A Winter Playlist

A playlist about winter.

What is winter for you?
For me winter means that life goes more inwardly. In nature silence and damped sounds prevail, animals withdraw or hibernate. The flowers go in standby mode, trees are slowly glowing in the dusk.
The days become short, the light in the houses shines in the darkness. A candle gives warmth beyond its visible reach. It becomes a symbol of hope and love.

1: Tchaikovsky ‘The Sleeping Beauty’: Sarabande
A slow dance imitating an old dance form. An inner glowing joy.

2: Tchaikovsky ‘Eugen Onegin’ Act 2: Valse
Another dance, more lively, now the crowd gets bigger. Enjoy dancing through your living room!

3: Berggreen: Vaer velkommen, Herrens ar
A traditional danish christmas song, wonderfully pure and sparkling.

4: Rachmaninov: Vespers, op. 37: Blazhen muzh (“Blessed is the Man”)
A Vesper, originating from the russian orthodox church. What a beautiful music it is.
As the music would have been there already since all times and will be forever.
Human voices in pure harmony together. Mystic as Rachmaninov’s music is for me.

5: Mendelssohn: Magnificat in D Major: Gloria Patris and 6: Fuga: Sicut erat.
Mendelssohn’s music reminds of the Mozart-like joy and the Bach-like formal strictness.
What a celebration it is, the voices streching the harmonies in a simplistic way, pure and choral-like in the ‘Gloria Patris’, leading into a glorious fugue concluding the Magnificat.

7: Rachmaninov: Vespers, op. 37: Bogoroditse Devo (“Rejoice, virgin mother of God”)
Diving into an inward world. Finding God in mysticism.

8: Chopin: 12 Etudes op. 25: No: 11 in a minor (“The Winter wind”)
What a power lies in this recording by Grigory Sokolov. A wild wind, in one big gesture.

9: Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances: III. Lento assai- Allegro vivace
What a fantastic piece, and what an ending! It is the last movement of his “Symphonic dances” where Rachmaninov mixes the dies-irae theme with the theme of his All-night Vigil.
The theme of the Mass of the Dead gets another ending here.
‘Alliluya’ writes Rachmaninov in the score.
Rachmaninov composes this at the end of his life, one can feel a presentiment to what comes after life.
What a joy.

10: Mozart: Ave verum corpus K. 618
One of Mozart’s latest compositions, composed half a year before he died while working at his ‘Magic Flute’ and ‘Requiem’. A note in the beginning says ‘sotto voce’ (with soft voice).
May this piece give you the same peace in your heart as it does to me.

Kandinsky, Das Bunte Leben, 1907
Credits to: Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, Leihgabe der BayernLB

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