Most achingly-beautiful music

Ultimately, we listen to music to be moved, for example, to be elated, exulted, calmed or pained. Which are the 3 most affecting pieces of music do you find the most affecting?
Oops, excuse the jumbled last sentence! You get the gist of it, nevertheless.
Tchaikovsky, Violin Concerto; Janacek, First String Quartet; Bizet, Carmen
Almost anything by the Moody Blues pre-1973. One of a kind sound and the reason for me being in high-end audio! The new album is excellent as well (the best in years in fact! IMHO!
Vocalise played by nadja.
Watermark by ENYA
Guitarist John Williams performing Carlo Domeniconi
The slow movement from Mahler's 5th
4th movement(adagietto) from Mahler's 5th; Barber's Adagio for strings(if you really want to ache); Ralph Vaughn Williams' Mass in G minor. The Faure Requiem .
This could be a long list, but I'll mention only the ones that come immediately to mind: Miles Davis's album "Kind of Blue"; Bill Evans & Jim Hall's album "Undercurrent"; several cuts from Art Pepper's album "Shoes of the Fisherman"; Sibelius's "Swan of Tuonela"; duets from Puccini's "La Boheme"; Mozart's "Requiem"; Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (used as death theme in movie "The Elephant Man").
Barber's Adagio for Strings was also used in the Platoon soundtrack from 1986. I would add to the list Albinoni's Adagio, the version from Gary Karr on King Super Analogue is superb and very melancholy. If that's your thing of course. I also like various versions of the Ave Maria, and of course, one must add Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
Please forgive the length of this post: I second (or third) the Barber Adagio, Albinoni's as well. Would also add Rachmaninoff 2nd & 3rd Piano Concerti, Keith Jarrett's "Hourglass" from "Staircase/Hourglass/Sundial/Sand" & "My Song" from same release, both on ECM, Lyle Mays' "Close to Home" from his first solo release, Pat Metheny's "Always & Forever" from "Secret Story", Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, 4th movement of Beethoven's Ninth, J.S. Bach's Fugue from the Toccata & Fugue in D min, King Crimson's "Starless" from "Red", Miles' "Blue in Green", Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", Louis Armstrong's "Solitude", Metheney & May's "Sept. 15th" from "As Falls Wichita". Bill Bruford's Earthworks' "It Needn't End in Tears" from their 1st album. King Crimson's "Two Hands" from "Beat". Chopin's Etude 10 in E flat, his "Revolutionary" Etude, and Liszt's Liebestraum. Okay, there's my three.
1. Margo Timmins, Cowboy Junkies "Powder Finger" from The Cauton Horses CD, also "Cheap is how I Feel". 2. Melissa Etheridge-- self titled CD, "Precious Pain" and "Late September Dogs" 3. Koko Taylor "Walking The Backstreets". 4. Buddy Guy "Black Night is Falling", form CD Damn Right I've Got the Blues. Three? of my favorites-- each is achingly beautiful. Thanks, Craig.
Well many of the above pieces would certainly be on my long list but here are a few more that I cherish that aren't - Mozart's K364 Concertina for Violin & Viola (Mozart at his lyrical best) Rimsky Korsakov "Scherazade" 3rd Movement especially. Mozart's 2rd Movement (Andante) from 41st Symphony "Jupiter" This one always gives me goosebumps even on a table radio. 2nd movement from Mozart's #20 Piano Concerto K466, closing theme to "Amadeus", simply one of the most elegant and perfect pieces of music I have ever heard.
This was an excellent post Marlec !! I have obtained very useful information from the respondents. Great and THANKS. For my own contribution, I would add the one and only SPANISH HARLEM by Rebecca. What a voice, it is a thing of beauty. Fur Elise by Chopin and the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, played by tubed amplification ofcourse. Here is one you may not know: the title song NEIGES from the CD of the same name by Andre Gagnon.
