Friday Musical Interlude

July 8th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

After today’s jobs report, we need some seriously uplifting music.  Lucky for all of us, I’ve got just the thing, a piece of such transcendent beauty that you will turn from the bad numbers, the fractious politics, the toils of your day, and float away to much better place.

I speak of the Domine Deus from Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

There are, of course, full choral pieces in the Mass that are more majestic than this duet with flute and orchestra, but this piece has always been my favorite.

Listen in particular to the beautiful arpeggios in the flute around seconds 42-54 while the horns and then the strings hold a single note that swells up underneath.  If that doesn’t give you chills, keep listening to it until it does.

Enjoy this masterpiece and have a great weekend.

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7 comments in reply to "Friday Musical Interlude"

  1. Dilip says:

    Hi Dr. Bernstein

    May I point you to another Youtube link that is a composition from a well accepted musical genius from India (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilaiyaraaja)? Its a symphony-style music for 7 minutes. I’d be very curious to know what you think since that album largely flew under the radar for some insanely unknown reason.

    The link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz-MTrlIG_8


  2. John says:

    Since you mentioned “favorite,” here’s mine, from any genre. And yes, I get chills from it from the beginning and am always brought to tears by the end. And to me, this is the sound of America.

    Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U7hPHSkNJo

    It’s not at all obscure, it seems to me, but is a very popular piece. It’s based on the Shaker Hymn “Simple Gifts;” I’m a great admirer of the Shakers. There’s a Shaker round barn in my hometown, and if you know much about them, you know how much their craftsmanship and discipline are respected.

    Copland, of course, was no Shaker; he was a leftist who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, among other things.

    This is a deeply spiritual piece to me. It speaks to me not only to the existence of God, but to the potential of the human spirit. Indeed, I think of it as the music of my own soul.


  3. Misaki says:

    One particularly interesting classical work of music is this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOSIAKbXzE8


  4. Charles says:

    The music is indeed beautiful. To think that it is only a faint reflection of its source of inspiration!


  5. Julio says:

    Krugman also posted a baroque Friday piece by Bach.

    The progressive conspiracy continues. Alert we must stay.


  6. Mary says:

    I missed all of you, especially my three favorite, lovely and brilliant bloggers, but all work and no play makes Mary a dull girl.

    It’s amazing that weeks can pass by and nothing and everything seems to happen. By everything, I mean it all just got worse, especially, the debt ceiling and the euro situation. By nothing, I mean nothing really happened.

    I spent some time thinking and writing about things from a less political or economic perspective. Stress levels across the board are definitely high. I know that they were for me. I couldn’t read the paper or watch the news without getting upset, plus there are the demands of my pathetic life. I realized that I needed a change in my state of mind. Our dear Krugman says, “The truth is that the fault lies not in our structure, but in ourselves.” He meant this in a different context, but I think it’s actually a rather profound statement. I recently wrote a short essay on a similar topic, somewhat nostalgic, but I think it also captured the malaise the country seems to have found itself in.

    That said; there will always be music, art, literature, and love. As long as we have those things, it will be OK. BTW I highly recommend the movie Il Postino. It captures the simplicity of an elemental life, and the beauty and tragic complexities that can come with love, poetry, and politics.

    Keep on doing the great work that you do. It is helping even though it might not always feel like it.


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