Put me under your musical spell
May 29, 2006 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Feed me more enchanting musical masterpieces.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing a sublime musical performance. It was one of the most magical moments in my life: time seemed to disappear, I had shivers running down my spine and tears springing to my eyes, a bittersweet glow emanating from my belly. I think I never felt so alive before. The voice of the female singer was truly enchanting and stirred a very primal emotion in me. Now I can totally relate to those stories of mermaids luring people into the depths :)

Needless to say, I want more! Can you recommend pieces that have evoked similar feelings in you?
posted by koenie to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

() Sigur Ros.

Loveless MBV.

Beethoven, all the symphonies at one point or another.
posted by sien at 6:29 PM on May 29, 2006

Beethoven Apassionata Piano Sonata.

Oh sweet Nuthin' by the Velvet Underground

Bach's Mass in B Minor (finale).

Magic Flute - Mozart - Queen of Night aria
posted by storybored at 6:29 PM on May 29, 2006

BTW, if you could tell us what piece of music you listened to that struck you, it would help folks zoom in on the type of music you prefer....
posted by storybored at 6:31 PM on May 29, 2006

Arvo Pärt has a number of pieces that have reduced me to a shambling wreck. Check out Alina for minimal, piano-and-strings material that gets under your skin. There's also Tabula Rasa for a more orchestral feel. Start with those and then we'll talk Te Deum and Silencio.

I also recommend Ambient 2: The Plateaux Of Mirror by Brian Eno and Harold Budd. So freakin' beautiful.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:37 PM on May 29, 2006

I second the Appassionata. I had the pleasure of watching an attractive college student tear through this piece... with her becoming visibly flushed during the very tricky, angry, emphatic coda.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. I recommend the brisk and very well recorded Leinsdorf / Boston Symphony recording.

Dvorák's Symphony Nr. 9 is great too. I first "officially" heard it live. Exceedingly cool to recognize the fourth movement theme once it blares itself out.

Mozart's Zauberflöte / Magic Flute... yes, is excellent. Not just the Queen of the Night portion though!

Le Nozze di Figaro / Marriage of Figaro. I have a highlights disc of this I have heard probably 50+ times in the past couple years. The Naxos one is excellent and about $7.
posted by umlaut at 6:42 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: BTW, if you could tell us what piece of music you listened to that struck you, it would help folks zoom in on the type of music you prefer....

I like to think I have eclectic taste in music, so any suggestions are welcome :)

The concert in question was by Laïs, they performed modern interpretations of folk songs and classical pieces (by Dmitri Shostakovich et. al.) and were backed by a 24-strong classical choir. The emphasis of this performance was on the vocals.
posted by koenie at 6:50 PM on May 29, 2006

Many of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (Pathetique, Waldstein, Appassionata among others) and Symphonies.

Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto 2, although some find the 2nd movement a bit too sentimental.
posted by Gyan at 6:57 PM on May 29, 2006

1)The late Eva Cassidy singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. A voice like that only comes along once in a million years.

2)Gil Shaham playing some orchestral piece -- that I can't find the CD for at the moment.

3)Bach Partita #2. When everything is turning to shit, I put this on and am revived. Beautiful.

4)I second Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa.

5)Joni Mitchell's Miles of Aisles.
posted by bim at 7:03 PM on May 29, 2006

Oh come on. Without specifics, this is nothing more than an open-ended question. You might as well just have said "please list your favorite band/song below" because that is what everyone is going to do anyway.

"Name me a good book."

"I like food, what's good?"
posted by Rhomboid at 7:20 PM on May 29, 2006

Anything, anything at all, by John Tavener.

One glass of red wine, and a good stereo system. Preferably in the dark or only a candle or two.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:29 PM on May 29, 2006

the truly great voices of cass eliot or ella fitzgerald or eva cassidy. pachelbel's canon does it for me too.
posted by brandz at 7:32 PM on May 29, 2006

Luigi Nono - La Lontananza Nostalgica Utopica Futura
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:36 PM on May 29, 2006

Response by poster: Rhomboid: "Name me a good book"
posted by koenie at 7:41 PM on May 29, 2006

pachelbel's canon does it for me too.


I'm saying Brian Eno's An Ending (Ascent) off the Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks album.
posted by chrissyboy at 7:42 PM on May 29, 2006

Elgar's first symphony, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:44 PM on May 29, 2006

This Mortal Coil: Song to the Siren

posted by davebush at 8:01 PM on May 29, 2006

The 3rd Symphony of Camille St. Saens (the "Organ Symphony"). The opening notes of the third movement always induce shivers up and down my spine, but only because of how the previous two movements set up that moment.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:24 PM on May 29, 2006

Monteverdi's madrigals, especially "Zefiro torna".
posted by bubukaba at 9:07 PM on May 29, 2006

César Franck's Symphony in D minor - It starts with a slow statement of the main theme, builds it up powerfully over the course of the piece. I literally can't breathe listening to it. To me, it occupies a lofty pinnacle all its own in the pantheon of music.
posted by pjern at 10:05 PM on May 29, 2006

Clair de lune -- debussy -- no matter who plays it, and however transcribed. Also 'Promenade' by an American composer (was it Gershwin?)
posted by metaswell at 10:05 PM on May 29, 2006

Bjork's 'Medulla' is vocal harmony all the way to the brink of ecstasy

John Zorn 'Music for Children' and 'Big Gundown' need a few listens, but resonate indefinable beauty

Bulgarian Women's Choir - just listen to them!

