Music – An Escape From This Crazy World By Walrus.


After listening to what passes for a Presidential Debate yesterday, as well as the overwhelming quantity of fake news, it is necessary to cleanse the mind of this rubbish and try and focus on what is important in life.

In my opinion, two pieces of music among many that have the capacity to promote calm reflection are

‘Brahms Symphony number 3, 3rd movement.  reasonable Youtube performance is here:

The second is the Adagietto from Mahlers 5th Symphony which always brings back memories of Venice to me and images of my father as an 89 year old on his last trip there before he died. I think he first went as a child in 1923. He adored that city and so do I.

The opening scene from Viscontis masterpiece “Death in Venice”, with Mahlers music, the steamer arriving at dawn across the lagoon. There is nothing to compare with arriving in Venice for the first time, by car, train or preferably by water. It is one of life’s ultimate beautiful assaults on all the senses.

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30 Responses to Music – An Escape From This Crazy World By Walrus.

  1. phodges says:


  2. TonyL says:

    Thank Walrus,
    Great music to get rid of the feeling of impending doom in my mind after watching the Presidential debate. Still cannot believe Trump openly shout out “Stand Back and Stand By” to the extremist hate group Proud Boys.

  3. EEngineer says:

    Spot on.

  4. Fred says:

    That’s a bit eurocentric. Here’s a few tunes to liven things up:
    This should get ya in a good ’70s movie music tune.
    Something cajun:
    And since Trump is moving NATO east here’s something for the Poles.

  5. fakebot says:

    Ah, the classics. That music is so far removed from today, belonging to an era of renaissance, romanticism, and enlightenment. Classical music has this way to fulfill me with a sense of triumph. No other music can do that. And these pieces you have picked out Walrus are very moving, and you’re anecdotes, touching. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Deap says:

    Thanks for the memories – lived hour and half by trains and many, many, many day trips and overnight to this wondrous city.
    Read a book once about an English woman who made it her goal to visit every single church in Venice. And so she did, and delved into the lore and the realities of life in Venice today.
    Stupidly I once said without a moment’s thought as the late afternoon ferry was going to the Lido, looking back at the sunset across the lagoon and the striations of darkening clouds .. I uttered … “hey look like Venetian blinds” …… (Well, duh?)

  7. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Thank you, and thanks for your excellent music choices, personalized by your remembrances.
    I should like to make a contribution, if I might. This is a great performance of Franz Schubert’s Symphony #5 by the redoubtable Staatskapelle Dresden under the direction of Wolfgang Sawallisch.
    As always, Maestro Sawallisch brings to this reading his impeccable sensibilities, and the orchestra shows why they earned and fully deserved their reputation as one of Europe’s greatest.that Dresden suffered a horrific firebombing during WWII, but its citizens only a few years after this were still in possession of a spirit – far from broken – but rather still great enough to support such great art should be a lesson to us all in our nation’s time of trial. We, too, are bearers of a great legacy, and we must not let our hearts fail us at this juncture.
    Many years back, while a student at Haverford College and in the company of a fellow musician from Bryn Mawr College, I heard this symphony performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra directed by the Hungarian maestro, Istvan Kertesz. Our seats were right under the podium, but sufficiently to the side to closely observe his face as he guided the orchestra, so full of intelligence and love for the work it was, that it has remained a living memory.
    Enjoy, and be inspirited by this amazing work, yet another example of the power and depth of the Western Canon.

  8. Johnb says:

    Bless you Walrus, a just perfect antidote to Awfulness.

  9. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Okay, friends, one more for you. This is a live performance at the London Proms from 2010 of the awe inspiring work from 1610 by the great master, Claudio Monteverdi, his Vespro della Beata Vergine, the Vespers of the Blessed Virgin. The work is conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, with his English Baroque Soloists, accompanied by an orchestra of period instruments, and with a youth choir. Besides being an astonishing tour de force as a composition, it is a great devotional work from the time of the Catholic Counterreformation.
    It is an extended work, so be forewarned; but if you are anything like me, you will be drawn into listening to the entire sweep of the work with its moments of magnificance as well as its moments of intimacy, in one go. Surrender, it has happened to me more than one time. It is a major masterwork, perhaps less familiar to most concertgoers due to its performance forces, as well as owing to its profoundly religious character, but I highly commend it to you.
    I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear a superb performance of this work – fabulous vocal soloists, great choir, and if anything a better, more fully appointed orchestra – in its entirety in Philadelphia a few years ago, perhaps one of the most riveting concert experiences in my life, and that’s saying something.

  10. Deap says:

    Richard Strauss – Four Last Songs – Elizabeth Schwarzkof – transcendent and timely right now – delicate reminder, there are seasons of one’s life.

  11. Bill H says:

    I would never have thought that I would be so enchanted with the sound of an electric violin, but Jo A Ram sold me with The Sound of Silence.

