If music be the (comfort) food of love…

So in the middle of January, I had a tough case of the winter blues, and I asked my facebook friends to help me crowdsource a playlist of “comfort food in musical form” and boy did they deliver. When all was said and done, I ended up with 17 hours worth of beautiful, thoughtful, and hugely varied selections.

such beautiful choices!

I wanted to see what other people reached for when they were sad, and honestly, I didn’t quite know what to expect but I had a good idea that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart would, as usual, be heavy hitters. They did not disappoint, with Bach and Mozart tying for second with 5 recommendations each, and Beethoven gaining a respectable 4 but I was definitely surprised to see Vaughan Williams steadily rise to the top with 8 suggested works. Also pleasantly surprised to see Debussy (4) and Ravel (3) make a healthy French contribution to the mix.

There were more large orchestral works suggested than any other genre, although solo piano and chamber music were close behind, and interestingly opera was barely on the spectrum. Unsurprisingly the romantic era (the most over-emotional era in the best way) overwhelmingly dominated with 32 suggestions although 20th century music followed up nicely with 27 suggested works, several coming from film soundtracks.

The list at the bottom of this page is all of the suggestions I received plus some extras thrown in as they were remembered and suggested later. This list is 17 hours long. It starts off on the mopey and weepy side (oh it’s so lovely!) and then gets more and more raucous. If you’re going through something, put this baby on in the morning, start off with some Bach at 7am and by the time you get to Firebird around midnight you will have been on an awesome musical journey all day. If you’re in one of those places that’s getting a ton of snow tomorrow, I’d say this playlist is perfect for staring out the window while you’re inside and cozy.

I loved watching all these recommendations come in and I discovered quite a few works I’d never come across before. Looking forward to getting more topics and musical suggestions from the greater classical world on our facebook page ! Enjoy the music, feel the love, stay warm.


In order of appearance

  • Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
  • Pärt: Spiegel im spiegel
  • Richter: On the Nature of Daylight
  • Barber: Adagio for Strings
  • Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  • Glass: Echorus
  • Tavener: Mother Of God, Here I Stand
  • Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil, Op 37 (Ave Maria)
  • Schubert arranged by Liszt: Schwangensang S 560, No.4 Ständchen
  • Pärt: Summa
  • Fauré: Sicilienne Op 78
  • Purcell: King Arthur, or The British Worthy, / O What Power art thou
  • Schumann: Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op.97, movement IV
  • Vaughan Williams: 5 Variant of Dives and Lazarus
  • Tallis: Angus Dei from Mass ‘Puer natus est nobis’ a 7
  • Tallis: Spem in alium
  • Bach: Cantata BWV 208,  Schafe können sicher weiden (Sheep may safely graze)
  • Sibelius: Symphony no 2
  • Beethoven: Symphony no 6
  • R. Strauss: Morgen Op 27 no.4
  • Trad: There is a balm in Gilead
  • Trad arr Hogan: Abide with me
  • Burleigh: Deep River
  • Mozart: Requiem in D Minor K626, VI. Recordare
  • Kreek: Psalms of David: Psalm 104 (Bless the Lord, o my soul)
  • Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Op 8 L’inverno (Winter) II. Largo
  • Bach: Cantata BWV 82Ich habe genug
  • Vivaldi: Bassoon Concerto in A Minor, RV 498: II. Larghetto
  • Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A, Op.81
  • Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007
  • Chopin: Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No.4
  • Liszt: Trois études de concert in D-Flat Major, S.144 III. Unsospiro
  • Hahn: A Chloris
  • Chopin: 19 Nocturnes: No. 13 in C minor Op. 48
  • Fauré: Requiem, Op.48 III. Sanctus
  • Fauré: Pavane, Op.50
  • Fauré:Requiem, Op.48 VII. In paradisum
  • Chopin: 19 Nocturnes: No 1 in B flat minor Op.9
  • Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2 in F Major Op.102 II. Andante
  • Bach: Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra in D Minor, BWV 1043 II.Largo
  • Elgar: Variations On An Original Theme, Op 36 “Enigma”
  • Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, Op.18 II Adagio sostenuto
  • Bach: French Suite No.5 in G, BWV 816
  • Schumann: Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44 I. Allegro brillante
  • Borodin: String Quartet No.2 in D Major
  • Mozart: Idomeneo, re di Creta K 366 / “Zeffiretti lusinghieri”
  • Mozart: Ave verum corpus, K. 618
  • Mozart: Vesprae solennes de confessore in C K.339 V. Laudate Dominum
  • Mouton: Nesciens Mater virgo virum
  • Beethoven: Symphony no 7 in A Major, op 92 II. Allegretto
  • Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, I
  • Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, IV
  • Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, V
  • Brahms: Drei Quartette op 64: 1. An die Heimat
  • Brahms: Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52
  • Hahn: Si mes vers avaient des ailes
  • Anon/Heinavanker: Mu mano tulge latse
  • Richafort: Requiem [in memoriam Josquin Desprez] à 6 voix I. Introitus
  • Richafort: Requiem [in memoriam Josquin Desprez] à 6 voix II. Kyrie
  • Morricone: Giuseppe Tornatore Suite: Nostalgia (from “Cinema Paradiso”)
  • Liszt: 3 Sonetti di Petrarca S.270
  • Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
  • Vaughan Williams: Hodie- A Christmas Cantata XI. Lullaby
  • Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, ‘Pathétique’ Op. 13
  • Bach: 6 Suites for Cello, Suite No. 5 in C minor
  • Vaughan Williams: The Lake in the Mountains
  • Morricone: Moses and Marco Polo Suite: 21
  • Debussy: La plus que lente, L. 121
  • Debussy: Images- Book 1 L 110: Reflects dans l’eau
  • Debussy: Deux arabesques: I. Andantino con moto
  • Brahms: Piano Quartet No.3 in C Minor, Op. 60 III. Andante
  • Ravel: String Quartet in F Major
  • Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26. No.7
  • Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op 95 (New World Symphony)
  • Grant Still: Afro-American Symphony
  • Debussy: String Quartet in G Minor
  • Franck: Quartet in D Major for Strings
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6. in B Minor Op. 74
  • Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor Op. 78 (Organ Symphony)
  • Holst: The Planets- Suite for large orchestra, Op.32 IV Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
  • Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C Minor Op.67 IV Allegro
  • Mussorgsky, arr Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Williams: Hedwig’s Theme
  • Gershwin: An American In Paris
  • Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major, M. 83 I Allegramente
  • Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite

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