August 15, 2007 at 02:40 AM · If this isn't too morbid, have you ever thought what music, if you had any control over it, would be the last music you'd want to play or hear, or have played at your funeral service? It needn't necessarily be violin or classical.

Years ago the thought occurred to me as I read Arthur Rubinstein's "My Young Years". His choice was the Adagio from 2 cello String Quintet by Schubert. More recently I read Arnold Steinhardt's "Violin Dreams". It might have been sub-titled "My Obsession with the Bach Chaconne". He indeed played it at a friend's funeral (and many other times). But his own choice for himself was the slow movement from Mozart's Divertimento for K.287, for 2 horns and strings. I read somewhere that a man provided in his will that the Julliard Quartet be hired to play an Elliot Carter quartet at his funeral service - and they did. But they were never sure whether the deceased gentleman had really loved that music, or whether it was revenge upon his friends and family!

So...what do YOU think? (More than one choice is OK!)

Replies (98)

August 15, 2007 at 12:34 AM · Well why don't I start? I've gone back and forth between and among several choices, depending on my mood. The Chaconne is right up there. The Chausson Poeme, as well. Sometimes I think, the Barber Adagio. Am I being too sadly self-indulgent? After all, I'm assuming that I WILL make it to to the Heaven Philharmonic! Perhaps the slow movement of the Brahms Concerto, or the slow movt. of the Beethoven Concerto. Of course, the latter does not come to an end on the tonic - but acording to some of us (v. the reicarnation threads), including me, neither do we! I've gone as far afield as Sarah McLachlan's "Angel".

August 15, 2007 at 03:12 AM · Tough one... Barber Adagio is definitely up there. Would definitely pull at the heart strings there. And I guess it would be nice to be able to pull off a requiem... Mozart, or Faure, or other suitable requiem.

But I don't think I could do that. I want my Funeral to be a joyous occasion - not celebrating because I'm dead, but celebrating my life. So I'll probably request for something like The Finale from the Joke Quartet, by Haydn.

August 15, 2007 at 03:30 AM · Amazing Grace on a steel-bodied National guitar (with slide, of course); then a Nawlins jazzband to liven up the wake.

As to what I'd like to hear on the way out, I'd have to give it more thought, but Mozart comes to mind. Solo violin, I think. Depends on how much hearing I'll have left at that point.

August 15, 2007 at 03:51 AM · Richard Strauss's song Morgen

August 15, 2007 at 04:28 AM · Schubert Cello Quintet or Bruckner 9.

August 15, 2007 at 04:41 AM · Raphael, you forgot to mention that Mr. Steinhardt is very particular about WHICH recording of the Mozart Divertimento slow movement he wants at his funeral...yes indeed it is SZIGETI'S recording! :P

August 15, 2007 at 04:41 AM · The slow movement from the Schubert Cello Quintet and a three way tie for second- Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn slow movements of the violin concerti, but then again I can't leave out Bach or Mozart so for Bach- the Andante in C from the Sonata in A minor and for Mozart- the slow movement of the Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola. I'd better stop here- too much beautiful heartfelt music from which to choose!

August 15, 2007 at 05:07 AM · I want to write my own, as well as something for all my friends.

August 15, 2007 at 05:39 AM · Bob, here you go, man:) -->link

August 15, 2007 at 06:58 AM · I've thought of this before. My life goal is to be able to play the Tchaikovsky violin concerto so I guess that'll be the last. ;/

August 15, 2007 at 08:51 AM · Right before one of my middle school students was getting ready to play for solo & ensemble, the room monitor (a teacher who should have known better) said "You're playing 'Adoration'. That's the piece I want played at my funeral". Not a recommended way to put a student at ease! For me, it would be the slow movement of the Bach a minor concerto- for one of the best bass lines ever & the cathartic return to C major near the end of the movement.

August 15, 2007 at 10:29 AM · Thinking fast? Mendelssohn, A-major Quintet, slow movement. On second thought, there should be Bach ... But second thoughts were not asked for, were they?



August 15, 2007 at 11:37 AM · My father passed away on Christmas eve last year.I decided that if I could hold it together I would play at his memorial.The slow movement from Bachs' Concerto in A Minor seemed right.Not maudlin yet expressing a sense of profound sorrow.Bach would be my choice for my own service.

August 15, 2007 at 12:13 PM · Wow - so many responses, so soon! Glad I started this!

