I generally go for what is considered Classical
music, especially stuff from the Baroque and Romantic
periods, and Jazz. I also like Rock and some Alternative. Throw
in some Techno and a tiny bit of Folk, and you've roped off my
musical pasture. I used to go for larger works, though now I tend
to like smaller ones, especially for solo instruments and for
For the record (no pun intended), I've continue
to struggle with playing piano, guitar, and violin. I compose a
little too. All of this is more for personal enjoyment. I have no
illusions about becoming anything more than a fumbler in music.
§ Early Music
- Anonymous Four Many selections from On Yoolis
Night, especially "Lullay, lullay: Als I lay on
Yoolis night" and "Orto solo serene / Origi
viri / Virga Iesse/ [Tenor]."
- Bach Goldberg Variations,
Brandenberg Concerto No. 3, Sonata for flute in A minor,
Partita No. 2 in D minor, Sonata No. 3 in C major,
Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, works for solo
cello, and many others. The last is one of my favorite
pieces of music. The Fugue is especially uplifting.
Hilary Hahn's version of Sonata No. 3 is recommended!
- Biber His Partias, especially the first movement
of the First.
- Giovanni Gabrielli Sanctus a 12. This piece is a
vocal, which is unusual for me, though I think it's
- Pandolfi Most of his surviving violin sonatas.
(There are only twelve known to exist.)
- Rebel Violin sonatas and "The Elements."
- Johann Heinrich Schmelzer Sonatae unarum fidium.
- Tartini The Devil's Sonata and others.
- Telemann Trumpet Concerto in D Major and Sonata
for 2 flutes.
- Vivaldi The Four Seasons, especially
"Autumn" and "Winter," and much of
- Balakirev Piano works, especially
- Beethoven Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D
Major, Op. 61, "Moonlight" Sonata, Piano Sonata
No. 32 in C minor, Violin Sonatas, Piano Concerto No. 5,
and many others.
- Berlioz "Symphonie Fantastique."
- Borodin Symphony No. 2.
- Brahms Solo piano works, both
String Sextets, Piano Trios, Paino Quartets, works for
solo violin, works for solo cello, works for the viola,
symphonies Nos. 3 and 4, Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor,
and many others. He's probably my favorite composer.
- Bruckner Symphonies, especially No. 6.
- Chopin Piano works, course,
especially his etudes and preludes. Of the latter,
especially Preludes 2, 4, and 24. Of the former,
especially Etudes No. 3, 4, 6, and 12 from the first set.
- Dvorak Cello Concerto, Piano
Quintet in A, and Piano Trio.
- Cesar Franck works for violin, Symphony in D
- Granados Piano works, though he can get annoying
after a while.
- Edvard Grieg Almost anything by him, but
especially his Piano Concerto in A minor and Peer Gynt
Suite No. 1.
- Serge Koussevitzky Concert Op. 3 for double bass
- Lalo Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 for violin and
orchestra. Makes me want to get more of his works.
- Liszt Piano works.
- Mahler Symphony Nos. 1, 4, and 5.
- Mendelssohn Piano works, String Quartets, String
Trios, and his "Italian" Symphony.
- Niccholo Paganini works for violin, of course,
especially his Caprices.
- Sergei Rachmaninoff Many of the Preludes, the
Etudes-Tableaux, and the ever famous Piano Concerto No. 2
in C minor.
- Pablo de Sarasate Zigeunerweisen Op. 20, Concert
Fantasy on Carmen Op. 25, and others.
- Franz Schubert Solo piano works, especially his
"impromptus," such as No. 4 in A flat (D.
listing 899) and his "Trout" Quintet.
- Schumann Solo piano works, especially Fantasy in
C, Op. 17, some of his chamber works, and his Symphony
- Richard Strauss "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"
and "Death and Transfiguration." The former is
sublime, the latter haunting.
- Camille Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3 in B
minor, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, "Danse
Macabre," parts of the Carnival of the Animals,
Symphony No. 3 in C minor.
