What work would you pick to be played on your own funeral?

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mourningstar
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What work would you pick to be played on your own funeral?

Post by mourningstar » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:28 pm

What Classical piece would you pick to be played on your own funeral?

Let me start first: Franz liszt - Liebestraum (or maybe bach goldberg varations :? )
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:02 pm

Without intending to offend anyone, I do not see the point in having a secular funeral with secular music. Also, one must point out the obvious, that one is not going to be there to appreciate the event.

Nevertheless, I was a church organist for many years, and if I had been at an important church where I was owed a great funeral, I would have a Renaissance requiem, Victoria preferably, along with his incomparable motet Versa est in luctum, which may be translated as follows:

My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of those who weep. Help me, O God, my God, for little are my days.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by RebLem » Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:24 pm

Not a classical piece. I've told my family I want them to play a recording of Billie Holliday singing Please don't talk about me when I'm gone.
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Post by Febnyc » Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:51 pm

The fact that one is not there to "appreciate the event" has no bearing on the premise of the thread - an interesting one at that, for even Papa Haydn designated music for his funeral.

I would choose the last 5 minutes or so - from where the hushed chorus enters - of Mahler's Second Symphony.

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Post by Lilith » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:46 pm

2nd Movement Barber Symphony #1

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:13 pm

No one these days (at least amongst my kith and kin) is going to appreciate a full Requiem Mass, even Fricsay conducting Verdi, and to be honest it would seem a little contrived, if not overblown, to my taste and in my memory. But if my brother is still above ground, the funeral march from Chopin's piano sonata would be a must for personal, childish reasons.

Apart from that, I'd go for a smile or two. Somehow I think Derek & Clive's Cancer sketch would distress rather than amuse (as would Highway to Hell by AC/DC, Up Jumped the Devil by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and countless other such tunes), so I'd need a second list for the Wake.

These should be OK for the service:

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python
Those Were the Days by Mary Hopkin
Song for Guy by Elton John

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Post by Werner » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:20 pm

Well, here is a point at which I'll be presumptious (I won't have to listen to any complaints!)

Before I quit playing the piano some forty years ago, I decided to leave an LP of some things I liked. Included was the Schubert A Major Sonata, D. 664, and I thought the second movement came out quite well.
Since two friends - the pianist Andrew Wilde and CMG's own Lance Hill - transferred the LP to a CD (Andrew) and made it into a beautifully produced CD jewel case (Lance) -two favors I can't forget - I feel I can't do better than sign off with two pages of Schubert.

But not yet.
Werner Isler

Gary
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Post by Gary » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:46 pm

I'd pick the Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and/or Lament of Phrygia & Requiem from Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:53 pm

"Happy Days Are Here Again."
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Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:11 pm

Berlioz' Witches' Sabbath mvt from Symphonie fantastique performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra & conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

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Post by paulb » Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:03 pm

What a lovely topic. I've posted on this question at laest twice on other forums, as many of us have.
I mentioned both times a selection of Rachmaninov's Vespers would be nice at my funeral. Not the entire Vespers of course, as I would not wish to take up anyones day. The shorter would be the better the ceremony.
But now that I'm still around, guess i still can change my answer, yes?
Then maybe a selection from one of Schnittke's 2 choral works. Choir Concerto or his Requiem. Which selection not sure as yet. But should make a decision, and will mention to my wife which selection tomorrow.
Man is she going to freak, she is superstitious on things like that. "oh don't talk death, are you crazy?"...Funny gal.
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Post by Auntie Lynn » Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:25 pm

An die Musik...

Maybe the Adagietto from Beethoven Sonata #111...

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Post by Allen » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:12 pm

Beethoven

Symphony No 7

Allegretto movement

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Post by Donald Isler » Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:35 pm

My recording of Abschied (Parting) from Schumann's Waldscenen. Appropriate for the occasion, and I think one of the best things I've done. But I'm not in any rush!
Donald Isler

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:40 pm

Brendan wrote:No one these days (at least amongst my kith and kin) is going to appreciate a full Requiem Mass,
I wasn't talking about a concert performance, and you of all people should have realized that. I would not expect a Catholic burial after my years of apostasy, but there is not much point (to me at least, obviously not to others here) in having any exsequies that are not religious in nature. The Victoria Requiem is no more than a setting of that service designed for service use, unlike the concert versions of later eras. It does not, thankfully, even include the Dies Irae, which I would not want at my funeral. Parts that are missing could be filled in by the Gregorian setting, which I also love. Of course all this would take place in a worthy church setting, perhaps St. Ignatius in New York, where the organist would play as a postlude Bach's "Schmuecke dich, O liebe Seele." :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:00 am

I was not talking to or about anyone but myself and my friends and family (many Catholic) - and my (controlled) impulse for a complete Requiem Mass was in no way a reference to anything anyone else wrote.