August 15, 2007 at 12:49 PM · Schumann's Widmung--the vocal not the Auer transcription which I think violates the nature of the song. It's one fo those things I wish I would have liked.

August 15, 2007 at 01:37 PM · The last thing I would want to hear (aside from the voices of my family) is the Beethoven Violin Concerto. That was the piece that convinced me that I should learn the violin when I was a kid.

However, I know what I'd like to hear at my funeral - I'd like to hear someone say, "Hey, look! He's moving!"

:) Sandy

August 15, 2007 at 01:50 PM · either the Cavatina from opus 130 or the six variation from opus 131.

August 15, 2007 at 02:07 PM · Brahms, Piano Trio in B, Op. 8, 3rd movement Adagio.

(Also, some of us don't want to spend all of eternity in the Heaven Philharmonic. Some of us want to spend all of eternity at the big Chamber Music Party In The Sky.)

August 15, 2007 at 02:37 PM · Heck I want Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed in entirety at my funeral.

August 15, 2007 at 02:12 PM · The last thing I'd like to hear is the Tchaikovsky Symphony #5 in Em. At my funeral I might like a performance of the third movement Andante cantabile of Schumann's Piano Quartet in EbM op. 47; extremely poignant yet with a brush of reflective happiness.

August 15, 2007 at 02:45 PM · Britney Spears's "I'm a Slave For You"


The second movement of the Sibelius Violin concerto (I wonder why no one has mentioned that so far, yet mention beethoven, brahms second movement)

August 15, 2007 at 03:11 PM · This is a tough one. I'm torn between the finale to Mahler 9 and Arvo Part's Spiegel Im Spiegel. Somehow the Mahler seems to capture the time before death and the Part captures the eternity after. In fact, Spiegel Im Spiegel is the closest thing to the concept of eternity that I've ever heard in a piece of music.

August 15, 2007 at 03:39 PM · Hey - how come nobody told me about that cool chamber music party in the sky? ;-)

August 15, 2007 at 03:41 PM · Anne, Raphael--count me in! ;-)

August 15, 2007 at 03:55 PM · Last piece I would like to play: a near-perfect Bach Chaconne.

Last piece I would like to hear: Erbarme Dich from Bach's St Matthew Passion.

At my funeral: Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude.

August 15, 2007 at 04:33 PM · At my funeral, Beethoven's symphony no. 5, it is so triumpant.

Last piece that I want to hear, Beethoven's violin concerto.

August 15, 2007 at 04:35 PM · THanks, Jim, well done. Is that you playing?

Should I die now? ;)

August 15, 2007 at 04:46 PM · Yes. No rush, Bob :)

August 15, 2007 at 06:09 PM · The Lark Ascending. My mother has asked for her memorial service to consist of nothing but that piece.

August 15, 2007 at 06:12 PM · I think the last of the Strauss Four Last Songs.

It speaks to the fact that it all works out in the end, and is comforting to those who mourn.

August 15, 2007 at 06:15 PM · also: Nya-nya- nya- Nya nya! ;-)

August 15, 2007 at 09:45 PM · The Overture to Tannhauser.

August 15, 2007 at 11:11 PM · For me, Mendelssohn Vn. Cto., 2nd movement

August 15, 2007 at 11:18 PM · The Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony.

August 16, 2007 at 12:22 AM · Bartók's 3rd piano concerto. It was the last thing he ever wrote, it'll be the last thing I ever hear.

August 16, 2007 at 02:28 AM · The slow movement of Bach's E Major violin concerto. A sad and profound work that can stand alone. Celebrate my life??? I want them to CRY.

August 16, 2007 at 03:19 AM · Either Bach Cello Suite # 5 Prelude or Beethoven's 7th 2nd movement Allegretto. I played Elegie by Vieutemps for my grandfather just a few weeks ago. Actually, I might prefer Cellow Suite #6 Prelude, it is becoming a piece for me that you have to practice for a lifetime.

August 16, 2007 at 04:39 AM · I don't know what I'd want to hear last, but at my funeral? If I'm hovering over the room, I want to hear my children and friends speak, and I want to hear my students, playing!

August 16, 2007 at 05:09 AM · I work with a conductor who has always said his choice would be the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana. The entire orchestra stands ready to play it at a moment's notice! Just kidding, Maestro, just kidding! ;-)

BTW - for someone with a realy jolly sense of humor, perhaps a very appropriate choice might be "It's Your Funeral" from "Oliver"!

