This Music Stolen My Sleep and My Heart

March 29, 2013 at 06:56 PM · It right now is probably 1:40 in morning and I can't sleep. The reason for this being that I have fallen in love with a piece of music and it will not leave me alone! I have given my heart to Bach Prelude from Suite No. 2. I keep thinking about it, and I feel like hopping out of bed and playing it right now (probably not a good idea seeing as how everyone in my house is asleep). Have you ever fallen in love with a piece and not been able to stop thinking about it? Just wanted to know if its happened to anyone else.

This is the one that is killing me!

Replies (22)

March 29, 2013 at 08:15 PM · Well if something is going to keep you awake, it might as well be that. That youtube is nice, that guy played it great.

So here is a question. If you play that on the violin, do you transpose it up the fifth? I think I would because then you can capture the resonances which I think are more important than the key it is in. Bach understood the cello and violin very thoroughly and would have likely intended that.

And by the way I just looked at Shar for "Bach Cello Suites for Violin" but I cannot find them. Can any one recommend an edition / vendor for these?

Several years ago I went through a period when I was listening to the Liszt B Minor Piano Sonata far too frequently.

March 29, 2013 at 08:31 PM · I got obsessed with the Sibelius violin concerto for awhile. I would wake up in the middle of the night and it would be playing in my head and it would be difficult to get back to sleep. So I had to cut myself off for awhile. Unfortunately, I can't play it (or maybe its fortunate).

March 29, 2013 at 09:26 PM · Happens to me all too often. Sometimes it can actually get me in trouble with my girlfriend if I am much more into music as I am into her... uh that sounds wierd that way... :)

March 29, 2013 at 09:37 PM · Thank you I was not familiar with Mischa Maisky.

I have lots of sleep issues so I sit in a recliner and listen to my MP3 player.

My wife asked if I couldn't just go to bed.

I told her I have to fall asleep before I can go to bed. Even then sometimes I have to get up and listen to more.

Its either dwell on all the problems of the world or get lost in music. The choice is easy.

Weird thing is I seem to bounce between Sarasate and Irish fiddle. I don't try to explain it I just accept who I am.

BTW I used to play some of the Cello suites on an Alto recorder back in the 80s. The transcription by Frans Brüggen was left in bass cleff. He said we should at least imagine ourselves as a violincello. Vawoom a woo a woo a. One of the Bourrées required a low E. The recorder goes down to F so I had to half whole the bell with my knee. It was a fun piece.

March 29, 2013 at 10:58 PM · Oh my goodness, that's soooo lovely, what you embedded. And my answer is, yes, and YES! Always. They inhabit my soul. In fact, I just posted a blog about the one that is currently inhabiting my soul: Bruch's Symphony no. 2, second movement. Here's a link to the blog, which has the YouTube version embedded in. The second movement is just sooooo engrained in my heart and soul right now. I'd say this happens to me every year, or even every season. Sometimes it's an old favorite, like the Sibelius VC. This Bruch (who knew he wrote symphonies, huh?) was only introduced to me last year. It affected me then, but not like the obsession it is at this moment. But what a lovely obsession!

Here's the link: Terez's blog and link to Bruch Symphony No. 2

March 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM · Oops repost??

March 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM · Ellie- We are liking a lot of the same things! The withe orchestra im in, highest orchestra (I'm in the second highest) just played the Sibelius and rachimonoff in their last concert. That was my first time hearing that piano concerto and its so great!

Paul- I no longer play violin full time now, I've turned to the dark side and have become a violist :). I remember seeing that somewhere, but I can't remember where. Maybe check the website performers music? They are a music shop I Chicago and they have a large selection of music online that you can order. I'm sure you could transpose up the fifth, but it may loose its meaning and become too bright. Not sure, but you should try it!

Rachel and Simon- thanks for the laughs :)

Patrick- no problem! I'm glad to introduced the two of you. I'm currently playing the Bach cello suites on viola so I must know cellist.

Terez- I'm playing Bruch romanze for viola. I love it and I love his concerto for violin, the first movement especially.

And I'm glad that I'm not the only one kept up by music!! Yet another side affect of being a musician.

March 30, 2013 at 01:29 AM · Paul - I have the cello suites for the violin and yes, if I recally correctly, they are transposed a 5th to keep the musical similarity. And best of all, I think I got them free from IMSLP!


March 30, 2013 at 01:48 AM · Nairobi, did you know he did 3 VCs? The first, of course, is the one everyone knows. Also a lovely Serenade for Violin and Orchestra. Is the Romanza for Viola different from his Romance for Violin, do you suppose, or is it the same thing transposed?

I love hearing what other people's music obsessions are. Correction. I love hearing what other classical music people's music obsessions are!

(BTW, I clarified the link in my last post, and it goes to my blog first, where the link to the music I describe is.)

March 30, 2013 at 02:36 AM · Terez- I just looked it up on imslp and the violin romance and viola romanze are two different pieces. Bruch was such a romantic! I had no idea he did three violin concertos! They are probably all remarkable.

