Five music albums to listen to in the morning

What is your morning music playlist?

Most mornings — nearly a decade ago — I opened the office and started the work day to music of the following five albums.

There is something refreshing about arriving at the workplace before everyone else. Unlocking the front door. Turning on the lights. Brewing the first pot of coffee. Reviewing the notes from the previous day. Checking voicemail. Planning for the day and week ahead.

Sometimes an album played quietly from the desktop computer speakers. Sometimes from earphones attached to an iPhone. Sometimes I listened to more Brahms than Vivaldi. Sometimes I added Grieg or Beethoven to the mix. Sometimes I listened to various recordings from different artists of the same sonata.

When I took the job as a creative director it was a new start. I approached the career with intent and vigor. The Latin word gravis comes to mind. I was serious about my work and future. The following albums became the soundtrack of that time and place.

When I listen to these music albums now it is a reminder and — if this can be said of music — a friend.


Brouwer: El Decameron Negro and Other Guitar Works performed by Alvaro Pierri


Brahms: Piano Trios Nos. 1-4 by Eskar Trio


Aniello Desiderio, Quartetto Furioso ‎– Vivaldi 4 and 4 Piazzolla Seasons


Federico Moreno Torroba by Ana Vidović


Dvorak: Quartet Op. 106, 6 Cypresses, 2 Waltzes by Cecilia String Quartet

One of the three B’s?

ShostakovichThis morning, kidlinger walks up to my desk while I work, looks at the laptop screen critically and asks: “What’s that?”

Me: “I’m listening to Shostakovich.[1]

Kidlinger: “He’s not one of the three killer B’s.[2]

Me: “True. Would you prefer to listen to Bach, Beethoven, or Brahms?”

Kidlinger: “I don’t know.”

Me: “How about some Bach… violin sonata in G minor? Something to encourage you to practice your violin.”

Kidlinger: “Yeah, that sounds good.”

NOTES:
[1] Here’s a brief bio on Shostakovich: http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/shostakovich.php
[2] This is not a reference to the 1991 release of Anthrax’s B-sides collection Attack of the Killer B’s. But it is a reference to the three greatest classic music composers, commonly knowns as the Three B’s, Bach, Beethoven, or Brahms. Here’s a link to recent relesases of the Three B’s from NPR’s “Music We Love Now: New Albums Of Bach, Beethoven And Brahms”: http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/03/18/174659127/music-we-love-now-the-3-bs-on-cd