James Rhodes: 25 Songs I Love

Classical pianist and TV person gives us a distinctly classical selection with a couple curve balls for good measure.
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1.Symphony No. 7 –  Bruckner

Greatest symphony I’ve ever heard. 70 minutes of utter magic.

2. Emperor Piano Concerto –   Beethoven

Bombastic, revolutionary, shatteringly virtuosic. The whole package.

3. Goldberg Variations – Bach

Life-changing for all the right reasons.

4.The Luckiest – Ben Folds

I cannot listen to this without crying.

5. Under Pressure- Queen/David Bowie

Nothing more to say.

6. Symphony No. 7 –  Beethoven

LVB at his most creative and original.

7. Etudes -Chopin

These revolutionised piano playing forever. Still some of the hardest pieces ever written.

8.Piano concerto no. 3 –   Rachmaninov

Watch Shine and you’ll see why this made the list.

9.Chaconne - Bach/Busoni

The first piece of music I was obsessed by – Bach wrote this as a musical cathedral to honour his dead wife.

10.Piano Concerto No. 2 – Brahms

The perfect concerto in ever way.

11.Piano Trio no. 2 in E flat – Schubert

Such a joy to listen to. Genius melody after genius melody unfolds.

12.Breezeblocks – Alt-J

Stellar song. Lazy, brilliant voice.


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13. Cologne-Ben Folds

Symphonic pop music at its best.

14. All U Can Eat – Ben Folds

Worth it just for the lyrics. The blinding tune is an added bonus.

15.Symphony No. 5 – Shostakovich

His subtle act of rebellion against the Russian government.  Scary and over whelming music.

16. Piano Concerto in B minor – Hummel

First cassette I ever bought. A brilliant intro into Romantic piano music.

17.Jupiter Symphony – Mozart

His last symphony and such a powerful piece of music. He ends it with a staggering 5 part fugue for the whole orchestra that makes me squeal a little bit.

18. Piano Sonata in B flat D960 – Schubert

His last piano sonata and the culmination of one of the saddest (and shortest) lives ever lived.

19.Piano Sonata in A D959 – Schubert

His penultimate sonata and in the slow movement he loses his shit completely.

20.Ghost Variations  -Schumann

Written a day before his suicide attempt. He said the angels dictated it to him. Music doesn’t get more private than this.

21.Double Concerto – Mendelssohn

Concerto for 2 pianos written when he was a teenager. Precocious bastard. Thrilling and genius and brilliant.

22.Piano Concerto No. 2 – Saint-Saens

Excellent piece from the guy who wrote Carnival of the Animals.  Some electrifying moments.

23. Requiem – Mozart

Intense, striking,  heartbreaking, written on his deathbed.

24.Piano Sonata No. 32 op111 – Beethoven

His last sonata and the very pinnacle of his piano compositions. He somehow makes time stand still and draws us into his (fucked up) interior world.

25.Piano Concerto in G – Ravel

Mainly for the slow second movement – the most perfectly beautiful piece of music ever written. If the world was ending and we had 10 minutes left, this is what I'd listen to.