I am in love with a lot of German composers: Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn, (what was bruch?? I can't remember), Wagner. I love love LOVE Mahler Adaigetto. I have cried to piece many times. It's SOOO perfect! I listen to the CSO play it and its so good. I also love Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings. Rumor has it that when first performed there was not a dry eye in the place. This pieces are slow and complex and meaningful, in adore them! Now you know some of mine :)

March 30, 2013 at 04:34 AM · >I love love LOVE Mahler Adaigetto. I have cried to piece many times. It's SOOO perfect! I listen to the CSO play it and its so good. I also love Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings.

Yes, yes, YES!!! Both of these have had an astonishing impact on me. Most of Mahler's adagio movements just slay me. So beautiful and heart-rending. Sibelius' VC second movement, as well, is practically a religious experience.

(Bruch, BTW, is German as well. Born in Cologne. Very much one of the German Romantics.)

March 30, 2013 at 02:32 PM · Yes. This has been a pattern with me as far back as I can remember and for so much of the classical music repertoire (especially symphonies, concertos, and chamber music, anything violin or other string instrument, etc. - not so much opera).

Yes, a piece can become overplayed in your brain and you lose a sense of impact. But then, believe it or not, it comes back. Once one of these great works of art (especially a great performance) gets under your skin (or, rather, into your temporal lobe), it is not likely to ever leave, even if you decide not to listen to the physical recording.

Introspecting, I'd say that music has always had not only an auditory and intellectual and emotional effect, but a physical, visceral one as well. I "feel" the music as physical emotional sensation in my gut.

I've never been able to explain it (and I'm a psychologist), and I'm not sure I've described it well here.

However, if this is some sort of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), I don't want to be cured.



March 30, 2013 at 02:45 PM · Pretty much Bach in general. Between the Double Concerto, the E minor Concerto, and the Chaconne I've had a lot of it going here lately. Just wish I could play some of it!!

March 30, 2013 at 02:52 PM · Terez- those Germas took all of the composers!!! Not counting Sibelius though, he's a Fin :). Mahler is so amazing. It's probably one of the only composer that make me awestruck when listening to his much because its so beautifully arranged and complex! Yes you are definitely a romantic girl.

Sandy- Hmm, it's nice hearing this from a psychologist. It's interesting to know that more than just common people are astounded with how music can get stuck in the mind and if you really love it, it won't go away.

William-I know that feeling! I had it a lot when I was just getting serious about the violin. Not to brag or anything, but be as advanced as I am with the viola, if I want to I can pick up what I please and learn it. It's a satisfying and happy making feeling. May I ask why you can't learn them? That Bach Chaconne is so gorgeous. I haven't heard it in a while though. I think I'm going to go and listen to that

March 30, 2013 at 02:53 PM · I think every piece I've worked seriously on has been one of these - Bach Am (especially the second movement); Mozart G and A; Gluck Melodie; Beethoven romances; Bruch Gm; etc and same for chamber music - and I there are umpteen on my road ahead.

Perhaps the truly great thing about being an amateur musician is that you can work on pieces that engulf you as your targets. I suppose the good thing for an amateur about playing in an orchestra is that you have to play pieces with which you have little or no emotional connection - I mean you'd be a rather sorry violinist if all you could manage were pieces that came from the core. OTOH....

March 30, 2013 at 03:37 PM · Nairobi, it's a goal for me. I'm just starting up again. I got pretty much through Suzuki book one about 12 years ago, and then had to give it up. Life got in the way. Getting ready to start up again though. I'll get there eventually.

March 30, 2013 at 04:54 PM · Totally! Sometimes classical or pop. I sometimes am so obsessed that I have to do a violin arrangment for it... even if that means hours of copying the notes of the piano part in the musical softwear.

Elise, I agree that it's wonderful for amateurs to play things that we love most of the time.

"I mean you'd be a rather sorry violinist if all you could manage were pieces that came from the core. OTOH...."

What do you mean here??? I don't quite understand that expression as a french speaker :) You mean it's bad to always play thing we are very much in love with? Personally, I don't feel guilty of assuming myself in this but I do want to continue scales and studies to not stagnate technically and be able to become better. One can find a group with repertoitre that they like most of the time. I might sound baby but I would not play in a group that plays music I do not like most of the time because I do not make music as a living...

March 30, 2013 at 05:49 PM · Anne- Elise means that if you couldn't play things that were required because it was your job because all you could play was music that touched you. It would also be bad because that could close you off to a lot of music that has been made because it may not engulf you.

William- I'm very happy for you!! I hope your endeavors are rewarded.

March 30, 2013 at 07:51 PM · Nairobi - Yes thats it :)

March 30, 2013 at 08:21 PM · >I've never been able to explain it (and I'm a psychologist), and I'm not sure I've described it well here.

Sandy, you explained and described it here perfectly!

And great to "see" you here (never mind that maybe I'm the one whose visits are sporadic...).

March 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Nairobi and Elise, ok now I see :) Thanks

April 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM · When the news of my father's passing reached me, the pub next door had a ghastly "Irish Entertainer" playing with a loud PA. This is the music I put on to drown it, in Heinrich Schiff's wonderful recording. So yes, Suite #2 has a strong emotional impact for me...

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music: Check out our selection of Celtic music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings
Thomastik-Infeld's Dynamo Strings

National Symphony Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra

Violins of Hope
Violins of Hope Summer Music Programs Directory
Find a Summer Music Program Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Colburn School

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine