If this were one of the notorious clickbait websites, the title of the article would be “Five Musical Passages That Will Give You an Orgasm!”
But I have an elemental aversion to clickbait, so I’ll just share a few musical pieces with you that are guaranteed to give me gooseflesh. No matter how many times I listen to them.
In passing, those chills you get when listening to whatever piece of music gives you a rush come from a release of dopamine, the same pleasure chemical responsible for the joys of food, sex, and other more substantive things.
Note: These are not listed in any particular order – all of them can be my favorite at any given moment.
1) Allegri’s Miserere
Wait for the high “C.” Something like having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick, if that sounds familiar and you can relate.
2) Liszt: Les Préludes
The part that makes me weep begins at 14:02, but the whole piece is like Sara Lee’s All-Butter Frozen Brownies to my soul.
3) Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale)
This is the piece that was responsible for my first “music-gasm,” as it were, at a very young age – and Walt Disney is responsible. His use of this piece in the masterpiece Fantasia captivated me like nothing else had in my short 8 years.
The bit that always grabs me begins at 3:00 in the above clip, but the entire symphony is breathtaking. I know my parents listened to a lot of classical and broadway music when I was a baby, but this piece is the one that cemented my life-long love of classical music, and particularly that of Beethoven.
4) Barber: Adagio for Strings
Just this whole piece. If ever I feel like calling up melancholy anguish for the sorrows of the world, this is my go-to piece.
5) Beethoven’s Sonata 21 in C Major, Op. 53 (Waldstein)
Again, der Allermeister. Listen to Claudio Arrau knock my socks off, starting at 22:35, and then go back and listen to the entire masterpiece.
it goes without saying that there are many, many others – but these are some of the ones that come back to over and over again.
These are my favorites; go hunting, and find some pieces that move you in the same way.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
I’m listening to these passages, and they’re spectacular. Thanks!
But “dopamine, the same pleasure chemical responsible for the joys of food, sex, and other more substantive things”—really? What is more substantive than food? Can’t live without that. Not for long, anyway. (Sex, now, that’s different.)
Wonderful. Not sure I had a dopamine experience, but thoroughly enjoyed all the pieces.