Calming Violin Music Playlist

November 3, 2020, 12:47 PM · Let's face it: times are stressful. But good music has the power to help us all calm down, whatever our opinions, beliefs or circumstances. So I'm asking you to post a link to your favorite calming, peaceful music, and I'll add it to our playlist here. While I put "violin" in the title, it can be music featuring any stringed instrument - viola, cello, bass, orchestra, etc.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have now compiled a beautiful playlist with 20+ entries from all your suggestions; click on the video below to hear it in its entirety. See the article for all the separate entries. Please enjoy some musical tranquility! :)

And here are all the entries in the playlist, separately:

BELOW: From me! Time to take a little break for some "Meditation"... Here violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Vladimir Kulenovic perform amid the autumn leaves, playing the famous Meditation from "Thais" by Jules Massenet.

From Diana Skinner: "Here's one of my favorite violinists, Robert McDuffie, playing one of my favorite songs, "Ashokan Farewell."

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From Michael Kennedy: "Here is one of my teachers, Kevin Burke, playing an old favorite, 'The Dark Island,' with the Celtic Fiddle Festival."

From Rebecca Brown: So many to choose from! Here's the first one that comes to mind. Dvorak 4 Romantic Pieces."

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From Philippe Du Paix, the second movement from the Goldmark Violin Concerto, played by Itzhak Perlman:

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From Michelle Culp, John Cage's 4'33" (ahhh, the sound of silence!)

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From Darlene Rivest: Arvo Pärt's "Spiegel im Spiegel"(Mirror in Mirror). Played below by violinist Ji Yoon Park and violinist Catherine Cournot.

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From Keenan Christensen Fletcher: William Grant Still's Lyric Quartet, second movement, "The Quiet One." Played below by Shelter Music Boston.

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From Elizabeth Harrington Blake: The"Pastorale" from Corelli's Christmas Concerto.

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From Ann Montzka Smelser: Air for Violin and Piano by Kevin Puts:

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From Colleen Coomber: String Serenade in E minor by Elgar, played below by Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra:

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From Mark Kliesen: "Andante" from Bach's Sonata for Violin Solo No. 2 in A Minor, played by Hilary Hahn:

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From Becca Grammer Watson: second movement of Bach's Concerto for Violin in A minor. Played below by Daniel Lozakovich.

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From Stuart Furman: the "Adagietto" from Mahler's Symphony No. 5. Played below by the Berlin Philharmonic, with Herbert von Karajan conducting. (Wow, exquisite performance.)

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From Patricia Ann Aitken-Coulthard: "The Lark Ascending" by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Played below by violinist David Nolan, with the London Philharmonic.

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From Elena Cherny: Air on G String by Bach. (I thought a cello version would be nice for everyone!)

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From David Aks: "Josefin’s Waltz by Roger Tallroth, played by the amazing Alisdair Fraser and the awesome Natalie Haas."

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From Julie O'Connor: the Danish String Quartet:

and Rêve d'enfant, Op. 14, played by Rachel Barton Pine:

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From Claire Allen: "Summerland" by William Grant Still, played by violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins and pianist Craig Ketter.

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From Michael Fox: "I'll Be Seeing You," played by violinist Regina Carter.

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From Cristian Fatu: "Melody" by Myroslav Skoryk:

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From Anders Lagerqvist: "Le fils des Etoiles" by Erik Satie, arr. by Toru Takemitsu:

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From Paul Deck: "I don't need to be calmed. I need to be teleported. Paul Huang playing the Saint-Saens sonata."

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From Richard Pairaudeau: Second movement of Dvorak's "American" quartet. Played below by the Amphion String Quartet.

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From Madeleine Mitchell: "'The Ice Princess and the Snowman' - A beautiful little piece by Howard Blake OBE which he arranged for me from The Snowman and we performed together in London at the C18 St John’s, Smith Square. I posted this on Twitter for his birthday last week (28.10.20)."

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From Teri Einfeldt: second movement of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, by Max Bruch. Played below by Joshua Bell.

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From Pauline Lerner: J.S.Bach Cello-Suites, played by Fournier.

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From Mark Bouquet: violinist Adam Baldych and pianist Helge Lien playing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen:


November 3, 2020 at 07:38 PM · Laurie, Here's one of my favorite violinists, Robert McDuffie, playing one of my favorite songs, "Ashokan Farewell."

November 3, 2020 at 08:11 PM · Here is one of my teachers, Kevin Burke, playing an old favorite, "The Dark Island", with the Celtic Fiddle Festival.

