Some of us crave classical music with a raptured obsession that defies logical explanation.
It’s just sound waves in the air — but some tone sequences grip your heart and can even make you weep. That’s me. I don’t try to understand it. I keep a long list of my cherished favorites.
The internet and YouTube have brought free concerts to everyone in privacy at home, ready to enjoy any time the urge arises. With full-screen video, you watch up-close, better than the best seat in a symphony hall.
Here’s how I spend hours at night:
Bach’s “Little Fugue in G Minor” — wonderful overlays that build power and urgency.
Albinoni’s “Adagio in G Minor” — pure beauty.
“Nessun Dorma” aria from Puccini’s “Turandot” — immortal.
The “Deis Irae” (Day of Wrath) final movement of “Symphonie Fantastique” by Berlioz.
“The Swan” from “Carnival of the Animals” by Saint-Saens.
The lyrical second movement of Mozart’s 21st piano concerto (used in the movie “Elvira Madigan”).
“Meditation” from the Massenet opera “Thais.” (My mother played this on her beloved violin.)
“The Harmonious Blacksmith” by Handel.
The haunting adagio from the “Aranjuez” concerto by Rodrigo.
Lovely second movement of Beethoven’s “Pathetique” sonata.
The immortal “Traumerei” by Schumann.
Chopin’s E Minor prelude that descends slowly like teardrops (used in the movie “Five Easy Pieces”).
“Leyenda” by Albeniz — magical.
The 18th variation in Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.”
In my online listening, I’m charmed by a young Croatian cellist named Stjepan Hauser, who plays with enormous passion, shaggy hair askew, moving his mouth as though singing along with his bowing.
I have a slew of other favorites, too many to list. I wonder how many freethinkers have similar lists: classical, pops, country, rock or whatever? I hope they get as much joy from the internet as I do.
P.S. Obviously, free concerts online hurt the music industry, which lives on sale of tickets, CDs and the like. For years, music companies and Congress have struggled with distribution of performances without the payment of royalties. YouTube, which has 2 billion visitors monthly, vows that it screens out stolen material and says it has paid billions to copyright holders. I’m confident that my favorites are legal — and they’re free to everyone at the click of a mouse.