trickle in

an impulse

a choice

a flood of the other side of us

and one more light is

gone

.

better to cling to light

turn towards day

the morning star

not the wicked red points of

eyes

in the dark

.

when we see the hovering shadow

as the year creaks to the end

do we choose to fight that

darkness

or embrace it?

allow evil within the walls

or turn and cast up a defense

of light?

.

“do not go gently”

.

“Stay with us, Lord Jesus; it soon is evening, and night is falling.”

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