Last night, I stayed in with a bottle of wine and whilst my partner worked on a presentation, I had myself a little musical journey via the wonders of Youtube. I thought I’d share my little aural odyssey in case you’d like to try the ride for yourself, so here’s some edited highlights. Might suit a Sunday afternoon quite well as it happens.

I started with one of my favourite artists around at the moment, the downtempo electronica specialist, Jon Hopkins:

From there to another favourite, also on the excellent Just Music label – Digitonal:

Had a little play then with some other electronica, kinda enjoyed Future Loop Foundation, tho they didn’t quite rock my socks to the level of the previous two:

And then, I felt it was time to progress deeper, into the earliest history of electronic music (1937) with this ethereally beautiful piece from Olivier Messaien, employing a very early synthesizer, the Ondes Martenot:

Thence, to the quite simply stunning movement “Louange à l’éternité de Jésus” from Messaien’s “Quartet for the End of Time”. If you dont know this, prepare to be mind blown:

Hard to know where to go from there, but Im a life long Beethoven fan, pretty familar with the syphonies and concertos, but not yet with the chamber music. Which is a shame, cos the string quartets, particularly the late ones, are said to be his very finest work. Here, I tried out the C# minor quartet. Here’s the first movement which begins with a theme described by Richard Wagner as “the most melancholy sentiment ever expressed in music”.

If you enjoyed that and want to hear the rest of the quartet which was a favourite of Beethovens and lead Schubert to remark on hearing it “”After this, what is left for us to write?” then this link will do you.


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