Nicholas finds solace in chamber music, order in the chaos from Bach, an all-encompassing perspective in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and Imogen Heap’s beautiful Hide and Seek ‘sums up our global situation; ‘Where are we? What the hell is going on?’
Listen to the playlist via Spotify below and read on for more detailed descriptions of the music from Nicholas.
1. Holst Nunc Dimittis
Having been brought up in the world of English choral music, there are hundreds of stunning pieces that make me reminisce for the beauty of making music with other singers. This is just one.
2. The Beatles
I mean everything about the Beatles, because this is the perfect time to force-feed my two boys, aged 7 and 4, songs from the greatest of British bands. We started with Hey Jude, making a lyrics book, watching the 1968 study recording, and from there onto some of my favourites; ‘Across the Universe,’ ‘Fool on the Hill.’ If I haven’t instilled a love of the Beatles in them by the time this lockdown finishes, I will have failed.
3. Anna Meredith
I’m loving her new album ‘Fibs’. Check out ’Nautilus’.
4. Schumann Piano Quartet
Chamber music is my number one solace – I’ll turn to late Fauré and Schumann as readily as anything else.
5. Mahler’s 9th Symphony
I’m conducting this for the first time next year, if this lockdown finishes, and there is something about this symphony that is so much more vast, more all-encompassing than humanity itself, that it gives a good perspective on the current impending doom of our civilisation
6. Bach / Goldberg Variations
Throughout my life, at times of stress or difficulty, there is one work I turn to; the Goldbergs, usually played by Rosalyn Tureck. In a world of chaos, the structure, and order, yet variety, makes sense of our existence. Also loving Igor Levit’s new recording…
7. Beethoven Op 132 string quartet
Poor Ludwig. His birthday celebrations have been completely ruined, so let’s raise him a glass. Can there be any piece which provides more solace than the wide open spaces of his A minor string quartet ‘Heiliger Dankgesang’, especially the Molto Adagio.
8. Lindberg Violin Concerto
What a great time to get to know music which is previously unknown to me. I’m loving Pekka Kuusisto’s recording of this fantastic concerto.
9. Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
The first line of this beautiful song sums up our global situation; ‘Where are we? What the hell is going on?’ !
10. Jacob Collier
Just loving all his most recent album Djesse Vol. 2. How thrilling to watch a genius like this create his music.
11. Thomas Adès
Another genius, and his piece Tevot, which is extraordinary. With an eye on conducting it one day soon…..