A friend writes:
A friend of mine told me that she once owned chows who were terrified when it thundered. Two kinds of music calmed them down–Louis Armstrong, and the Goldberg Variations. The only music, it happens, that I could bear during chemotherapy.
Aside from being a remarkable tribute to Louis (and one he would surely have appreciated), this e-mail suggests a fascinating party game, though one that few of my acquaintances, thank God, are qualified to play. To make it a bit more generally accessible, what music do you listen to when the world is way, way too much with you?
Here are ten pieces that have helped me through times of extreme mental disruption:
– Copland Violin Sonata (first movement)
– Mozart A Major Piano Concerto. K. 488 (first movement)
– Ravel Piano Concerto in G (slow movement)
– Dave Brubeck Quartet, “Stardust”
– Gerry Mulligan with Tommy Flanagan, “Lonely Town”
– Stravinsky Apollo
– Bill Evans Trio, “My Foolish Heart”
– Schubert A Major Rondo, D. 951
– Hindemith Flute Sonata (first movement)
– Jim Hall and Pat Metheny, “Farmer’s Trust”