It has taken me a long time to find where the good stuff is hidden—books to be kept nearby and reread, music worth listening to, artworks to inspite and thrill, particular foods that are a treat, clothes and products that are really good, places you especially want to revisit, etc.

I wonder what things you all would take with you to a desert island, things that the rest of us may not have learned about yet. Share the wealth.

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Beethoven's 9th Symphony. If I had one piece of music I could listen to over, and over, and over again, it's the 2nd movement. The choral is great, but the 2nd movement carries me away.

I suspect you remember as I do how that movement was the closing music to the Huntley-Brinkley Report, back in the 60s!  And as it comes to 2nd movements, the one in Beethoven's Seventh has its own kind of power.

List for Desert Island:


Nora Jones' "Come Away With Me"  [not sure which album that is on exactly]

Guns And Roses "Welcome to the Jungle: [seems fitting]

Guy Clark - anything really but he does have a great song about building boats

Tom Russell - Love and Fear Album

Bits and Pieces:

A sketchbook....some colored pencils and a sharpener

fire starter and a knife


Harry Potter and Star Wars for Bravery and Courage should I need them

*hard category for me - having just arrived at Atheism....there is so much I have not read 

Favorite Music?  Hmmm, let's see here:

I got LOTS more suggestions for anyone who wants 'em ... and MP3s, too, if you'd like to hear a sample!

I'm particularly fond of the Profiev Fifth Symphony and Lieutenant Kijé Suite. Gershwin's Piano Concerto is better for me than the Rhapsody, which I've heard too often in bad performances. 

I hear you about the Rhapsody, though the performance I cited with Bernstein is a classic to me.  For a long time, I've enjoyed what Andre Kostelanetz and Andre Previn brought to the Concerto in F, and I recommend that highly.

Percy Grainger made a transcription of the Rhapsody for two pianos and it has been recorded by the twin duo-pianists Richard and John Contiguglia. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print now. Their recording of Grainger's treatment of Embraceable You is a gem, but it's all gone from the catalogue.

Percy was pretty neat, musically.  I've been enjoying his Lincolnshire Posy for a long time now, along with Handel in the StrandMolly on the Shore and Shepherd's Hey.  Fun pieces, all!

His piano music is notable as well.  I have some on vinyl that I haven't listened to in a while.  Time to dust it off, I think.

As a teenager I played for him in a master class at Dorothy Payne's in Cincinnati. He was a friend of hers and came around every few years for musical fun. I played Chopin's Revolutionary Etude and he showed me a marvelous fingering for the left hand and a way to emphasize certain notes in the closing chords.

On that visit Grainger organized a concert at the Cincinnati Art Museum and a lot of us young people played in it. He had written a piece called "The Lonely Desert Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes." A tenor onstage sang the part of the Lonely Desert Man and Mrs. Grainger, offstage, represented the tents. It was great fun.

At the same concert the two-piano version of Balakirev's Tamara was played and I was immediately entranced by it. There is an excellent recording of the orchestral version with Svetlanov leading the Philharmonia Orchestra.

As long as we're on the subject of music:

Aaron Copeland - Variations on a Shaker Melody
Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Find the Cost of Freedom
Patrick Doyle - Non Nobis Domine (Yeah, it religious - So What!)
Bessie Smith - Anything she sang - but especially Pig Foot and a Bottle of Beer
Franz List - Hungarian Rhapsody
Benny Goodman - Sing, Sing, Sing (Carnegie Hall live version from 1938)
Preservation Hall Jazz Band - When the Saints Go Marching In

To name but a few.

Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle of Beer is a classic, along with Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl. I also love After You've Gone with the stop chorus and Taint Nobody's Business If I Do.

I was lucky enough to see Sweet Emma Barrett at Preservation Hall after her stroke when she played with one hand. I love her singing I'm Alone Because I Love You.

A Goodman fan, eh?  I expect you may know that Aaron Copland wrote a clarinet concerto and dedicated it to Benny.  I still remember the first time I heard it at Blossom Music Center, a number of years ago - amazing!


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