In view of the importance of the role that music plays in life, one must stress once more that it is veritable magic, capable of abasing and degrading the person listening to it, or exalting and elevating him to the luminous regions of his being. Hence, a shrewd aspirant will show himself to be extremely alert as to what he risks believing is harmless, but which may seriously weigh him down and delay his spiritual progress.”

(Edward Salim Michael)

Many years ago I knew a fellow — now deceased — who had a lasting effect on my life by introducing me to various works of music that I had not previously known.  I have been grateful for that ever since, and so today I want to take a bit of space here to share with you some of my own favorite titles so that you may explore them at your leisure, at least those with which you are not already familiar.  It is unfortunate that I cannot just present you with the music itself, but you all know how copyright works.  You are likely to find versions of some of them on the Internet that you may listen to for free — or at least brief audio clips to give you an idea of what awaits you.

These are some of the most beautiful pieces of music you are likely to encounter.  Most of them are “classical,” but do not let that deter you, or you will miss some wonderful things.

The list I am placing here is largely the kind of music I generally prefer, which means, on the whole, tranquil and relaxing.  There is a time and place for other kinds of music, but this list contains some of the works for which I am most grateful, and that is why I want to share them with you.  I will add more titles gradually to this list, so it will grow over time, and you may check this posting now and then to see what has been added.  And if you have a favorite piece of “quiet” music that I have not included, feel free to let me know.

So here we begin, not in any particular order.  Please let me me know if you find it of interest or helpful.


Vaughan Williams, Ralph:  The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams, Ralph:  Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Vaughan Williams, Ralph:  Fantasia on Greensleeves
Vaughan Williams, Ralph:  Five Variations of Dives and Lazarus

Tárrega, Francisco: Memories Of The Alhambra (Recuerdos de la Alhambra)
Grieg, Edvard:  Solvejg’s Song (from the Peer Gynt Suite, #1)
Grieg, Edvard:   Ase’s Death (from the Peer Gynt Suite, #1)
Grieg, Edvard:  Morning Mood (from the Peer Gynt Suite, #1)
Grieg, Edvard:  To Spring (An Den Frühling, Opus 43/6)
Grieg, Edvard:  Last Spring (Våren, from Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34)

Smetana, Bedrich:  Vltava (from Ma Vlast — this one gets a bit loud)
Villa-Lobos, Heitor:  Bachianas Brasileiras #5 (Aria)
Tchaikovsky, Pyotr (Peter):  Andante Cantabile (from String Quartet #1  in D, Opus 11-2)
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Song of the Indian Guest (also known as “Song of India”) from Sadko
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: The Young Prince and Princess, from Sheherazade

Anonymous Welsh:  Suo Gan (a Welsh lullaby)
Strauss, Richard:  Im Abendrot (“At Sunset,” from Four Last Songs)
Strauss, Richard:  Beim Schlafengehen (“On Going to Sleep,” from Four Last Songs)
Schumann, Robert:  Of Strange Lands and People (from Scenes of Childhood, Opus 15)
Schumann, Robert:  : Träumerei (Opus 15, # 7 in F major)
Schubert Franz:  “Ständchen” (D 957)

Erik Satie:  Three Gymnopédies

Fauré, Gabriel:  Après un rêve, by Gabriel Fauré

Fauré, Gabriel:  Sanctus (from his Requiem — gets a bit loud briefly)
Fauré, Gabriel: Sicilienne
, Gabriel:  Pie Jesus (from his Requiem)
Fauré, Gabriel:  Pavane, Opus 50 (Pour une Infante Défunte)
Picker, Tobias:  Old and Lost Rivers (amazing that this is not better known)
Saint-Saëns, Camille:  The Swan (Le Cygne — from Carnival of the Animals)

Mozart, W. Amadeus:  Ave Verum Corpus (KV 618)
Coulais, Bruno:  Caresse sur l’ocean
Coulais, Bruno:  La Nuit

Rachmaninov, Sergei:  Adagio Sostenuto, from Piano Concerto #2 in C minor
Rachmaninov, Sergei:  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43, Variation #18
Rachmaninov, Sergei:  Vocalise, from Songs, Opus 34-14

Allegri, Gregorio:  Miserere
Mahler, Gustav:  Adagietto from Symphony #5 in C minor
Debussy, Claude:  Girl with the Flaxen Hair (La fille aux cheveux de lin) Préludes, Book I, #8
Debussy, Claude:  Claire de Lune (Moonlight), from Suite bergamasque
Debussy, Claude:  Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Beethoven, Ludwig von:  Piano Concerto #5, second movement
Beethoven, Ludwig von: Sonata #14, Opus 27 “Moonlight”

Brahms, Johannes:  Waltz in A flat major, Opus 39
Borodin, Alexander:  Notturno Andante, from String Quartet #2 in D
Borodin, Alexander:  Maidens’ Dance; Polovtsian Dances, from Prince Igor
Barber, Samuel:  Adagio for Strings, Opus 11
Albinoni, Tomaso:  Adagio, from Oboe Concerto in D minor, Opus 9/2
Albinoni, Tomaso:  Adagio in G Minor
Delibes, Léo:  Viens, Mallika (Flower Duet) from Lakme
Dvořák, Antonín:  Songs my Mother Taught Me, from Zigeunermelodien, Opus 55, B 104
Dvořák, Antonín:  Largo, Symphony #9 in E minor, Opus 95 “From the New World”
Elgar, Edward  Adagio Moderato from Cello Concerto in E minor, Opus 85
Josquin Des Prez: Tu solus qui facis mirabilia
Godard, Benjamin: Idylle
Khachaturian, Aram:  Adagio from the Gayane Ballet Suite
Ungar, Jay: Ashokan Farewell

Barry, John: Somewhere in Time (the theme as well as much of the rest of the movie soundtrack)
Bizet, Georges: Au fond du temple saint (from Les pêcheurs de perles — “The Pearl Fishers”)
Mascagni, Pietro:  Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
Von Paradis, Maria Theresia: Sicilienne



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