The coronavirus pandemic has really shown music’s ability to bring us together and provide comfort in difficult times: whether it’s through singing on balconies during lockdown to entertain our neighbours, professional musicians performing online to bolster spirits, or providing the soundtrack to keep us moving at home.
When ABC Classic asked listeners to recommend the music that gives them an instant mood boost, the response was almost overwhelming, with hundreds of different suggestions. For this CD album, we’ve gathered together some of the pieces that featured on many people’s lists - Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, the triumphant finale from Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony, the calming simplicity of Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel, the transcendent beauty of Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe, Nigel Westlake’s delightful Penguin Ballet, the joyous energy of Bach and Handel and the irrepressible good humour of Mozart and Mendelssohn.
There are old favourites and new discoveries; gentle, soothing music and cheerful, upbeat dance numbers. Music that stops us in our tracks with its beauty and music that gets our toes tapping. Music that shines through tears and music that bubbles up with joy.
ACO Collective, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australia Ensemble, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Brandenburg Choir, Ensemble Offspring, Opera Queensland Chorus, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Australis, Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Anna McDonald (violin), Barbara Jane Gilby (violin), Caroline Almonte (piano), Catherine Strutt (piano), Chris Duncan (fiddle), Diana Doherty (oboe), Dimity Hall (violin), Helen Rathbone (violin & director), Ian Munro (piano), Isobel Buchanan (soprano), John Pringle (baritone), Julian Thompson (cello), Lin Jiang (horn), Lu Siqing (violin), Mel Waters (organ), Richard Tognetti (violin & director), Sally Maer (cello), Sally Walker (flute), Sally Whitwell (piano), Timothy Kain (guitar), Anthony Walker (conductor), Barry Tuckwell (conductor), Benjamin Northey (conductor), David Porcelijn (conductor), David Stanhope (conductor), Graham Abbott (conductor), Johannes Fritzsch (conductor), Mark Summerbell (conductor), Patrick Thomas (conductor), Paul Dyer (conductor), Richard Bonynge (conductor), Richard Mills (conductor), Sebastian Lang-Lessing (conductor)