Music: Chilling passages

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.