November 3, 2020 at 08:14 PM · So many to choose from! Here's the first one that comes to mind. Dvorak 4 Romatic Pieces.

Thanks for doing this Laurie!

November 3, 2020 at 08:21 PM · Second movement of the Goldman violin concerto (I like Perman's version, but there must be other nice ones out there)

November 3, 2020 at 09:13 PM · Bach has left us an immeasurable gift in that his music covers the full range of human emotion and calm is certainly one of them.

November 3, 2020 at 09:58 PM · Offenbach wrote some very nice cello duos, Op. 49 through 54. The lower numbers are easy, the higher numbers more difficult - but they're all quite relaxing to listen to.

November 3, 2020 at 11:54 PM · Josefin’s Waltz by Roger Tallroth, played by the amazing Alisdair Fraser and the awesome Natalie Haas.

November 4, 2020 at 02:35 AM ·

November 4, 2020 at 02:40 AM ·

November 4, 2020 at 02:40 AM ·

November 4, 2020 at 03:07 AM · I don't need to be calmed. I need to be teleported. Paul Huang playing the Saint Saens sonata. Jean Luc Ponty live in Montreal 1982. For example.

November 4, 2020 at 08:32 AM · Second movement of Dvorak's 'American' quartet...

Slow movement of the Beethoven violin concerto...

...both serenely uplifting.

November 4, 2020 at 03:41 PM · The 2nd mvt of Bruch Violin Concerto

November 4, 2020 at 05:21 PM · I love Bach’s Cello Suites. I listen to various recordings by Casals and Ma. I grew up with Casal’s recordings.

November 4, 2020 at 09:17 PM · Wow, everyone, these are so wonderful! Trying to keep up with all your ideas! Specific links make it easiest!

November 4, 2020 at 10:15 PM · No links, and I'm sure you all have your favorites. But (as I have probably over-explained on other threads), the 1st movement of the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The entire orchestra part is made up of 5-beat motifs that parallel the ordinary human, relaxing breath (inhale on 1-4, exhale and relax on beat 5). It starts out with the 5 drum taps. That's Beethoven's hint. It is very, very relaxing, and believe Beethoven got in touch with the breath of life. (The violin part contrast is written, I believe, in the form of an improvisation). The whole thing is serene.

November 5, 2020 at 03:11 AM · Honored to be included in this list! Let's keep the music flowing in these stressful times! Best, Alasdair Fraser

November 5, 2020 at 05:22 AM · Adam Baldych & Helge Lien playing “Hallelujuh” by Leonard Cohen

November 5, 2020 at 10:55 PM · I think this is a notable addition: Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: 2nd mvmt. Canzonetta Andante. Here is David Oistrakh:

November 5, 2020 at 11:40 PM · Thanks for creating this post Laurie!

I'd like to recommend Gerald Finzi's Elegy for Violin and Piano, in the link below played by Daniel Hope, violinist and Simon Mulligan, pianist.

I am learning this now, having previously played in orchestra the beautiful Romance for string orchestra and the clarinet concerto.

As with many beautiful slow pieces, there are contrasting moods not so calm, but in the end, the repose we seek arrives.

November 6, 2020 at 03:24 PM · I never realised that 4'33" had 3 movements - the ony such John Cage piece I'd only ever heard was a single movement, and it had three knocks on the piano lid while it was down. In this performance, there were NO knocks on the piano lid in any of the movements. I'm confused. And it's thrown into disarray my idea of composing variations on this piece (e.g., the violin variation, in which the top of a partially dismantled violin, borrowed from a luthier, is replaced, three knocks are made on it, and then the top taken off again). And the human variation, courtesy of the French penal system, following use of the guillotine.

November 6, 2020 at 05:52 PM · Richard Strauss's "Tod und Verklärung" (Death and Transfiguration). This symphonic poem, like earthly life, isn't all calmness. The first section, lasting a bit over 5 minutes, has a brief, pleasing violin solo. This section is the calm before the storm. The final section, depicting deliverance from this world, begins right after 16:50 and is worth waiting for after the battles that precede it. Check out -- run time: 25:25.

November 7, 2020 at 05:03 PM · I've found out a bit more about that great pianist playing that great work by the great John Cage, the great William Marx: He is one of four children adopted and brought up by a couple of people named of Harpo and Susan Marx (nee Fleming).

(Actually, Bill Marx IS a fairly notable pianist)

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