But seriously, folks, another choice that occurs to me - has someone already mentioned it? - is the Adagietto from Mahler's 5th. Also the "Nimrod" variation from Elgar's "Enigma Variations".

August 16, 2007 at 01:09 PM · I have to agree Raphael--just thinking about Nimrod makes me tear up.

August 16, 2007 at 01:11 PM · There's a wonderful (and true) story about Sir Thomas Beecham. At an opera rehearsal, after the bass soloist sings his aria and dies, the soprano comes in with her aria. However, at this particular rehearsal, she keeps coming in late. Beecham repeats the scene, but the same thing keeps happening. Then the following interchange occurs:

Beecham: "I don't understand. Here, Mr. Chaliapin dies so beautifully. And then YOU come in late."

Soprano: "It's not my fault. He dies too soon."

Beecham: "My dear, NO opera singer ever dies too soon."

:) Sandy

August 16, 2007 at 03:05 PM · Best not to hear something that's liable to make you wish you could stay. So, maybe the theme from Macgyver or something. Or something by somebody more deserving who suffered an even worse fate than I. Kind of like I didn't like my foot until I met a man without one. Whatever that saying is.

August 16, 2007 at 03:37 PM · Actually I was once writing an obituary for a former concertmaster, and when I interviewed his wife, she told me that his final words were something like, "I have to go now...the orchestra is about to begin!"

Which gives me great hope that there are a number of orchestras in the Great Beyond. But the competition to get in...must be...stiff!


August 16, 2007 at 04:24 PM · That's because you have to play dead in tune.

August 16, 2007 at 04:47 PM · That's some fermata!

And, of course, you could put your instrument down because you don't play during the eternal rest.

August 16, 2007 at 04:57 PM · :D:D Sander and Jim!

Maybe this is going to lead to a discussion of tombstone inscriptions?

August 16, 2007 at 07:46 PM · Oh, no!!!! I'm tempted.

August 17, 2007 at 01:31 AM · OK, Linda, here's a favorite, by that most prolific writer, "Anonymous", from a delightful book called "The Literary Life" . As I'm currently editing some CD texts and graphics, I can relate...


I suffered so much from printer's errors

That death for me can hold no terrors

No doubt this stone has been misdated

Oh, how I wish I'd been cremated.

Since we're having fun as well as being serious in this sort of thread, should we get into final words or quotes we'd like people to hear from us?

August 17, 2007 at 01:42 AM · Morton Feldman's second string quartet. It lasts about 4 hours. Hey, who's in a hurry?;))

August 17, 2007 at 02:04 AM · four hours?? seriously? and i thought mahler 9 was long . . .

August 17, 2007 at 02:54 AM · Hi Ruth,

Actually, I just checked and it's over 6 hours long!!! Here's a link just so you don't think I'm making it up.

And it's in one movement too. Real convenient, wouldn't you say?

On second thought, I think I'll go with Mahler's Seventh.

August 17, 2007 at 03:19 AM · Wow, thanks Mitchell! That's insane! I just listed Mahler 9 because that's my favorite. :)

August 17, 2007 at 04:57 AM · Well OF COURSE John Cage's 4'33"... It's a nice transition to the next gazillion years of listening I'll be doing then, AND people can... like... pray or something while it's being performed.

August 17, 2007 at 05:29 AM · John Cage wrote a piece called "As Slow As Possible". It's supposed to last 639 years. As we speak it's being performed on a church organ in Halberstadt, Germany. The piece (consisting of 3 notes) was originally performed in about 20 minutes, but the title is being taken literally in this current performance.

Here's the link:

August 17, 2007 at 07:29 AM · I changed my mind. I don't want a whole state mad at me.

August 20, 2007 at 11:26 AM · If I'm going "north", Lark Ascending. So Heavenly. But if I am going "south", then Barber's Adagio.

August 21, 2007 at 03:04 AM · A couple of excerpts come to mind: the last section of Copland's "Appalachian Spring", where the slow, and poignant theme returns. Also the choral ending of Liszt's "Faust Symphony". I read that it was a favorite of Rachmaninov, as well.

August 21, 2007 at 03:31 AM · Since I co-creator with God created both heaven and the purifying fires of hell, there will no longer be a Philharmonic at the Golden Palace--We will be melting all the gold including gold-e-strings to thoroughly project music back to where it belongs--in the realms of the living.