- Smetana String quartets.
- Tchaikovsky Ballets, piano concerti (especially
No. 1), and his 1812 Overture.
- Wagner What don't I like about him? I especially
like "Tristan and Isolde," though I prefer the
§ Other Classical
- Bela Bartok Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. Some
of his solo violin works.
- Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Toccata.
- Aaron Copland His more famous pieces, especially
"Billy the Kid." His music is simple, but
playful without being mocking.
- Claude Debussy Piano works
(especially his Pour la piano, Deux Arabesques,
"Claire de Lune," and Mouvements from Images,
Book 1), his lone string quartet, "The Sea,"
his "Sacred and Profane Dances," Sonata for
Cello and Piano, Violin Sonata, and "Prelude to the
Afternoon of a Faun."
- Gabriel Faure His music can be
haunting and intricate. He combines Romantic and
Impressionist sensibilities with flair. I especially like
his piano quartets, violin sonatas, and cello works.
- Gustav Holst "The Planets" is one of my
favorite pieces of music. I especially like
"Neptune, the Mystic" from it as you
might have guessed. Also, "Jupiter, the Bringer of
Joy" and "Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age"
- Pall Isolfsson Solo piano works,
especially"The Feast at Solhaug."
- Fritz Kreisler Violin works.
- György Ligeti Parts of Musica Ricercata, II, some
of his string quartets, and the choral work "Eternal
- Erkki Melartin This Finnish composer's solo piano
works, especially "The Melancholy Garden,"
Op.52, are full of emotion and memorable.
- Carl Nielsen Piano works and his works for wind
instruments. His famous minuet from Quintet for Wind
Instruments, Op. 43.
- Arvo Pärt "Variations for Arinuschka's
- Francis Poulenc Sonata for Cello and Piano.
- Krzysztof Penderecki String Trio, Concerto for
Viola and Chamber Orchestra, and some of his choral
- Jocelyn Pook "Masked Ball" and
"Migrations." I admit that everything by her
- Maurice Ravel "Daphe and
Chloe," some of his solo piano works, and String
Quartet in F Major.
- Ottorino Respighi "Pines of Rome."
- Dimitri Shostakovich Sonata for
Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40, String Quartet No. 3
in A, String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Sonata for Viola
and Piano, Op. 147, Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 8, and
many others. He straddles the divide between 19th and
20th century music dramatic, melodic, yet dark,
brooding and modern. He's my favorite 20th century
- Eric Zeisl His Second String Quartet.
- Ketil Bjornstad Parts of The Sea are
breathtaking. The River is good too.
- Larry Coryell Solo guitar works as well as his
- Miles Davis Sketches of Spain is my
favorite by him.
- Bill Evans Solo piano works.
- Herbie Hancock His stuff with the Head Hunters.
- Kieth Jarrett I like his later stuff, especially
his solo piano concerts, Spheres, and some stuff
on Bridge of Light.
- Elvin Jones An excellent drummer.
- Django Rheinhardt "Brazil" and a few
- Terje Rypdal "Seasons" off his 1979
untitled CD. He's also on Bjornstad's The Sea.
- The Beatles Obligatory listing?
- Blink 182 "Adams Song" and
- Bob Seager and the Silver Bullet Band "Night
Moves" and "Still the Same."
- Broken Social Scene "7/4 (Shoreline)"
- The Byrds "Eight Miles High" and
"Turn Turn Turn."
- Candlebox "You, Far Behind" and
- Collective Soul They might be poppy and formulaic,
but it works for me.
- Edwyn Collins "A Girl Like You"
- Cream "Tales of Brave Ulysses,"
"White Room," etc.
- The Decemberists "The Engine Driver"
- Everclear "Santa Monica,"
"Everything to Everyone," and "I Will Buy
You A New Life."
- Genesis The early stuff, when Peter Gabriel was
still with them.
- Gong Progressive Rock with a xylophone thrown in.
Can you beat that?
