10 pieces of chamber music for a desert island.
If you could only have 10 pieces of chamber music to take to a desert island, what would you choose?
My current ten would be something like:
1) Brahms clarinet quintet
2) Schumann Op. 41 #3
3) Mendelssohn Octet
4) Schubert Death & Maiden
5) Haydn Op 76 #3
6) Mozart K 590
7) Brahms Op 111 viola quintet
8) Tchaikovsky Souvenir De Florence
9) Dvorak Op 51.
10) Finally, I would try to smuggle in Beethoven Op. 59 1-2-3 in one folder hoping the desert island customs wouldn't notice.
I assume these are to play, not to listen to... so as a violist I unfortunately have to omit some of my favorite pieces (e.g. Brahms Piano Trio No. 1, Brahms Horn Trio, Rabl Clarinet Quartet, Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1, Thuille Sextet).
Lots of good ones already. Much of my list would contain some of those, especially Schumann piano quartet.
Knee jerk reaction - like the Bible and Shakespeare I'm thinking late Beethoven must be presumed essential. Several of Thomas's choices especially 1 and 3 would be on my list too. Also the Ravel quartet and at least one of the Brahms sextets.
Well I'm just glad I don't have to make such choices. Almost makes me sick thinking about having to exclude anything written after 1900.
Schubert is my top choice, but otherwise in no particular order...
Oh, good call with the Milhaud suite. Another one of the pieces I excluded because it doesn't have a viola part.
Not exactly a desert island if you have enough people to play these.
1. Mendelssohn Octet Op. 20
If I organized a chamber music meetup on a private island would anyone go? (Actually a semi serious question, not sarcasm).
The ever present kid in me says "Hell yeah!"
Sorry - the list is down to 12 (and would probably change if I did it again in an hour)...
You could listen to the Franck until the end of your days on a deserted island?
I'm not trying to hijack the thread but I don't see many votes for late Beethoven so my island is going to be pretty lonely. Its constitution would bar singers and people who want to play Grieg (sorry Dawson and Evan!).
In no particular order:
Here and now - in no particular order
See, everyone is doing this wrong. If you're talking about 10 chamber works to play on a desert island, I'd pick a variety of instrumentation, such as the Schubert Octet, Poulenc's Sextet for piano and winds, one of Brahms's String Sextets, some antiphonal pieces by Gabrieli for brass and organ, and maybe even (God forbid) a saxophone quartet. That way, I'd either have enough people to help build a boat and get the heck off the island, or be able to more easily divide labor and have more people to talk with while I'm stranded there.
Franck, Verklarte Nacht and Schubert Octet are the three that got away. Maybe the septet version of Strauss metamorphosen, but I have to be in the right mood for that.
@Steve Jones: yes, if I did the list again it would probably include Beethoven op. 131.
What? No Bach?
Ryah Smith: Sigh - no votes for the Brahms A major quartet yet.
Andrew, Jack, Evan, Dawson, Louis and everybody, thanks for such interesting lists -- love to see composers like Ginastera and Howells and Reinberger and Gade and some works I've never played.
Thomas - agreed. Great see a stimulating mix of old favourites plus some things I've not heard. Here's a controversial statement: if I were shipwrecked, I'd let my copy of the brahms G major sink to the bottom of the ocean rather than rescue it! Anyone care to add what music they'd let drown once they'd saved the top ten?
This may be an unpopular opinion: I'd happily let all of Haydn's chamber music drown, along with most of Mozart's. Especially Haydn's Op. 76 No. 3... I'd go out of my way to throw it into the water. (I don't mind that melody as the German national anthem, but for some reason I find it annoying in theme and variations form.)
I'd dive in after Andrew's Haydn volumes (maybe not Mozart)
Ryan Smith writes: The only problem with the A major quartet is that it's just a little much for audiences these days.
1. Beethoven Op. 132
It's interesting several people mention the Schumann piano quartet but not the quintet. The quintet is a work of stupendous genius but also one of the most life-affirming pieces of music of the 19th century. When the world seems messed up beyond comprehension, whether you play it or listen, that piece will ward off despair and restore your faith in humanity -- at least for 26 minutes.
I see lots of pieces I like a great deal but not my absolute favorite piece of music: Beethoven's Archduke Trio. For good measure, I would also include Beethoven's Ghost Trio.
Some good choices!
Most of my favorites are already here... except 2: Faure piano quartet in c minor (seriously have a listen, its amazing!), and Mendelssohn piano trio #2 in c minor, which so often gets looked because his d minor piano trio is so famous, but I actually like the c minor much better!
10 pieces' worth of staff paper and a pencil.