VC VOX POP | "What Piece of Music do you Consider the Most Romantic and Why?"
The Violin Channel reached out to a number of esteemed musicians, conductors, and music industry professionals to find out
Violinist Sarah Chang:
Diana Krall's "Besame Mucho" is probably one of the most romantic songs I've ever heard. Ravel's "Bolero" isn't necessarily romantic but it's definitely one of the sexiest, slinkiest pieces of music ever written. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Violinist Philippe Quint:
I want to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's day! There are just too many incredible works to choose from when it comes to compositions inspired by a romance. For me, Beethoven's Romance in F depicts a profoundly sincere emotion and a vulnerable heart–on–a–sleeve approach.
But there is another composition that stole my heart recently — the beautiful "Valse Triste" by Ferenc Von Vecsey. It even inspired me to create a music video featuring Joffrey Ballet ballerina Christine Rocas.
Douglas Sheldon — Managing Partner at Sheldon Artists Management:
The J.S. Bach B minor Mass.
Bach, in his writing and handling of texture, layers, fugal pacing, harmonic pacing, and beautiful melodies, formed a most expressive style that communicated the value of text and foreshadowed very early on what ‘romantic’ expressiveness can mean and be.
Violinist Vadim Repin:
I find a special world of emotions and romanticism in the music of Johannes Brahms. The second movement of his Violin Concerto is one of the most deeply touching experiences I know.
And of course, the astonishing, passionate, tender, almost surreal Adagios from the great Russian ballets of Tchaikovsky or Glazunov will always be a perfect accompaniment to Valentine’s Day!
Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers:
I absolutely adore Bach/Gounod's "Ave Maria." It has very special meaning to me as I grew up performing it with my sister when we were little.
Recently, when I played it with my 8-year-old daughter, I watched her little hands play the beautiful accompaniment and was flooded with emotion. It was the circle of life through and through.
VC Artist Cellist Kian Soltani:
For me, the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd symphony is about the most romantic music I can possibly think of. So full of color, love, and heartbreak, it has all the characteristic harmonies that make Rachmaninoff unmistakably romantic and genius.
Andrew Ousley — Founder and President of Unison Media Public Relations:
Arvo Pärt's "Spiegel im Spiegel" is one of the most perfect distillations of love I've ever heard. Two instruments slowly, gently following each other up and down, through ebbs and flows. Somehow, this piece of music that's so simple on paper — like a relationship between two people — becomes so much more than the sum of its parts (pärts?).
Violinist Alexander Kerr — Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster & Professor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music:
The most romantic piece of music I have ever heard is the main theme of the movie Cinema Paradiso, by Ennio Morricone.
I know I might be massacred by some of my colleagues for writing this but I honestly don’t know of any single piece that has evoked the emotional responses in me that this one has been able to do every single time I have listened to it, for so many years.
Romantic love, love of a dear friend, love requited, heartbreak...it’s all in this simple but gorgeous melody of saxophone and strings. It is truly a masterpiece.
Daniel Kellogg — President of Young Concert Artists:
As cliché as it might be, I think "La Bohème" is the most romantic piece. My wife and I saw it together as teenagers the summer we started dating. The tenderness and pain of Mimi’s death scene coupled with our own youthful romance made for a deeply moving evening.
"Pianist with the Hair" Julian Gargiulo — Founder of the Getting to Carnegie Competition:
The most romantic piece of classical music was written for the least romantic of reasons, hypnosis. It feels like the chances of that succeeding are similar to the chances of an arranged marriage blossoming into a passionate love story.
And yet, Rachmaninoff’s astounding 2nd Piano Concerto was "induced" by hypnotist Prof. Dahl who coaxed Rachmaninoff into composing with the words: "You will begin to write your concerto. You will work with the greatest of ease. The concerto will be of excellent quality." Note, currently Prof. Dahl is not taking on any new patients.
Afa Dworkin — President and Artistic Director of the Sphynx Organization:
I am nominating the "Andante Cantabile" by Florence B Price from her A Minor String Quartet. This movement is at once full of loving lyricism and melancholy, like a love tale. It sings like a ballad, unafraid to offer some subtle dissonances juxtaposed with beautiful material influences by spirituals.
It takes the listener into a pensive place through the luscious harmonies of string instruments. Familiar and fresh, I hope this music offers something of a delight to many enjoying the holiday!
VC Artist Cellist Pablo Ferrandez:
That's such a difficult question! It’s very hard to choose one piece or even one composer! If I have to pick one, I would say Rachmaninoff. His music has always sound to me like the most passionate and romantic there is.
Since I just recorded my CD "Reflections," which is filled with his music, he is the composer I feel the closest with nowadays. One of the songs in the album, "Z’des Khoroso," which translates to "how fair this spot" belongs to a cycle of songs that he composed to finance his honeymoon. I guess you could call that a romantic piece!
VC Artist Violinist Sergey Malov:
I think Schubert is the most romantic one. More specifically. his Trio in E flat, so masterfully used by Stanley Kubrick in his "Barry Lindon."
Tanya Bannister — President of the Concert Artists Guild:
I love the final scenes from Strauss’ "Rosenkavalier" conducted by Carlos Kleiber. First of all, the music is sublime. Secondly, the idea of love, aging, and the changes that come to relationships with time ripe for heart-wrenching music. I find the last scenes with the Marschallin heartbreaking, as she releases the man she loves to a younger woman. Of course, it’s not that simple and there is still love and tenderness towards the older relationship. The music is so soulful, self-aware, yearning, and perfect for Valentine’s Day!