- Jars of Clay "Flood"
- Jesus and Mary Chain "Far Gone and Out"
and "Teenage Lust"
- Jimi Hendrix Need I say more?
- Eric Johnson "Cliffs of Dover" and
"Zap." Can't stand his voice, but his quitar
work is superb.
- The Kinks "Sunny Afternoon" and "A
Well Respected Man."
- Jens Lekman "I Saw Her At the Anti-War
- Gordon Lightfoot "If You Could Read My
- Live "Lightning Crashes" and "I
- Natalie Merchant Almost every song on Tigerlilly.
- Moody Blues "Ride My See-Saw," "The
Question," and "Legend of a Mind."
- Nirvana Much of what's on their MTV unplugged
album, "Floyd the Barber," "Rape Me,"
and many others.
- Parliament "We Want the Funk" says it
- Patrick Wolf "The Magic Position", "A Boy Like Me", "Tristan", "The Libertine", "Augustine", "Get Lost", "The Gypsy King", and others. He's flaming and I like his music, his style, and his personality.
- Pearl Jam Mostly stuff on Ten. Their
newer stuff is, IHMO, uninspired.
- Pink Floyd "Breathe," "One of These
Days," "Sheep #," "Shine on You Crazy
Diamond," "Time," and "Wish You Were
- Radiohead A lot of their stuff, but especially
"Creep," "Karma Police," "Let
Down," and "Paranoid Android."
- The Shins "We Will Become Silhouettes"
and "New Slang"
- The Smithereens "Blood and Roses"
- Sonic Youth Much of their early work.
- Soul Assylum "Black Gold" and
"Somebody to Shove."
- Soundgarden Too bad they broke up, but many bands
stay together too long. "Burden in My Hand,"
"My Wave," "Pretty Noose," and
"Blow Up the Outside World."
- Sponge "Plowed"
- Stabbing Westward "Save Yourself"
- Stars "Reunion"
- Stone Temple Pilots "Dead &
Bloated," "Plush," "Piece of
Pie," and "Interstate Love Song."
- 10,000 Maniacs "Candy Everybody Wants"
and "These are the Days."
- Third Eye Blind "Losing a Whole Year"
- Jethro Tull Terminally overplayed, but I like
"Aqualung," "Cross-eyed Mary,"
"Locomotive Breath," and "Thick as a
- Toad the Wet Sprocket "Walk On the
- Urge Overkill "Positive Bleeding"
- The Waterboys "This Is the Sea"
- Yes "Starship Troopers," "The South
Side of the Sky," "Roundabout," and
"Heart of the Sunrise."
- Frank Zappa His instrumental stuff. Too bad that
doesn't get more radio play, but instrumentals aren't
- Leonard Cohen "The Stranger Song"
- Donovan Had to throw him in to justify having a
- Phil Ochs It's more the words than the music with
- Cat Stevens "Peace Train" and "Oh
- Astral Projection ""Enlightened
Evolution" and, especially, "Ambience."
The latter is one of the most joyous pieces of music I
- Blue Room Released These are compilations. Don't
like everything on them, but enough to recommend most of
them. (Anyone starting out on techno should begin with
- Doof A large portion of Let's Turn On is
good for me.
- Brian Eno Especially Music for Airports.
- Juno Reactor Can't remember what, but I liked them
- Patrick Wolf "The Magic Position", "A Boy Like Me", "Tristan", "The Libertine", "Augustine", "Get Lost". Yeah, he's flaming, and I like his music, his style, and his personality.
- Psychedelic Ambience That's an ambient compilation
with many good tracks.
"It's for this reason that music can be
transcendent. For a few moments it makes us larger
than we really are, and the world more orderly than
it really is. We respond not just to the beauty of
the sustained deep relations that are revealed, but
also to the fact of our perceiving them. As our
brains are thrown into overdrive, we feel our very
existence expand and realize that we can be more than
we normally are, and that the world is more than it
seems. That is cause enough for ecstasy."
Robert Jourdain, Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy:
How Music Captures Our Imagination