Et Fur Elise is by Beethoven not Chopin. This is a mandatory piece every 4th -5th year piano student must learn. But I agree with you, it is yet another to add to the group. Yes this is a worthwhile post, something we all can share.
Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima-Krzysztof Penderecki Triadic Memories-Morton Feldman Fingerbib-Aphex Twin
I strongly ditto TomWat's jazz selections and add theses: Weather Report--Wayne Shorter's--A Remark You Made on Heavy Weather; Peter Gabriel & Paula Cole--Don't Give Up on Secret World Live. Looking forward to track down everyone else's selections. Great Thead.
Janacek's Glagolitic Mass (Helps that I sang it once, so know the music); Mahler's 2nd (ditto); Britten's Spring Symphony (give it time); Philip Glass, Koyanisqaatsi (listen in the dark and be freaked out); Pink Floyd, The Wall (ditto); Beethoven, Appassionata piano sonata; Billy Joel, Cold Spring Harbor (get the LP); Peter Gabriel - shock the Monkey album or Solsbury Hill; oops, no women on the list, I guess I rely on the women I know for the beauty.
I'll include Devorak: Symphony No. 9, Holst: The Planets, Mussorsky:Pictures at an Exhibition and Jenkins: Diamond Music. These discs have alot I'll love to the day I die.
...also Bruckner 4th "Romantic"...
Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks", on The Bill Evans Trio featuring Stan Getz disc: "But Beautiful", Milestone MCD-9249-2, recorded 1974 in Holland.
TubeGroover, may I also suggest Mahler 2 final movement, the resurrection final scence, when the organ bass kicks in, you can see the skies open before you, and you transcend mortality..........Tchaikovsky Sym 6 Pathetique, is a malestorm of elation/utter despair, I love the 2nd movement a melancholy waltz, like a lover with a broken heart dancing the last dance........Finally Mozart "Exultate Jubulate" I have an Emma Kirkby/Hogwood version that is a heavenly inspiration, just stunning.....regards Sam
My votes are for Itzak Perlman's "Remembrances" and the theme to Schindler's list. Autumn Leaves or any of Ellington's indigo's for that matter. Sting's "Dance Alone" and "Fragile". Stevie Ray's version of "Little Wing" and a couple tracks off of Ben Harper's "Will to Live" including the last one...Mother Mary I think it's called? How's that for an eclectic bunch of achers?
All of the above are indisputably wonderful pieces, though I do not know much about the jazz and pop items. Three works that I hold very close to my heart are: 1. SCHUBERT String Quintet (D956) - most versions are competent, but the Hollywood String Quartet's version on Testament is very special (the Adagio & Allegreto mvmts, especially). 2. BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in D Op. 70 ('Ghost') - 2nd mvmt. Beaux Arts Trio on Philips is stellar. 3. BARBER Violin Concerto - there are many fine recordings including Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell and Yitzhak Perlman. Permit me to squeeze in a 4th: RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No.3 with Ashkenazi and Anatole Fistoulari (recently re-issued on DECCA). I could go on and on, but have tried to avoid being too high-brow. I've learned much about the non-classical items and hope to pursue these keenly. Thanks for indulging me! Mark
MOzart need i say more?
Brahms 4th Symphony (second movement); Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony (second movement); Grieg's The Last Spring; Mahler's 5th Symphony (adagietto); a lot of Tchaikovsky; Nat King Cole singing Stardust; and the nicest symphony ever composed--Dvorak's No. 8 in G Major. I've heard many renditions, but the finest (not necessarily in order) are by Kertesz, Kubelik, and Talich.
For those interested Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony (2nd movement) was also performed by Eric Carmen "All by myself" it is a beautiful piece. Does anyone know if he gave himself credit for the music?
Wrong on 2 counts on that last post. The Eric Carmen song is "Never gone to fall in love again"? at least that is the lyrics used and the music is from the 3rd movement -Adagio of Rach's 2nd Symphony. Still, anyone know if he gave himself credit for the music?
