Category Archives: my favorite music

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 1 in G minor (Winter Reveries)









Here’s a great performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 in G minor, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

The title of the symphony in Russian, Зимние грёзы (Zimniye gryozy), is usually rendered in English as “Winter Dreams.” This is not accurate. The Russian word for dreams is мечты (mechty). The noun грёза (groza) means a daydream or reverie.

Tchaikovsky’s last three symphonies are listened to much more often. They are all works of great emotional power and consummate mastery. But the originality and beauty of the first symphony are notable. The four movements are as follows:

1. Dreams of a Winter Journey – Allegro tranquillo

2. Land of Desolation, Land of Mists – Adagio cantabile ma non tanto

3. Scherzo – Allegro scherzando giocoso

4. Finale – Andante lugubre – Allegro maestoso

It is perhaps not a good idea to do so, but I would single out the first two movements as favorites of mine, and especially the haunting, elegiac second movement.

The Symphony No. 1 was composed in 1866 and first performed in 1868.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

  October 2020

Monteverdi, “Deposuit potentes” (He has put down the mighty)





From Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 — in a live performance (which I attended last winter) by Tenet Vocal Artists. A marvelous performance.

Music to uplift us. Monteverdi: pathos, beauty, intense spirituality.




posted by Roger W. Smith

   September 2020


Schubert, “Et incarnatus est”






I have been trying to occasionally post music that I find especially appropriate for these trying times. Posted above is the “Et incarnatus est” from Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.



— Roger W. Smith

   August 2020



Addendum: This music needs no comment. But, I can’t resist saying that it is very Schubertian — or, to put it another way, only Schubert could have written such a piece: sacred in this case, but stamped with the intense feeling and warmth of his impromptus, say,  and other piano pieces.


more consolatory music




Mozart, Ave verum corpus (Hail, true body), K. 618, a motet in D major, composed in 1791.

Posted here as befitting the times; and in loving memory of my father, Alan Wright Smith, a church organist, who had a particular affection for this piece.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   May 2020







Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.



Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
having truly suffered, sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
from whose pierced side
water and blood flowed:
Be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death!

I hope this music brings peace.




Anne Sofie Von Otter

“Like an Angel Passing Though My Room”







The sadness I often feel now — today and many other days — is palpable, physically.
For many reasons. Including the obvious ones, meaning what we are all going through.

Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

more music for this time (May 2020)






Philip Glass, String Quartet No. 4 (“Buczak”)

last movement


For more about this quartet, see my previous post at

— posted by Roger W. Smith

Pergolisi,”Stabat Mater Dolorosa”






Pergolesi, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”



the first movement from by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater



I have been seeking music that is right for this moment; that consoles and comforts, that is not too “energetic” for this time and yet that is artistically exquisite and deeply felt



posted by Roger W. Smith

    April 2020


more consolatory music







Consummatum est!


from The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross




— posted by Roger W. Smith

   April 2020