And since I, brother of Prometheus and friend of Zeus co-own all music with the living, after millennium of wondering and a little wandering, answer that age-old question: What lyes beyond music-wise.

I sent a sage in the form of someone noted that answered this question for you, but you didn't get it. Beyond the living blue-green planet is the cosmic pulsing that is opposite of sound, yet the basis of all sound.

This all encompassing life giving and enhancing vibration of the cosmos, you too may own--while you live; and, you may permeate the visible and audible universe with your best efforts. Perhaps yes, that last tune will ripple out through the galaxy, but it too shall be absorbed in the cosmic wind eventually.

I share these secrets so that you may play while you are still living, with all your heart and soul. And in the spirit of the world's religions you may now play with altruism unbridled, again today while you are still living.

And as you leave this world, think not of last songs, because around 1960 in human indexes, I gave you images of world from the distance so that you might understand better the organic nature of the collective image of life.

This you see is the song. This song animates your strings with life itself, from the realms of the living.

August 21, 2007 at 07:24 AM · Brahms Symph. #3 or Sibelius Symph. #2

It's also hard to beat the Beethoven violin concerto.

August 21, 2007 at 11:42 AM · I'm so honored and humbled to have helped an Archon with some mere technical violin issues! No more worrying about the Heaven Phil. for me! I'm tired of practicing those excerpts anyway - and I'm never told when the audition is!

August 21, 2007 at 12:49 PM · It's gotta be the Archduke Trio.

August 21, 2007 at 08:26 PM · The origin of all paradox: the audition is today! ;). And maybe tomorrow, and the day after.

August 21, 2007 at 09:11 PM · Yes, it's a bit Kafkaesque, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm glad to be reminded of the wonderful piano trio lierature. From there I might choose as exit music, the 1st mvt. of the Brahms B major, or the slow mvts. of the Mendelssohn d minor, or of the Ravel.

August 21, 2007 at 09:31 PM · Mmmm, Beethoven Op. 132, third movement.

August 22, 2007 at 03:58 PM · The final piece I wish to play is of course Bach's Chaconne. Yes, to want to do so is not terribly original, but what could be more appropriate as a closing thought on a violinist's life?

As for the piece I would wish to have played at my funeral, for this I would wish that all could hear the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007. This seems more fitting than any for such an occasion, especially the manner in which the piece finishes. Actually, for me personally, the whole of this brief piece very much speaks of the circle of life, the various stages we all go through and the close we will all one day know.

August 24, 2007 at 12:06 AM · I want to thank everyone for making this such an interesting and enjoyable thread! Now I feel that it's time for me to take a break. I'm busy with various things and I do sense just a bit of borderline OCD in all my posting! I'm sure I'll poke back in, but probably on a more limited basis.

To paraphrase from Ecclesiastes: one generation (of posters) comes, and another goes. But remains - virtually - forever!

Happy fiddling!

August 24, 2007 at 01:23 AM · The music of Alan Hovhaness has always struck me as spiritual and beautiful and I'd like to study it before I die. Most people only know his "Mysterious Mountain" work, but there are others that are very nice.

August 24, 2007 at 01:30 AM · For me, perhaps the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, or Schoenberg's Verlklarte Nacht.

I could probably die happily in contemplation of the St. Matthew Passion.

August 25, 2007 at 07:09 PM · Hello:

Most of my replies end up staying as a Word document. This time I'm going to post, because this thread is a trigger for me.

A number of months ago my oldest son tragically was taken from us, a totally unexpected death. It happened quickly at home. By the time the paramedics got him to the trauma center he was within moments of death. The nature of his death allowed him to become a multi organ and tissue donor, one of only 126 in the largest US national consortiums. His heart lives on in the father of three....well there's more, but that's beside the thread.

A few weeks after his death we finally were able to bear a memorial gathering which was held on his 35 birthday. BTW, he is the reason I'm playing violin, but he left violin for the guitar.

We were told by the funeral home that we could provide music for the evening. I haven't been able to listen to the discs, but I know there were Spanish pieces as well as Bach.

He played electric and acoustic guitar. We wished we would have had recordings of his playing. But many mundane things don't seem important at the time, so opportunities are missed. He played constantly, had distorted fingers tips and a kink in his pinky.

Anyway, I felt he was with us through the undertone of the music that evening.

We provided three discs, so folks you can choose many pieces. I'm not good enough to make a recording, but that would be a nice idea.

I hear Beethoven's Archduke Trio as pure love, that’s my choice.

