Come thou fount of every blessing
An old American hymn- I'm particular to the Mack Wilberg arrangement. Those who know me now will be mildly surprised at this, those who knew me when I was 16 probably won't, but I don't think that any of the latter actually read this blog. But there's something hopeful about the hymn, the idea that you can screw up and all is not lost.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, Oh take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above
Come, Come Ye Saints
Another hymn, but this one's full on Mormon! Again getting back to roots that some might not suspect for me. This one reminds me (and a lot of other people) that life is hard, and it always has been, in a relatively subtle "man, you think YOU have problems?" kind of way. I mean, things were so bad, they had to write a whole verse about how dying isn't so bad:
And should we die before our journey's through
Happy day, all is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow too
With the just we shall dwell.
That's hardcore. And it makes the fact that I'm whining about having to load the dishwasher again pretty petty. And sometimes you just need to kick your own ass!
Dona Nobis Pacem, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Especially the last movement. The piece was written between wars, when There's something almost desperate and resigned about the whole piece, right up until the end. The angel of death is abroad throughout the land, and then all of a sudden the baritone soloist: O man, greatly beloved, fear not! And the orchestra builds through a series of biblical promises of peace to an exuberant chorus of "Open to me the gates of righteousness, I will go into them!" Wonderful moment that always puts me in a better mood.
Symphony #9, Beethoven. Yeah, that one.
A lot of people I know are going to say something like, "But we expect you to dredge up all sorts of esoteric brilliance, not this mainstream stuff!" Well, screw you guys. If you can get through the end of Beethoven 9 and still be in a bad mood... I dunno, man. Consider a visit to a head doctor.
Karelia Suite, Jean Sibelius
Ok, is this one better? For real? The Alla Marcia is so peppy it's fun, and has a great trombone part. Also, it reminds me of high school orchestra and saying MARCIA MARCIA MARCIA every time we played it, and getting the sigh and rolled eyes from the conductor.