More music for de-stressing

Paul Sarcich, Morley tutor for orchestral conducting and composition, shares another playlist of his favourite classical pieces for relaxing and letting go of stress.

For best results, turn lights out, lie down, close eyes. Then let some great composers detox your brain. Stay there for as long as it takes. I hope you discover some great music in the process.

Schubert: String Quintet in C, 2nd movement

The words “heavenly” and “otherworldly” are often applied to this piece, and rightfully so. The dying Schubert created nearly 15 minutes of sustained beauty, based on a few held chords and a skeletal melody. The more animated middle section gives way to complete peace by the end.

Bellini: Vaga Luna

If you are only aware of Bellini as a composer of high-octane bel canto arias, this will come as a surprise. A serenely beautiful, and breathtakingly simple melody is given a delicate and discreet accompaniment, in this song asking the moon to convey a message of love.

Holst: “Neptune” from The Planets

In a very different kind of otherworldliness to Schubert, Holst uses the astrological significance of Neptune as The Mystic to take us to the outer reaches of the Solar System. Strange, ethereal chords and tones eventually fade out into the darkness and coldness of outer space. After Neptune, only the Void.

Paul’s Playlist

Schubert: String Quintet in C, 2nd movement
Bizet: Symphony in C, 2nd movement
Richard Strauss: “September” from Four Last Songs
Gorecki: Symphony No. 3, 2nd movement
Tavener: The Protecting Veil
Bellini: “Casta Diva” from Norma
Massenet: Meditation from Thais
Purcell: “When I am Laid in Earth” from Dido and Aeneas
Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
Mozart: “Ruhe Sanft” from Zaide
Palestrina: Vexilla Regis
J. S. Bach: Erbarme Dich from St. Mathew Passion
Vasks: Plainscape I
Whitacre: Sleep
Holst: “Neptune” from The Planets
Bellini: Vaga Luna
Gershwin: Prelude No. 2
Bach/Gounod: Ave Maria
Debussy: The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
Tchaikovsky: Hymn of the Cherubim
Handel: Ombra mai fu
Ligeti: Lux Aeterna
Mozart: Adagio from the Gran Partita for winds
Borodin: String Quartet No. 2, 2nd Movement
Offenbach: “Barcarolle” from The Tales of Hoffman
Sibelius: Valse Triste
Albeniz: Granada
Rodrigo: Espanoleta
Trad/Britten: The Salley Gardens
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21, 2nd movement
Schubert: Ave Maria