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:09 am

Brendan wrote:I was not talking to or about anyone but myself and my friends and family (many Catholic) - and my (controlled) impulse for a complete Requiem Mass was in no way a reference to anything anyone else wrote.
I knew that. I was just giving you a genlte kid in the ribs. :)

This subject is more characteristic of the Good Mucus Guide, where it would actually be typical for someone to say he wanted the Verdi Requiem at his funeral. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:23 am

I wish I did live in a culture in which the Verdi would be considered an appropriate choice that doesn't impose on the attention of the mourners. I always listen to a Requiem at the death of kith or kin (and couldn't get the Dies Irae from Mozart's out of my head on and after 9/11). Playing Requiem by Killing Joke just doesn't have the same dignity.

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Post by jack stowaway » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:37 am

"I'll Be Seeing You"

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Post by val » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:47 am

I would chose from Brahms "Ein deutsches Requiem", the 2nd movement, "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras".

PJME
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Ashes to ashes...

Post by PJME » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:47 am

I may save a little money ,so that my family and friends can hire a good organist and ,if possible, a good choir ( a few voices will do) - I won't come back from the hereafter if they use CD's...

A few works by Zoltan Kodaly : Esti dal, Veni Veni Emmanuel...
Anything by Bach they can master and or sing reasonably well
Jehan Alain's "Litanies" for organ
I mentioned before G.F.Telemann's Trauer Actus and the wonderfull chorus :
Schlaft Wohl, Ihr Seligen Gebeine
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Post by Ricordanza » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:36 am

My uncle Allan actually got his wish in this regard. At the funeral for his wife, about four years ago, a violinist from the community orchestra he belonged to played that old chestnut, the Meditation from Massenet's Thais (sp?). Uncle Allan thanked her and said, with his characteristic humor, "I'm booking you now for my funeral." For a variety of reasons, he didn't have a traditional funeral, but that piece was played, in fact, at the memorial meeting for my uncle on June 11. However, the player was his granddaughter, Ilana Goldstein, concertmaster of the Rhode Island Youth Symphony. Her expressive playing brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience.

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Post by val » Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:35 am

If someone played the solo for violin from Thais in my funeral, I would haunt as a ghost the violinist ad secula seculorum!

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:13 am

Either the 'Bless the Lord, O my soul' or the 'Ave Maria' from Rachmaninov's All-night Vigil. If you want to hear/see how effective the first of these two choices can be at a funeral, watch the film 'Inside I'm Dancing' all the way to the end. If it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you're already dead, so it's too late a pick a piece for your own funeral. :lol:
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:24 am

Mark Antony Owen wrote:Either the 'Bless the Lord, O my soul' or the 'Ave Maria' from Rachmaninov's All-night Vigil.
I'm going to teach the St Paul's choir to sing the Ave Maria in Church Slavonic this evening, Mark.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Mark Antony Owen
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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:28 am

karlhenning wrote:
Mark Antony Owen wrote:Either the 'Bless the Lord, O my soul' or the 'Ave Maria' from Rachmaninov's All-night Vigil.
I'm going to teach the St Paul's choir to sing the Ave Maria in Church Slavonic this evening, Mark.

Cheers,
~Karl
Best of luck, sir. If I could only ever hear one complete work for the rest of all time, Rach's 'All-night ... ' would be my choice.
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:35 am

karlhenning wrote:
Mark Antony Owen wrote:Either the 'Bless the Lord, O my soul' or the 'Ave Maria' from Rachmaninov's All-night Vigil.
I'm going to teach the St Paul's choir to sing the Ave Maria in Church Slavonic this evening, Mark.

Cheers,
~Karl
Making us probably the only two people here who have been with a choir directed by someone who knew the correct pronunciation (in my case, the choirmaster was a Russian translator for the NSA).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by RebLem » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:52 am

A bit ago, I said Billie Holliday singing Please don't talk about me when I'm gone.

I still want that, but only after they play Randy Newman's One More Hour from Ragtime.
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Post by Ralph » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:23 am

Well, of course I DO expect that music by Dittersdorf will be played or performed.
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Post by dirkronk » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:06 am

I plan to be cremated and have NO plans for a funeral ceremony as such. If my wife survives me, I'll probably suggest that a recording of the Om Namah Shivaya mantra be used as a sort of soundtrack for the spreading of ashes--either in Darbari Raga style (my current fave) or Bhupali style. If friends decide to hold a gathering anyway, then an ecstatic chant would be more appropriate (and a lot more fun for the participants). If I'm to have a vibratory send-off, that'll suit me fine.

:wink:

Dirk

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:11 am

dirkronk wrote:I plan to be cremated and have NO plans for a funeral ceremony as such. If my wife survives me, I'll probably suggest that a recording of the Om Namah Shivaya mantra be used as a sort of soundtrack for the spreading of ashes--either in Darbari Raga style (my current fave) or Bhupali style. If friends decide to hold a gathering anyway, then an ecstatic chant would be more appropriate (and a lot more fun for the participants). If I'm to have a vibratory send-off, that'll suit me fine.

:wink:

Dirk
Cremation here, too. And if someone decides they'd like to erect a plaque or somesuch in my memory, the words in my signature will suffice.
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:28 am

Mark Antony Owen wrote:And if someone decides they'd like to erect a plaque or somesuch in my memory, the words in my signature will suffice.
Formerly known as 'shadowritten'? . . .

