The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: What music is helping you get through the Coronavirus by staying home? Help create a Pandemic Playlist | March 25, 2020

PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not just “Like” it) ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw potential audience members to an event. And you might even attract new readers and subscribers to the blog.

By Jacob Stockinger

Starting today, Wisconsin joins other states and countries in proclaiming a stay-at-home emergency condition to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

That means non-essential businesses and schools are closed; restaurants can only deliver food and do pick-up; and residents must stay at home except for essential services and travel such as buying food, seeing a doctor and getting medicine.

For a couple of weeks, many of us have already been spending almost all our time hunkering down at home.

And the Internet and other mass media are full of helpful hints about how to handle the loneliness, fear and anxiety that can come with self-isolation and self-quarantining.

For many, music proves a reliable coping strategy.

Since there are no live concerts to preview or review, now seems like a good time for The Ear to ask readers: What music helps you deal with the isolation of staying at home?

Is listening to music a part of your daily schedule, structure or routine?

Maybe you are using the time to discover new music or neglected composers, works and performers.

Maybe you are using the time to revisit old favorites by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

Maybe you prefer darker and deeper, more introverted works such as symphonies by Mahler, Bruckner and Shostakovich?

Maybe you prefer the stories and drama of operas by Verdi and Puccini, oratorios by Handel and songs by Schubert?

Maybe, like The Ear, you find the music of Baroque Italian composers, such as the violin concertos by Vivaldi and Corelli, to be a great, upbeat way to start the day with energy and a good mood.

One more modern but neo-classical work that The Ear likes to turn to — a work that is rarely heard or performed live – is the beautiful “Eclogue” for piano and strings by the 20th-century British composer Gerald Finzi (below).

Finzi wrote it as a slow movement to a piano concerto, but then never finished the concerto. The “Eclogue” — a short pastoral poem — was never performed in his lifetime. So it continues to stand alone.

But like so much English pastoral music, the poignant Eclogue feels like sonic balm, some restorative comfort that can transport you to a calmer and quieter place, put you in a mood that you find soothing rather than agitated.

Hear it for yourself and decide by listening to it in the YouTube video at the bottom, then let The Ear know what you think.

Perhaps you have many other pieces to suggest for the same purpose.

But the series of reader suggestions is meant to be ongoing.

The idea is to build a collective “Pandemic Playlist.”

So right now and for this time, please post just ONE suggestion – with a YouTube link, if possible — in the Comment section with perhaps what you like about it and why it works for you during this time of physical, psychological and emotional distress from COVID-19.

What do you think of the idea of creating a Pandemic Playlist?

The Ear hopes that you like his choice, and that he and other readers like yours.

Be well and stay well.

Let’s get through this together.

 


Posted in Classical music
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10 Comments »

  1. How did the snowman lose his head? Someone sat on his face..
    My most-recent money-spinning project at: https://amzn.to/2PVv70t

    Comment by Bad Captain — April 4, 2020 @ 2:49 pm

  2. Thank you for this. Very beautiful. It has led me to other music by Finzi. Discoveries of unexpected beauty are consoling in these times.

    Comment by David McKee — March 27, 2020 @ 8:59 am

  3. Thanks Jake for this invitation.
    I have been reading Lewis Lockwood’s excellent biography of Beethoven, and it has drawn my attention to some works that I realized I hadn’t heard, or if I had, I had no memory.
    Two wonderful early works that I have enjoyed hearing
    are the Piano Trio No. 2 in G major, Op. 1, No. 2 – an amazing, brilliant, HUGE piece, with tremendously virtuoso roles for all three players; and the String Trio
    in C minor, Op. 9, No. 2 – a great example of Beethoven’s c-minor manner – Check them out!

    Comment by Bill Lutes — March 26, 2020 @ 1:26 pm

  4. Ear, thanks for reminding me of an Ivor Novello song I love. We’ll Gather Lilacs. 1945. Evoking separation among/between loved ones during war. Here’s one recording I found.

    Comment by Ronnie — March 25, 2020 @ 9:12 pm

  5. How about some Fuleihan? Piano. Having difficulty capturing the link

    Harriet

    Comment by hjtstatz — March 25, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

  6. The Eclogue gets my vote too. Harriet

    On Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 12:02 AM The Well-Tempered Ear wrote:

    > welltemperedear posted: “PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG > POST, SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not > just “Like” it) ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw > potential audience members to an event. And you might even a” >

    Comment by hjtstatz — March 25, 2020 @ 1:59 pm

  7. Many thanks for your recommendation of Finzi’s “Eclogue”. It’s been a favourite of mine since the first time I heard it, many, many years ago.

    Comment by bratschespeilerin — March 25, 2020 @ 1:41 pm

  8. Here’s a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite pieces..Couperin’s “Mysterious Barricades”. Written for harpsichord but performed hear on guitar by Christopher Parkening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stpw7r0Bn4M

    Comment by Sam Winters — March 25, 2020 @ 11:52 am

  9. There are certain choral pieces which bring a smile to my face. One is Lauridsen’s Sure on This Shining Night. Here’s a performance by professional group Conspiraire led by Craig Hella Johnson.

    Comment by Kay — March 25, 2020 @ 10:04 am

  10. Good morning, Jake–and thank you for another good idea. My suggestion is for organ: C.Franck, Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18, played by M.C.Alain, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evesBBUH4l0. Stay well!

    Comment by David J Susan — March 25, 2020 @ 9:12 am


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