There have been many threads about solemn music, crying, etc. I just couldn’t post, I guess it’s a good sign that I’m now writing.

No one ever told me about how hard is it to get through grief. Music is an important part of my mourning process, including this site, my violin teacher, my orchestra musical family, my touchstone of normalcy.

No, this isn't morbid.

Thanks for listening.


August 25, 2007 at 08:16 PM · I would have the Brahms Double concerto (played by Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma) absolutely heart warming.

August 25, 2007 at 08:14 PM · Mary: Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss. As comforting as music can be, there is no way to console anyone on the loss of a child. My wife, Christine, is a Paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. She read your post also, and says that no matter how long she and her colleagues have done this kind of work, you never get used to it. Hopefully, whatever music touches your soul will provide some solace.


Sandy Marcus

August 25, 2007 at 08:41 PM · I really like Arthur Grumiaux's recording of the Gigue from Partita No. 3. That is the piece I want played.

August 26, 2007 at 05:57 AM · Mary, thank you for your post, for reminding us how powerful music can be during times of tremendous grief. You have my best wishes.

August 26, 2007 at 06:56 AM · Mary, losing a child is said to be the worst of all griefs. Please surround yourself with loving people who will not be able to understand, but will keep you from isolating yourself if possible.

There are many things life doesn't prepare us for. I run backup for my elderly parents, my father whom is dying of cancer, and my mother a survivor of Krohns. When I ask simple questions of people who should seem to know the answer, the range of cluelessness is sometimes amazing--so nobody will really understand partly because they are afraid of your pain, and partly for some reasons I don't really understand.

There are groups in most major cities for parents who have lost their children, because the process of getting through this is so overwhelming. Some choose to reach out--I wish more would, but some choose not to. But I just wanted you to know they are out there.

I've seen serial losses in my own family of children, and the fact that survivors survive is testimony that surviving is an option. And on a more epochal scale, many holocaust survivors saw things we cannot even fathom. So I hope that sometime in the future when you are ready, you will be able to start taking those tiny steps that say you have chosen to live. And perhaps someday, those steps will turn into a walk towards life more fully. I do hope you will persist in this way, whether it's though music or whatever.

I lost many people I was dearly and intimately close with within a short period of time--less than a year. I can't even list them because I will not let myself. I have to take little bites at the process because it is, overwhelming. I imagine losing a child may even be worse.

I've played them music, and in my mind visited one of them upon the beautiful mountain where she is buried in a rustic scenic pastoral setting and played for her. Some day when I'm strong enough, I shall--and probably have a beer as well.

Sweetie, you can live with a broken heart, but you must choose to, and no it's not easy.. All my love and prayers.


August 26, 2007 at 02:34 PM · Berg's Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel)

September 10, 2007 at 11:10 AM · 2th violinconcert of Henri Vieuxtemps 2th part,

7th violinconcert of Henri Vieuxtemps 2th part,

4th violinconcert of Nicolo Paganini 2th part.

September 10, 2007 at 03:05 PM · Oh Bram you make me laugh. :)

September 10, 2007 at 04:30 PM · My deepest condolences to you and your family Mary.As Ive posted earlier,I lost my dear father to prostate cancer after a two and a half year battle.He was the "powerhouse" or patriarch of the family.He passed away on Christmas Eve and we're all still trying to deal with this.Playing the violin and like you,reading this website has helped so much.My heart goes out to you Mary for your loss...

Peter Carter

September 10, 2007 at 07:05 PM · Oh Bram you make me laugh. :)

Perhaps that is a good reaction. First I did not want classical music for my funeral, because for those who would miss me would get negative and painfull associations with this music, when they hear it later again. But because those 3 pieces are quite rare (do you know them all 3 Liz?) and seldom heard, there is no much chance that they will hear them again in their life, so it could not hurt them again. But I have the opportunity to confront them once with this great and sentimental pieces in their life, and for me a last chance to promote that music.

When 3 years after the funeral of my brother I played with an orchestra the music he had choosen for his funeral, during a rehearsal I ran away crying. It was still too heavy. Now 16 years later if I hear that piece again on the radio, I chance to popmusic or something else, because I did not want to hear this painfull music again.

Furtermore I don't think it is a good idea to play violin on a funeral of a person you know. It is too heavy and too emotional. I think a cd is better. I would never play anyway, but I hate funerals and I only visit a few ones in my life of some very very close relatives. I do it my way.