To Tubegroover: You are right on the Rach. 2nd---it's the third movement adagio (shame on me!) And while I'm here, may I also cite Dvorak's String Serenade, op. 22, and the lesser known Suk Serenade, op.6 .
The 3rd movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and the slow movement of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata.
Soundtrack of "Cinema Paradiso," Beethoven's 6th, and Violin Concerto.
Three more for an encore, .........Puccini "O Mio Babbino Caro" this song will make grown men cry, sublimely beautiful, snippets turn up in commercials constantly.............Strauss "voices of spring" 1987 New Years live performance Vienna, Kathleen Battle/Karajan, you are transported to another world/time........Tchaikovsky ballets are so beautiful they will never be surpassed, Swan Lake has so many beautiful passages and themes it is impossible to name one, the entire work is a romantic masterpiece.....regards, Sam
Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambeint Works Volume II" Curve's 'Doppelganger' and 'Think & Act' on the album "Doppelganger". The classical piece Major Winchester teaches to the Korean P.O.W.s...can anyone tell me the name of it? I have embarrassingly little knowledge of classical.
Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambeint Works Volume II" Curve's 'Doppelganger' and 'Think & Act' on the album "Doppelganger". The classical piece Major Winchester teaches to the Korean P.O.W.s...can anyone tell me the name of it? I have embarrassingly little knowledge of classical.
The most achingly beautiful music: The 1st movement of Schubert's last three string quartets. The most awe inspiring wonderful music ever composed. The Emerson Quartet's recording is my favorite. Bruckner's 9th symphony,third movement;positively ,heavenly inspired.Solti and the CSO recording is my favorite with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic a close second.Smokestack Lightning by the Yardbirds, a raunchy rave-up of a blues standard. The live version with Eric Clapton on lead guitar was the best. Keith Relf plays a devilish blues harp on that number. To me that song was the epitome of rock and in its own way was achingly beautiful. Led Zeppelin's first album was just a variation on that one song.
It is awesome to see Aphex Twin mentioned twice here.Psilonaut and Aphex Twin are standouts on the "Pi" soundtrack. How about Metallica's "Call of the Cthulu(sic)" and Eddie Van Halen's "Spanish Fly" as two of the great rock guitar songs.
Tubegroover, re: Eric Carmen's borrowing from Rachmaninoff, I clearly remember hearing an interview on the radio way back when, where Carmen described how he took the theme for his song from Rach's symphony. At the time, I wasn't familiar with the symphony, but I remember being impressed with the fact that Carmen had an appreciation for classical music.
Hcfolm: Unfortunately in Carmen's case, it's just the opposite of what it seems. Carmen was a child prodigy, Julliard trained as a concert pianist before he hit the pop stage w/ the Rasberries and demonstrated his affinity for the Beatles. So he had been inundated w/ old Sergei way before that first solo release. He lifted the melody from the Rach 2 (Piano Concerto, not symph) verbatim, and while he may have cited the source in an interview here and there, did NOT in the published sheet music at the time (early 70's, right?). Caused quite a stir in the keyboard many saw it as blatant musical plagarism, much as 2nd movement of Beethoven's "Pathetique" sonata has been lifted, and other throughout pop history.
Thanks Hcfolm & Timwat I was always curious about those details since it was so obvious the melody was the same almost verbatim . Now Timwat you have me confused somewhat. You have stated he lifted the music from the 2nd Concerto not the Symphony. The piece I am talking about is definitely from the 3rd movement of 2nd sym not any of Rach Concerto pieces which I am intimately familiar with. Are you speaking of other pieces as well that he plagerized?
This was definitely from his 1st solo album. As a matter of fact I saw Carmen in Concert in I believe 1972 (Spectrum Philly) after he left the Rasberries in what was his 1st solo tour. That is when I first heard him perform the piece and noticed the similarities with Rach but didn't note any other pieces he performed that were similar to any of Rach or other's work.
