A list…..with a twist

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?

Rachmaninov: Prelude in B major, Op.32, No.11

Mozart- Minuet in, D K355 (Mitsuko Uchida). Uchida playing Mozart. What more can I say?

Mozart: Minuet in D, K.355

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.

Artur Schnabel – Bagatelles, Op. 126: No. 1 in G Major – Andante con moto

Mozart – Piano Sonata No. 11 in A, K331. 1st movement (Uchida). More beautiful, graceful Mozart….

Mitsuko Uchida – Mozart: Piano Sonata No.11 in A, K.331 “Alla Turca” – 1. Tema (Andante grazioso) con variazioni

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….

Gervase De Peyer – Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat Op. 120 No. 2  III. Andante con moto

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.

Enigma – Je T’aime Till My Dying Day

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….

Gerald Moore/Dame Janet Baker – Suleika II D717

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.

Piano Sonata No. 33 in D Major, Hob.XVI:37: I: Allegro con brio

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.

Pascal of Bollywood – La Vie En Rose – Indien

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!)

Orchestra Baobab – Nijaay

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

Schubert – Ian Bostridge – Du bist die Ruh D776 (Rückert)

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…..

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for this – I always appreciate a list… Not surprising to see piano music predominating. Good to see John Lill making an appearance. Not a glamorous name, perhaps, but an intelligent and underrated pianist.

    • John Lill was a pianist-hero of mine during the 1980s, when I was that tiresome, smug teenager in the 1980s. I had his complete Beethoven sonatas on LP. I agree he’s underrated – but it’s great to see he’s still going strong. I must go and hear him again….

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