Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Power of Music: Playlist (now 129 composers... will be at least twice or three times this...)

I was watching Simon Schama's Power of Art documentaries last night. It occurred to me, if there were a similar series of Power of Music docs, in which, as Schama puts it:

"In the end, there's only one test that matters. You come into the room, you fix it in your sights. Does it, or does it not attack you in the guts, it does. Does your heart jump? Do your eyes widen? Does your pulse race? Do your feet get a bad attack of lead boots you're so struck down by it? They do..."

Schama chose eight so... let's give a good couple hundred or so suggestions for what might be on this list. Two at most per composer. We're not going for favorites or best or most enjoyable, just music with sheer, searing, Biblical, sublime power, with a focus squarely on eternity. Music that speaks to the deepest parts of us with ecstatic truth:

I'm going mostly forward through music history, though I may go back for 'early (pre-Bach) music. ll add plenty to this as the next few days go on, especially in the non-classical musicians. But I frankly am getting tired of doing this after a good five hours of hunting down links...

All rated 1 to 5 on pure, elemental, inspirational power. To judge a musical work by its musical language or structure is ultimately a superficial reading of music. What is important is the simple human and inhuman power of the music.

Machaut: Messe de Nostre Dame ****

Gesualdo: Tenebrae Factae Sunt ***

Gesualdo: Miserere ****

Palestrina: Missa Hodie Christus **

Palestrina: Improperia ***

Victoria: Tenebrae Responses ****

Victoria: Requiem ****

Lassus: Prophitae Sybillarum ***

Tallis: Spem in Allium ****

Tallis: In Ieiunio et Fletu *****

Byrd: Vigilate ***

Byrd: Firste Pavane and Galliard **

Gibbons: Lord of Salisbury *

Striggio: Mass for 40 and 60 Voices ****

Monteverdi: Solemn Vespers ***

Monteverdi: Lamento d'Arianna ****

Rossi: Adon Olam ***

Rossi: Elohim Hashivenu **

Schutz: History of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ **

Schutz: Psalms of David *

Tartini: Devil's Trill ***

Purcell: Funeral Music of Queen Mary ****

Purcell: Hail Bright Cecilia ***

Bach: St John Passion *****

Bach: Chaconne for Violin *****

Handel: Coronation Anthems ****

Handel Royal Fireworks (admit it, you're sick of Messiah too...) *****

Vivaldi: Four Seasons (long as it's not the usual boring English performance...) ****

Haydn: The Creation *****

Haydn: The Seasons ****

Mozart: Don Giovanni *****

Mozart: Requiem ***

Beethoven: Eroica Symphony *****

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis (everybody knows the 5th and the 9th...) *****

Weber: The Free Shooter ****

Schubert: Unfinished Symphony ****

Schubert: Winterreise *****

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique *****

Berlioz: Requiem ****

Mendelssohn: Octet ****

Mendelssohn: Elijah ***

Schumann: Carnaval **

Schumann: Dichterliebe (Poet's Love) ****

Liszt: Dance of Death ****

Liszt: Mephisto Waltz ****

Chopin: Heroic Polonaise *****

Chopin: Revolutionary Etude ***

Wagner: Tristan and Isolde ***

Wagner: Twilight of the Gods ****

Verdi: Don Carlo ****

Verdi: Otello *****

Gounod: Faust ****

Franck: The Accursed Huntsman *****

Franck: Symphony ****

Bruckner: Symphony no. 9 *****

Bruckner: Os Justi ****

Brahms: Piano Concerto no. 1 *****

Brahms: German Requiem ****

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov *****

Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina ***** (everybody knows Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain, so let's just go for the two completed operas - as great as any two ever written)

Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty ****

Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 6 *****

Dvorak: Symphony no. 9 **** (everybody knows the slow movement, listen to the rest)

Dvorak: Cello Concerto *****

Sullivan: Yeoman of the Guard ****

Sullivan: Irish Symphony ***

Faure: Caligula ***

Janacek: Jenufa *****

Janacek: Cunning Little Vixen *****

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius ***

Elgar: The Apostles **

Puccini: Tosca ***

Puccini: Turandot ****

Mahler: Resurrection Symphony *****

Mahler: Symphony no. 9 *****

Debussy: The Sunken Cathedral *****

Debussy: The Sea ***

Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra **** (You know the first minute, you might as well learn the rest)

Strauss: Elektra ****

Sibelius: Kullervo *****

Sibelius: Tapiola *****

Nielsen: Symphony no. 4 *****

Nielsen: Symphony no. 5 *****

Satie: Socrate **

Holst: The Mystic Trumpeter ***

Holst: Hymn of Jesus **** (You know The Planets, I know The fucking Planets, yes it's a great piece of music, particularly the five movements everybody skips, listen to something else by this otherwise underrated composer)

Vaughan Williams: Symphony no. 4 ****

Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem **** (these ought to shake off the image of RVW as a composer of 'cowpat music')