:-)
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Mark Antony Owen
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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:38 am

karlhenning wrote:
Mark Antony Owen wrote:And if someone decides they'd like to erect a plaque or somesuch in my memory, the words in my signature will suffice.
Formerly known as 'shadowritten'? . . .

:-)
Very funny. :roll: :wink:
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by lmpower » Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:58 am

The Faure requiem would be a soothing and consoling accompaniment to my final departure.

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:02 pm

lmpower wrote:The Faure requiem would be a soothing and consoling accompaniment to my final departure.
Good choice. If there were no Russian basses available for my funeral, I'd go with the Faure, too.
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by mourningstar » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:25 pm

I probably would warm up the place with "Voi che sapate" .. and then my own pick would start (liebestraum)
"Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."

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Post by Richard Mullany » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:58 pm

The slow movement from the Quintet by Schubert.

Gregory Kleyn

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:06 pm

Not sure about my own funeral, but when my father passed away some years ago I engaged a cellist friend with the local symphony to play Faure's "Elegie" at the gravesite. Some days later at the memorial service (per his request) was sung the fifth movement from Brahms' Requiem (for solo soprano), following which at a smaller gathering of family and close friends we played Strauss' "Four Last Songs" with Gundala Janowitz in his favorite recording. Nice.

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Post by Werner » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:31 pm

This strikes me as beautifully and thoughtfully done. Those Four Last Songs are certainly appropriate.
Werner Isler

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Post by miranda » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:01 pm

I also want to be cremated, and have my ashes scattered off the Oregon coast into the Pacific. The sound of the ocean waves will provide the music.

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Post by Gary » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:22 pm

Miranda's Water Music :)
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Post by miranda » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:25 pm

Yep.

:P

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Post by dirkronk » Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:12 pm

Gregory Kleyn wrote:Not sure about my own funeral, but when my father passed away some years ago I engaged a cellist friend with the local symphony to play Faure's "Elegie" at the gravesite. Some days later at the memorial service (per his request) was sung the fifth movement from Brahms' Requiem (for solo soprano), following which at a smaller gathering of family and close friends we played Strauss' "Four Last Songs" with Gundala Janowitz in his favorite recording. Nice.
Nice selections. When my dad died a couple of years ago, I carefully searched his records for a version of the Lord's Prayer set to music and sung in English--he'd told me he wanted this played at his funeral. Found it no problem (Gordon MacRae or some such singer), but he had it only on LP and the funeral home had no turntable, no way to transfer it, and didn't have their own copy on tape or CD. No other version in their library either. Local CD stores...also no go. Then I found a version on cassette tape at dad's house: a cousin in Holland is in some choral society and she had sent him a tape of a concert they did. In this case the Lord's Prayer was in Dutch, but I figured it was better than going without entirely, especially since that had been his only musical request. As it turned out, the person from the funeral home who was supposed to turn on the cassette player (I had already cued it up precisely myself) managed to hit rewind instead of play and had to search for the selection as mourners endured tape squeal and fast-forward sounds. Not exactly a flawless performance. Hope dad at least got a kick out of that. At least once the proper tape position was found, the singing on the tape wasn't half bad. OTOH, the whole experience rather reinforced the feeling that formal funeral proceedings just aren't my own cup of tea.
:roll:

Dirk

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:05 pm

Further to my earlier Rachmaninov choices, I'd like the assembled to leave after a rousing version of Saint-Saens 'Organ' Symphony. Take it from the section in the third movement, where the excitement rises as the opening of the fourth movement is hinted at ... that steadily rising music that has tingles running up and down my spine. Then, once the organ kicks in, don't be surprised if I'm actually raised from the dead.

What a way to go.
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

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Post by paulb » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:10 pm

If ye guys play anything Beethoven at my funeral I'll haunt you.
Scared?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:49 pm

Peggy Lee's Is that all there is?
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Post by Steeltemplar » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:33 pm

If I could (I doubt I'd have the money) I would want to have Mozart's Requiem in D performed. One of my very favorite works to begin with, I should love to be ushered off from the mortal realm with such a beautiful mass.

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Post by dirkronk » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:44 pm

paulb wrote:If ye guys play anything Beethoven at my funeral I'll haunt you.
Scared?
OK, so if someone can bring a portable turntable, I'm pretty sure I can find a scratchy old copy of Wellington's Victory. Turned up to distortion level, this could be pretty much paul's all-around "descent into hell" music...even if he's headed in the other direction.

:lol:

Devious Dirk

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Post by lmpower » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:31 am

If one decided on a popular song for a funeral, how about Edith Piaf singing "Non je ne regrette rien." I was surprised to hear it burst forth from the screen during a children's animated film called "Valiant." Piaf is my favorite popular singer and this song is her greatest.

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Post by lmpower » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:37 am

I agree Strauss' four last songs are a good choice for checking out of this world. Equally appropriate would be Brahms' four serious songs, especially the third. It has always struck me as one of the most marvellous songs ever written and the best one by Brahms. The composer makes a wonderful transition from the bitterness of death in youth to acceptability in old age. At the very end he embraces death like a lover.

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