I was referring to Carmen's "All By Myself" (on the first side of that release), which lifts from what pianists commonly refer to as Rach 2 (the Piano concerto). You're referring, I think, to "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", the other hit (on the second side of that least on vinyl...ha ha ha). As Spinal Tap said so eloquently, "there's a fine line between clever and stupid"...citing the master from which you lift a wonderful melody is called "homage"...lifting the melody without citation is called "plagarism". I say him on the old TV show "Midnight Special" with a band that (if memory serves) had two drummers (both around 300 lbs), two guitarists and two bass players! The two drummers played everything in complete unison...completely redundant unless he was going for "separation and soundstage imaging".
Don't forget to include Dvorak's Cello Concerto. I particularly like Yo Yo Ma's interpretation on CBS Masterworks.
Three more... Coil's Black Light District "Refusal of Leave to Land" Legendary Pink Dot's "Sterre" Benjamin Lew's "Et tout est parti de la"
Ejlif interesting choices, 99.9% of people here don't know who Coil is (or Pink Dots) But since I hung out at Wax Trax in Chicago, the industrial music center of the USA, I had some Coil records and LPD
Please don't miss Wagner's "Prelude to Act 1" of both "Parsifal" and "Lohengrin" operas. R Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas Tallis." And, for a twist, try Lyle Lovett on "She's Already Made Up Her Mind" found on the Joshua Judges Ruth album. Thanks for all the good feedback on this excellent post!
I made a post early in this thread, and it's been very interesting to watch the additions. I have a few additional individual pieces or songs that clearly belong in the "achingly beautiful" category: 1. Nina Simone's song in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, which I think was titled "The King of Peace Is Dead". 2. Mark Murphy's rendition of "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" from his album "Murphy Sings Kerouac", dedicated to Jack Kerouac. 3. John Coltrane's rendition of his song "Alabama", dedicated to the 4 girls killed in the bombing of the church in Montgomery, and his song "Naima", dedicated to his wife. 4. Most of Bill Evans' ballad performances. 5. Much of Joan Baez's early work. 6. Recordings of Billie Holiday with Lester Young and/or Ben Webster.
Sdcampbell Just listened last night to "The King of Peace Is Dead" by Nina. First time in many years. What a concidence you mention it. It is a heartfelt performance to be sure.
It's nice to see a thread that is so informative and free of the bashing that is going on in the equipment threads. This is by far the most useful thread I have found on Audiogon. I was an early poster as well on this thread and will try to keep it going. Any others? Try Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna" a modern a cappella choral work by USC's choral director. Loved Aphex Twins and Coil. *THANKS* to all.
something i found with the help of npr (all things considered): mia doi todd, la vie en rose, from the cd "the unaccompanied voice" ; secretly canadian (ain't that a great name for an indiana indy label?). this whole disc is worth listening to, tho some of the tracks are a bit over-produced. the track noted brings to mind the song's writer, edith piaf, singing in the shower, alone, trying to stave off a hangover after a night of too much cheap red wine.
The more I think about this, the more I recall of music that has really moved me going all the way back to the late 1950's. Many of Duke Ellington's songs and works define "achingly beautiful" music for me. When I am in a classical music mood and want violin, one of the best LP's of solo violin ever recorded was Kuijken's recordings of Bach's solo violin pieces, released on Harmonia Mundi in the late 1980's. Charles Lloyd also had a beautiful album released in the early 90's after many years away from the recording scene, called "Fish Out of Water". Another album that might fit this discussion is Jan Garbarek's album with the Hilliard Ensemble called "Officium". I used to be big fan of Chet Baker, and at times was deeply moved by his spare, melancholy sound. For more info about Baker and his recordings, check this Web site: Last contribution: Stan Getz's album "People Time", with Kenny Barron. This was the last album that Getz recorded shortly before his death, and you can tell by his playing that he is reflecting on his life. Everything is stripped away, and there are some points where his playing falters slightly, almost as if were choking back tears. This is an album that you hear at night, with the lights out.........