This post comes via my friend Somewhere Boy, who in turn sought inspiration from Gramophone, which poses the question “what does iTunes Shuffle reveal about your [music] collection?”. As Gramophone states, “the concept is simple: you just open up iTunes, press shuffle, and see what the first ten recordings to emerge are”.
I rarely use the “shuffle” function on my iPod or in iTunes (though I notice pianist Paul Lewis opts for the “snuffle” function when he performs), partly because it annoys me when a four-movement Schubert sonata is interrupted by, for example, a Chopin Prelude or a track by Baroque group l’Arpeggiata. What I have used quite frequently is the ‘Genius’ function in iTunes, which will compile a playlist for you based on one track (good for creating mixes for parties, long car journeys or boring gym sessions). Anyway, here goes…..I’m pressing Shuffle now. Let’s see what happens…..
Rachmaninov – Prelude in B, Op 32 No. 11 (John Lill). I learnt this a few years ago and then forgot all about it. Nice to be reminded of a piece I actually enjoyed playing. Maybe I should revive it?
Mozart- Minuet in, D K355 (Mitsuko Uchida). Uchida playing Mozart. What more can I say?
Beethoven – Six Bagatelles, Op 126. I. Andante con moto. Beethoven’s Bagatelles always remind me of childhood piano lessons and exams, which is unfair, since many of them are really wonderful and deserve proper study.
Mozart – Piano Sonata No. 11 in A, K331. 1st movement (Uchida). More beautiful, graceful Mozart….
Brahms – Clarinet Sonata in E Flat Op 120 No. 2, 3rd movement. The second movement of this sonata formed part of my Grade 6 clarinet exam, the memory of which still causes the hair to stand up on the back of my neck…. Enough said! Beautiful music, though….
Enigma – Je T’aime Till My Dying Day. I have never, to my knowledge, listened to this, or indeed any of the other tracks on this album, though I do like Enigma’s first album….. Must’ve downloaded it while asleep/by mistake.
Schubert – Suleikas Zweiter Gesang, D717. I often listen to Schubert’s songs on my way to work: it makes a boring commute more pleasurable. I have two albums streamed together, Ian Bostridge’s fine Schubert collection and another by Lynda Russell (one of those budget Naxos ones). I met Ian Bostridge a few years ago, after he’d sung the part of the Evangelist in Bach’s St John Passion. I say “met”…… Tanked up on Sauvignon, I flung my programme in front of him and demanded an autograph, while declaring huskily, “Oh Ian! I just LOVE your Schubert album!!’. Poor man! He’d just sung very demanding and emotional music, only to be confronted, post-concert, by a mad fan. He was seen exiting the Barbican at high speed soon after….
Haydn – Piano Sonata in D Hob. 16/37 (Hamelin), 1st movement. Hamelin’s Haydn albums are wonderful: full of crisp articulation, attentive phrasing and graceful melodic lines.
La Vie en Rose – Indien, from The Best of Claude Challe. Oh, I love Claude Challe and his Buddha Bar collections! This song is wacky and fun: Piaf meets Bollywood.
Orchestra Baobab – Nijaay. I often have this or Youssou N’Dour playing in the cabana in the garden on a hot summer’s evening (i.e. last year!)
Just for the purposes of comparison, here’s the list from iTunes on my Macbook:
ABRSM Piano Grade 1 2010-12 Menuet in F
ABRSM Specimen Aural Test – Grade 1, Test 1A (“Is it in 2-time or 3-time?”)
Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un M’a Dit
Haydn – Piano Sonata No. 47 Hob. XVI:32
Christina Pluhar & L’Arpeggiata – Ciaccona, Pt. 2
Clara Rodriguez (piano) – El Atravesado
Ding Dong Merrily on High – played by Bella (one of my students)
Beethoven – Rondo in C major, Op. 51, No. 1
Gershwin – Prelude No. 3
Not sure what these lists say about me or my music collection, but an amusing diversion for Saturday morning. Might go and look up that Rach Prelude again now…..