Piece you could not live without

January 16, 2020, 5:51 AM · If you could only live with one piece of music for the rest of your life which would it be.
I had to pick a top three of bruckner 9, Mahler 9 and the Goldberg variations, and ended up picking the Goldberg variations.

Replies (25)

January 16, 2020, 6:13 AM · Glazunov viola Elegie, Eccles sonata and Symphonie Fantastique. It would be hard to choose though!
January 16, 2020, 6:28 AM · If you have to pick just one, it's kind of not fair to list three.

1. The Haydn F Minor Variations.

But okay, I admit it was hard to choose that over the B Minor Sonata of Franz Liszt and the Mendelssohn E Minor Violin Concerto. The Goldberg Variations would be hard to live without too. Thanks for the reminder, I'll find that on Spotify as soon as I get to the office.

Edited: January 16, 2020, 6:38 AM · It's almost impossible for me to make a violin/cello choice, so I'll go to my other instrument for Alkan's 12 Etudes Op 39 for piano, a favourite of my late father who played them a darn sight better than I ever could!

I know that Alkan's Op 39 consists of 12 separate pieces, but they are really parts of one massive work, so I make no apology for the choice. For instance, three of the parts are a symphony for solo piano (you can hear the orchestration), while another three comprise a concerto for solo piano, and here again, Alkan brings out a clear distinction between the soloist and orchestra.

Edited: January 16, 2020, 7:52 AM · These are two distinct, hypothetical questions, neither of which I can answer
1. There's no one piece of music I couldn't live without. I very much doubt anyone else could honestly say otherwise!
2. If I was limited to a single piece I'd eventually (probably quite soon) get sick of it, so my desert island would fall silent apart from the sounds of nature and a droning, muttering noise
January 16, 2020, 8:43 AM · I tend to agree with Steve, but for today the winner is

Beethoven's quartet in E flat Op127

Tomorrow it might be a different quartet, or not a quartet.... maybe even a different composer.

January 16, 2020, 8:47 AM · Peter- that's amazing! I was also thinking "maybe a late Beethoven quartet" and specifically Op127
January 16, 2020, 8:54 AM · I feel like this may be cheating, but Bach's Art of Fugue (I'm thinking the Emerson Quartet's interpretation) would be at the top of my list at the moment.
January 16, 2020, 9:43 AM · If I have to choose it would be Beethoven opus 131
January 16, 2020, 11:58 AM · To add to what Steve said: None of us will ever be in a situation that calls for this decision. Lets stop bothering our pretty or not so pretty heads about it!
January 16, 2020, 12:19 PM · Beethoven, Op. 61
Edited: January 16, 2020, 1:03 PM · Bach, 2nd partita, Chaconne
January 16, 2020, 5:34 PM · Schubert Death and the Maiden. It'll be something different this time tomorrow!
January 16, 2020, 5:36 PM · If we burned it all, we would be free and could write new music, and wouldn't have to pretend to keep an open mind for when they program contemporary works on recitals we go to.
January 16, 2020, 8:39 PM · I wasn’t trying to make anyone upset it’s just a fun question and not something to worry over. It’s a fun theoretical that is interesting to me that’s all not a realistic situation.
January 16, 2020, 11:30 PM · I would definitely have to go with Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. It’s one of the most amazing pieces of music I’ve heard, and I’ve heard rumors it’ll be programmed next orchestra season for the university orchestra I perform in.
January 18, 2020, 6:11 PM · My reading is at basic elementary level, being a hack with 5 or 6 years experience, but I like playing La Vie En Rose and the theme from Gone With The Wind, which I play by ear. It would otherwise be Ashokan Farewell, but sooo many people play that. Maybe I'm just a fiddler here, but I play vibrato and pieces with feeling, not fast fiddle tunes.
January 18, 2020, 11:24 PM · A single piece of music? Verdi’s Aida.
January 19, 2020, 8:03 PM · Beethoven's Archduke Trio.
January 19, 2020, 9:53 PM · MZ, the Glazunov is a good choice. Probably my favourite viola work. It would either be that or Mendelssohn E flat octet
January 20, 2020, 4:41 AM · Nancy, just to clarify, people are listing here their all-time favorite pieces of music, so not necessarily something they play themselves. I'd like to add Tchaikovsky 6 to the list, after all, if you can only listen to a single piece for the rest of your life, you are going to feel depressed, right ;-)
January 20, 2020, 9:58 AM · Mendelssohn Octet!
January 20, 2020, 11:48 AM · Schnittke's "Tango" from the film Agony (also in Diary of a Madman). Just had to throw that in.
January 20, 2020, 1:17 PM · The Fall, "And This Day"
January 21, 2020, 12:36 PM · I mix classical viola with bluegrass fiddling, so I find Ashokan Farewell to be a nice tune. As for Tchaikovsky 6 being depressing, yes, that last movement is a downer - but think of the fun you'd have watching people trying to waltz to the second movement.

I'd probably go for Rachmaninoff myself - probably Symphony No. 2, although his second and third piano concertos are pretty wonderful as well. But I've often said that my desert island CD would be the one I have of Martha Argerich playing Prokofiev 1 and 3, with Bartok 3 thrown in for good measure.

January 25, 2020, 6:09 PM · Top three for me would be:
Tchaikovsky Violin concerto
Tchaikovsky symphony 5
Beethoven symphony 9

There is no number one for me XD, so I guess I didn’t answer the question

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