C minor gives me the chills. Real, hair-standing-on-end, spine-tingling chills. The glorious music written in this key plumbs the depths of emotion; the highs and the lows. Beethoven is well-known for his extensive output in this key, including 2 symphonies, 3 piano sonatas, a piano concerto and a handful of string quartets and trios. And, although the 5th symphony – with it’s iconic opening phrase – begins in C minor, it actually ends in C major, a turn toward optimism and joy. The weight and complexity of the C minor movements balanced, at the end of the work, by an extended cadence of C major chords. This week’s playlist does not include Beethoven’s 5th symphony, but it is easy to find if you want to listen. Another work in C minor that you might want to explore (if you’re brave) is Bruckner’s final orchestral work, the 8th Symphony, written in 1892. It is a massive exploration, as are the majority of Bruckner’s orchestral works, of wonderful yet challenging tonalities and rhythms. The ST#132 playlist features selections by Saint-Saens, Mozart, Purcell, Chopin, Mahler, and Bizet.
The CBC Signature Series in C minor includes a Sound Cloud recording of the original radio broadcast. ST#132 – C minor