That eclectic enough?
posted by 0bvious at 10:50 PM on May 29, 2006

If it's powerful vocalists you're after, you might want to look into Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. His discography is intimidatingly large, but I would recommend this album as a good starting point.
posted by a louis wain cat at 12:33 AM on May 30, 2006

Philip Glass's "The Grid".
posted by wackybrit at 12:37 AM on May 30, 2006

Your description reminds me of when I watched Fantasia as a child.

Some feelings never get old.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 1:46 AM on May 30, 2006

Ravel's 'String Quartet in F' (im not sure if there is a title title)

but most notably the second movement -- although the first movement is a delightful pre-ennio morricone stampede
posted by Satapher at 1:53 AM on May 30, 2006

Elgar Cello Concerto.

Also, Mahler's 4th symphony. Mahler believed that a symphony should be about EVERYTHING - life, death, the universe. This one is, and you can feel it.
posted by Lotto at 2:25 AM on May 30, 2006

Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Arcade Fire - Funeral
posted by ludwig_van at 4:21 AM on May 30, 2006

Some random sublime stuff, in no particular order. Loads more where this came from, but this lot should keep you busy for a while:

Keiji Haino: See that my grave is kept clean (from Black Blues (Acoustic))
Ekkehard Ehlers: Plays John Cassavetes
AMP: Eternity (from Sirenes)
Morton Feldman: for Christian Wolff; Rothko Chapel/Why Patterns?; String Quartet II
Eliane Radigue: Adnos I-III
Glenn Branca: Symphony No.9 (L'Eve Future)
Thoman Koner: Permafrost; Aubrite etc.
Thuja: The Magma is the Brother of the Stone (from From the Earth to the Spheres Vol.2)
Bark Psychosis: Hex; Codename Dustsucker
David Lacey/Paul Vogel/Mark Wastell: Live in Dublin (Confront)
Munir Bashir: Mesopotamia
Jessica Bailiff: Self-titled
Dean Roberts: And the Black Moths Play the Grand Cinema
Dan Warburton/Jean-Luc Guionnet/Eric La Casa: Métro Pré Saint Gervais
Ecstasy of Saint Theresa: Fluidtrance Centauri
Empress: Self-titled (Geographic)
Tim Hecker: Haunt Me, Haunt Me, Do It Again
Francisco López: Buildings (New York)
Six Organs of Admittance: For Octavio Paz
Jonathan Bepler: Chrysler Chorale Overture (from Cremaster 3)
Julie Doiron: Heart and Crime; Will You Still Love Me?
Lau Nau: Kuutartha
Low: Curtain Hits The Cast
Paul Schutze: Second Site
William Basinski: Disintegration Loops I-IV
Richard Youngs: Garden of Stones Pt.II; Red Cloud Singular (from River Through A Howling Sky); Soon It Will Be Fire & The Graze of Days (from Sapphie)
Scott Walker: loads of stuff, but I like Scott and Scott 3
The Sealed Knot: Unwanted Object
Sibylle Baier: Colour Green
So: So
Waldron/Haynes/Stapleton et al: The Sleeping Moustache
Toru Takemitsu: Works for Flute and Guitar
Vashti Bunyan: various bits and bobs from both her albums, Just Another Diamond Day and Lookaftering
Broadcast: The Noise Made By People
posted by nylon at 5:20 AM on May 30, 2006

I've been beaten to the recommendation for Arvo Pärt's "Alina" - was recently introduced to via some strange route (not my normal kind of music), but it's incredible and beautiful to listen to.

One that I doubt anyone else will list is Metallica's instrumental track "The Call of Ktulu" - swirling, sweeping and dramatic; it sends shivers down my back whenever I listen to it...
posted by Chunder at 5:31 AM on May 30, 2006

The Dead Flag Blues (first track on f#a#(infinity) by Godspeed You Black Emperor!) No vocals, but when that soaring guitar note cuts in, my chest feels like it's about to explode.
posted by pollystark at 5:32 AM on May 30, 2006

I'm late, I suppose; however, I have a short list of recordings from various genre's that break my heart:

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E, op. 64
Broken Social Scene, You forgot it in people
Misissippi John Hurt, Avalon Blues
Cat Power, The Covers Album

The second in particular is worth a look if you haven't heard it before.
posted by cmyr at 7:16 AM on May 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

anything by erik satie
posted by Mach5 at 8:11 AM on May 30, 2006

talk talk: laughingstock

arvo part: cantus in memory of benjamin britten

thelonius monk's abide with me

and finally, Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Ros
posted by puddles at 5:43 PM on May 30, 2006

Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium hasn't been mentioned yet...
posted by klausness at 1:14 PM on May 31, 2006

Just a few minutes ago, listened to Los Glissandinos (Kai Fagaschinski - clarinet, Klaus Filip - computer) and my ears are real real happy. Amazing clarinet work and fascinating choices by Mr. Fagaschinski. So stoked to hear him next fall with Phil Niblock at Erstquake 3.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:10 AM on June 1, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks everybody for the wonderful suggestions!
posted by koenie at 1:05 PM on June 5, 2006

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