  12. English Outsider says:

    Thanks Walrus. Great stuff!
    And to your commenters, coming along with their finds that send me all over the place. Last time they sent me off into Bluegrass, I think my favourite genre – that ended up somehow looking at the Whiskey rebellion and realising again how behind that very simple monochromatic term “The States” there was and is such a teeming variety of traditions.
    May I also pitch in? As someone who can just about manage – on a good day and with the wind behind me – to limp through my favourites in the 48 I was just dazzled by this display of virtuosity allied to straight musicianship –
    One forgets that behind the awesome technique of the nineteenth century virtuosi, the Lizts and the Tausigs, there was a lot of showmanship in the mix – the audiences were as star-struck by these larger than life personalities as any teenager at a modern big occasion pop concert. Khatia Buniatishvili certainly doesn’t miss out on that!
    But a truly consummate musician, here also showing what can be made of a concerto that if it’s not handled right can come across as something of a mish-mash. Not
    with this performer and this conductor. They nail it from start to finish –

  13. Keith Harbaugh says:

    That is orchestral music from the 19C and 20C;
    here is some vocal 17C and 18C music:
    A thrilling five minute anthem (for a royal wedding), featuring a remarkable tenor solo, by Handel:
    by Monteverdi:
    by Schutz:
    Handel’s Chandos anthems:
    Finally, a sung and splendidly danced performance of “Scotland the Brave”:

  14. English Outsider says:

    Hell, Walrus. Liszt.

  15. chris moffatt says:

    Can anyone pile n? If so I offer this:
    The adagio from K622 played as it should be on a basset clarinet which has the proper range to play this as originally written. The epitome of classical music.

  16. A.I.S. says:

    @ Fred,
    if you like Sabaton, you probably like their Russian covers as well. Sabaton certainly did, and featured teh cover Singer in the live performances in Moscow and St. petes.

  17. akaPatience says:

    OMG Walrus, The 3rd movement of Brahm’s Symphony No. 3 has been going through my head this past week for some unknown reason. Now I wonder if we may have shared a telepathic experience!

  18. Deap says:

    Reading good journalism is another escape from this crazy world.
    NY Sun exposes why NYT knew so much about DJT’s taxes. Because the NYT and owning Sulzburger family uses exactly the same “tax avoidance incentive” techniques. Point, by well-researched point:

  19. Dan says:

    Too much classical emphasis….there is a lot of beauty out there.
    From Pat metheny, master of any American style of music, who can create the most subtly unique atmospheres, like the feeling of a note from one friend to another

  20. Deap says:

    If we are down to popular songs for some feel good quickies during our Time of Covid, this is the one that gets me , mainly because a certain cruise line plays this every time they lift anchor at sunset and then sail off to new horizons. Chills. Louis Armstrong – It’s a Wonderful World … Then we dress for dinner. Old school.

  21. scott s. says:

    Bill H
    I have always enjoyed Jo a Ram’s take on traditional 트로트 (trot) songs.

  22. blue peacock says:

    Straight from Appalachia – some Deplorable music

  23. chris moffatt says:

    Mark: Lacrimosa would have been my second choice but I had to go with K622. I’m coming to have a new appreciation for Mozart’s choral works esp. Mass in C min. On a different note in a different style I find it hard to beat Chet Baker’s “Lament”

  24. English Outsider says:

    Blue Peacock – thanks. That sent me back to the early Library of Congress recordings – then on to this, early(ish) recordings of the Louisville Jug Bands.
    From around 57 minutes some amazing fiddle playing.

  25. Keith Harbaugh says:

    For those not familiar with 17C music, it is hard to imagine a better introduction than the 8-minute piece starting here (Monteverdi’s Beatus vir):

  26. different clue says:

    Here is a Balinese Gamelan orchestra performing. The music seems new and original to me, not ancient and ritual. Music for the fun of doing it. ( I could be wrong about that).
    Granted, it is not Western. But it is still music. And it is a very inspiring video of happy musicians happy in their work, as well as being very highly polished and crafted and full of musicianship.

  27. rjj says:

    another uplifting tonic expression of the human spirit. I binge on these when I feel a case of The Stares setting in. Works every time.

  28. Keith Harbaugh says:

    This is actually addressed to Col. Lang, but posted here for future reference.
    Col., “moderating” this blog must often be a dreary and soul-sapping experience.
    I know I don’t/wouldn’t have the patience and internal fortitude for such.
    But I recently came across some music that, while somewhat off the beaten track, is quite uplifting, for me at least, and might provide some relaxation:
    Biber’s Missa Salisburgensis:
    Several other versions of it are in this playlist of works by Biber:
    Another 17C composer is also worthy of attention, Purcell:
    Hope you and some readers get some enjoyment out of that music 🙂

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