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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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we’ve passed the threshold now

my passport has been updated

we’ve done the ten-year anniversary

the Islamophobia’s died down

and bin Laden’s dead as well

I can listen to the second movement of Schumann’s

piano concerto and not hear

screeching metal and crumbling masonry

all the paper has been recycled

and a memorial has been built

people have had more children

or gotten remarried

and each September brings more thoughts of

apples, pumpkins, leaves, and

golden days

than flags, blood, smoke, and tears

but I will still wear black today

and my neighbor will put his flag at half-mast

I will play Barber’s Agnus Dei at quarter to nine

and my students will not understand why

but we who are old enough will pray and remember

because they are never gone

until we forget

.

.

In memory of Francisco Bourdier and the other 2,995 victims of 9-11, in conjunction with Project 2,996.

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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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28 songs scanned

8 quarts of tomato puree canned

and 3 pints of apple butter canned

1 large pot of apple butter cooking

1 messy church cleaned — or at least enough for now

2 classes taught (1 good 1 bad)

1 post-observation conference and the accompanying paperwork (grr)

2 piano lessons

1 pot of stew made — and eaten

1 pot of beans cooking

5 loads of laundry done

1 grocery shopping list done — almost!

5 books read

now…

back to clean the church some more!

 

That is all.

(except that it wasn’t all today.  Some of those were yesterday.)

 

Is this a poem? 😉

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I’ve spent this evening entering the names on my blog (the tab for Double Quartet) of all the songs I’d like to do with my double quartet.  I’m in the process of finding YouTube videos for each one if there are any, so people in the quartet who don’t know them can listen.  At some point I will be uploading mp3s of each vocal line.  I’m also probably going to put PDFs of music up for practice purposes, at which point I will be passwording the posts.  So listen to the lovely music while you can…

…and again, a hint for the password: 😉

My favorite song right this minute is the one by Egil Hovland called Stay With Us.  But they’re all gorgeous. 🙂

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