You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 12, 2009.

Regular port-swiller Chuck asks:

What are your top 5 heroic pieces–Is there anything in particular that you’d recommend listening to that really gets your blood and testosterone flowing and gets you pumped up and in a mood to kick butt? I need some really motivating music to listen to while at work.  Thanks buddy!

Ah, heroical musick, eh?  Well, if Chuck means what I think he does, then one must turn to the Romantics for this sort of thing.  I don’t know what you do for a living, Chuck, or how much time or under what circumstances you can listen, but assuming a fairly unfettered atmosphere, here are some suggestions that come to mind:

Richard Wagner – (Ha! Surprised some of you, didn’t I?) Forget the “Ride of the Valkyries”.  Instead, try the Overture to the Flying Dutchman.  You’ll quickly realize that the score of every single sea-adventure movie ever made is based at least in part on it.

Gustav HolstThe Planets.  Most of it is rubbish, but the movements “Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity” or “Mars: Bringer of War” really stand out.  C.S. Lewis particularly mentions that he believed Holst got the true, Olympian meaning of “Jovial” down to a tee.

Robert SchumannSymphony No. 4 in D minor.  I’ve always thought this to be Schumann’s best and it’s been a personal favorite since I was a little boy.

Felix MendelssohnSymphony No. 3 in A minor (“The Scottish”).  A big, wide, rolling work meant to capture the spirit of the Highlands.

Johannes Brahms – Among his shorter pieces, try the “Academic Festival” Overture.  All of his symphonies are fine, too, although I think the 1st and the 4th are by far the sternest ones.  Indeed, the 4th was described by a friend of Brahms as sounding “like two dreadfully intelligent people beating the daylights out of each other.”

Antonin DvorakSymphony No. 9 in E minor (“From The New World”) – which I’m listening to as I type this.  He wrote it to commemorate a visit to America and it is said to contain some “Indian” themes.  If you haven’t got time for this, his Carnival Overture is pretty good to.

Camille Saint-SaensSymphony No. 3 in C minor (The “Organ”) – I know a fair number of people who profess to be moved by this piece.  I find it okay, but am not really all that taken with it.   I throw it out simply because it seems to be popular.

And here’s a bonus for you:  I have always loved the soundtrack from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  How much of that has to do with the quality of the musick itself and how much has to do with my love of the movie, I couldn’t say.  All I know is that it always pumps me up.

Of course, this is a pretty basic list.  There are plenty of other choices and, in the end, it’s really a matter of personal taste.  I’d suggest sampling these pieces.  If you like one, try more by the same composer.  If not, move on to another.

Archives

Recent Comments

CaptainNed on On Loose Lips
Robbo on On Loose Lips
nightfly on On Loose Lips
CaptainNed on On Loose Lips
The Lurker on On Loose Lips

Blog Stats

  • 467,178 hits
July 2009
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031