Respighi: Fountains **** and Pines **** of Rome

Ives: Symphony no. 4 *****

Ives: General William Booth Enters Heaven *****

Rachmaninov: The Bells ****

Rachmaninov: Isle of the Dead ****

Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy *****

Schoenberg: Moses and Aaron ***

Schoenberg: A Survivor from Warsaw ****

Falla: El Amor Brujo  *****

Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro ****

Suk: Asrael ***

Ravel: The Waltz *****

Ravel: Bolero ****

Ruggles: Sun Treader *****

Ruggles: Of Men and Mountains *****

Bloch: Sacred Service ****

Bloch: Baal Shem Tov *****

Bartok: Miraculous Mandarian ***

Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta ****

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring (duh)  *****

Stravinsky: Les Noces *****

Grainger: The Warriors ****

Grainger: Lincolnshere Posy ***

Szymanowski: Krol Roger ****

Szymanowski: Stabat Mater ****

Varese: Ameriques ***

Varese: Arcana **

Berg: Wozzeck ***

Berg: Violin Concerto ****

Kern: Showboat **

Martinu: Double Concerto **** for two pianos, timpani, and strings

Martinu: Greek Passion ***

Prokofiev: Scythian Suite ***

Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible ***

Honegger: Symphonies No's. 2 and 3 *****

Martin: Mass for Double Choir ****

Martin: Golgotha **

Hindemith: Requiem *

Hindemith: Noble Vision ***

Hanson: Lament for Beowulf ****

Hanson: Symphony no. 2 ***

Revueltas: Night of the Mayans *****

Cowell: ...If He Please ***

Cowell: Symphony no. 4 **

Korngold: The Sea Hawk ***

Korngold: The Dead State **

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess ****

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue **** (in the much better 'jazz band' version rather than the usual orchestra)

Poulenc: Organ Concerto ****

Poulenc: Human Figure **

Ellington: Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue *****

Ellington/Jackson: Come Sunday *****

Copland: In The Beginning ***

Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man ****

Armstrong: West End Blues ***

Armstrong: St. James Infirmary *****

Finzi: Intimations of Immortality ****

Finzi: Dies Natalis ***

Rodgers: Carousel ****

Rodgers: South Pacific ****

Walton: Belshazzar's Feast *****

Walton: Symphony no. 1 ****

Tippett: A Child of Our Time *****

Tippett: Triple Concerto ***

Arlen: Somewhere Over The Rainbow ****

Stein: Gypsy *****

Shostakovich Symphony no. 13 ***** (something other than the 5th should get a doc made about it...)

Shostakovich String Quartet no. 8  ****

Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time ****

Messiaen: Et Expecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum *****

Barber: Adagio for Strings ****

Barber: Symphony no. 1 ***

Goodman/Prima: Sing, Sing, Sing ****

Hovhaness: Symphony no. 50 'Mount St. Helens" ***

Hovhaness: Saint Vartan Symphony ***

Harrison: Symphony no. 3 ***

Harrison: Gending Pak Chokro ***

Guthrie: This Land Is Your Land ***

Guthrie: Jesus Christ ****

Britten: Peter Grimes ****

Britten: War Requiem **

Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra ***

Lutoslawski: Funeral Music ***

Fine: Toccata Concertante **

Fine: Serious Song **

Ginastera: Estancia ***

Ginastera: Popol Vuh **

Bernstein: Jeremiah Symphony ****

Bernstein: West Side Story *****

Seeger: We Shall Overcome *****

Seeger: If I Had a Hammer *****

Foss: Song of Songs ****

Foss: Baroque Variations ****

Ligeti: Clocks and Clouds *****

Ligeti: Lux Aeterna ****

Boulez: Notations *

Boulez: Repons (I feel sick...) *

Kurtag: Jatekok ***

Kurtag: Stele **

Stockhausen: Song of the Young Ones ***

Stockhausen: Stimmung **

Bock: Fiddler on the Roof ****

Berio: Sinfonia *****

Berio: Folk Songs ****

Crumb: Black Angels ****

Crumb: Star-Child ***

Charles: Hallelujah I Love Her So *****

Charles: What'd I Say *****

Sondheim: Sweeney Todd ****

Sondheim: Into The Woods *****

Rautavaara: The Journey ***

Rautavaara: Vespers ****

Takemitsu: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden ***

Takemitsu: Orion  ***

Schchedrin: Naughty Limericks ****

Schchedrin: Dead Souls ****

Gubaidulina: St. John Passion **

Gubaidulina: Offertorium *

Cash: Man in Black ***

Cash: The Man Comes Around *****

Gorecki: Symphony no. 3 ***

Williams: Star Wars ****

Williams: ET *****

Penderecki: St. Luke Passion ***

Penderecki: Utrenja **

Schnittke: Symphony no. 1 ****

Schnittke: Cello Concerto *****

Birtwistle: Earth Dances **

Birtwistle: Punch and Judy **

Gulda: Variations on Light My Fire ****

Part: Berliner Messe ***

Part: Miserere ***

Riley: In C ****

Riley: A Rainbow in Curved Air ***

Reich: Daniel Variations *****

Reich: Different Trains ****

Glass: Powaqqatsi ****

Glass: Koyaanisqatsi ***

Silvestrov: Silent Songs ****

Andriessen: M is Man, Music, Mozart ****

Andriessen: The State *

Lennon/McCartney: A Day in the Life ***

McCartney: Let It Be *****

Richards: Sympathy for the Devil ****

Morrison: The End ***

Morrison: Break On Through to the Other Side ****

Hendrix: Star Spangled Banner *****

Tavener: Funeral Canticle **

Tavener: The Veil of the Temple **

Vasks: The Message **

Vasks: Distant Light *

Adams: The Death of Klinghoffer **

 Adams: Doctor Atomic ****

Springsteen: Thunder Road *****

Springsteen: Jungleland *****

Saariaho: The Passion of Simone **

Saariaho: Orion **

Knussen: Higglety Pigglety Pop and Where The Wild Things Are **

Tan Dun: The Map ****

Tan Dun: Ghost Opera ****

Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind *****

Golijov: The Passion According to St. Mark *****

MacMillan: Seven Last Words on the Cross ***

MacMillan: Quickening ****

Lindberg: Power ***

Lindburg: Primal ****

Ades: Asyla ****

Ades: Tevot ***

Auerbach: Russian Requiem ***

Stevens: The Last 18 Minutes of Illinoise *****

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