I was listening to the radio yesterday as I was shifting furniture about and sorting books. In the background I could hear Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. It is nicknamed the Emperor Concerto and was the last piano concerto that Beethoven composed.

The second movement captured my attention and I had to take a moment to sit and let the music curl around me, exquisite and beautiful.

At the time it was written, Vienna was under siege and Beethoven noted the misery and mayhem that surrounded him. This only makes the intricate beauty of the work more astonishing.

There is an overview of the piece here, and a more detailed assessment along with links to the full performance here.

If I was to select a piece of music that always fill me with joy, I would choose Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. From the opening bars as the clarinet glissando sweeps up towards the stars, it is a delight. Across the years it remains one of my favourite pieces of music, full of dynamism, melodic thrills and shifting tempos. There is a review of the work here which includes a segment with George Gershwin himself playing the piano.

One of my relatively recent favourite pieces is also by Beethoven. It is the Overture to Egmont Opus 84, and I was lucky enough to see it played live by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra last year. It has become a piece of music that I turn to when I need something invigorating, and you can see their performance of it here. I love the triumphant finish – it gets me every time.

What music moves you?

Inspired by Discover Prompts – April writing prompts

[Photo: instruments waiting for the concert to being – Willoughby Symphony Orchestra]