September 10, 2007 at 08:23 PM · I was honoured to play at my fathers' funreal Bram.It was my way of thanking him for all he had done for me.Yes it was tough holding it together but I had to show my gratitude and love for this man.A CD would not be so personal although I do respect your opinion.

September 11, 2007 at 11:39 AM · Mary, you are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

September 13, 2007 at 08:21 AM · Very difficult question to answer, so I enjoy many repertoire to hear and play it!! But, thinking fast, perhaps this would be my choosing:

- Mendelssohn - Piano Trio Nº1, 2nd movement.

- Brahms - Violin Concerto, 3rd movement.

- Walton - Violin Concerto, 3rd movement.

- and, finally, Milstein´s Paganiniana.

September 14, 2007 at 12:46 AM · I wanna hear de Beriot's Scene de ballet, I love the ending part(well i love all of it actually), Tchaikovsky's Symphony #5 mv 2, Schubert's quintet for 2 violins viola and 2 cellos I don't remember what it's in though.

September 14, 2007 at 02:46 PM · "Der Abschied," the last movement of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. The last movement of Mahler 4 would also be nice, and rather appropriate.

September 14, 2007 at 04:44 PM · Bach's motet "Fürchte dich nicht".

September 14, 2007 at 06:28 PM · I've been thinking that for a while now my funeral music should be the finale to Sibelius' 5th Symphony. The swan theme represents the freedom of spirit to me, and that's how I want people to view my soul at that point, as well as for them to hear a transcendent piece of music.

September 14, 2007 at 07:01 PM · I can't really say which one, but one of following:

* Bach Chaconne (Partita No. 2)

* Anna Theme from The Red Violin

* Main theme from Schindler's List


September 14, 2007 at 07:03 PM · mozarts requiem

September 23, 2007 at 05:33 PM · Hi all! On a brief break from my break, I'm reminded of my own thread here. Don't recall if this has been mentioned, but I could do worse than shuffle off my mortal coil to the strains of Vaughn-Williams' "Fanatasy On A Theme By Thomas Tallis"

Also for a funeral service, a good choice would be the 3rd mvt. from Bach's Sonata in f minor (for violin and keyboard).

January 8, 2008 at 01:42 PM · After hearing Simon Rattle and the Berlin Phil. on tv last night playing Mahler's 9th, I'm definitely inclined to add the last mvt. to the grand exit music list. And if I didn't mention it before,the Adagietto from Mahler's 5th is also right up there for me.

January 8, 2008 at 02:11 PM · I've finally decided: the slow movement from Schumann's E-flat Piano Quartet. Radiant.

January 8, 2008 at 02:20 PM · I would love to play and hear as my very last piece Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part. I just love this piece on cello as well as on violin.

January 8, 2008 at 02:50 PM · How about "Back in the USSR?" What suits death more than a song about a defunct country?:)

January 8, 2008 at 03:03 PM · Last movement of Mahler's 3rd symphony.

3rd movement of Beethoven 9

3rd movement of Beethoven Op. 135

Any of those and I would be happy...

January 8, 2008 at 03:03 PM · ****Nearer My God To Thee****

January 8, 2008 at 03:43 PM · How about a Klezmer version of a Sinatra tune: "Oy vey, I did it my way"

January 12, 2008 at 01:55 AM · Tullochgorum. I'd live to play it..and if it's to be the last piece I hear, I want to hear it played by Kyle MacNeil, with the rest of the Barra Macneils, joined by Mac Morin and Ian MacDougall. Hey, one can dream.

January 15, 2008 at 11:58 PM · How nice - upon returning from a week's vacation I find that I'm getting the final word on my own "final music" thread! I'd like to thank everyone for a fine discussion.

I mentioned the last mvt. of Mahler's 9th a little while back. Here's what Leonard Bernstein had to say about it: "[it] is the closest we have ever come, in any work of Art, to experiencing the very act of dying...the slowness of this page is terrifying."

And speaking of Bernstein, he visited Nadia Boulanger on her death bed. Here, from Humphrey Burton's bio is an excerpt from their final exchage:

"I [LB] heard myself asking 'vous entendez la musique dans la tete?' ('do you hear music in your head?' - my own (RK) poor translations)

'Tout le temps. Tout le temps' ('All the time. All the time.')

'Et qu'est vous entendez ce moment ci?' ('And what are you listening to right now?')

'Une comencement ni fin...' ('music... without beginning or end...')

She was already there, on the other side.''

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