What does iTunes Shuffle reveal about your collection?
We've been having fun at Gramophone compiling Top 10 lists for our new mini-guides feature. But here's a slightly different and completely personal approach, which I hope some of you may choose to join in with. The concept is simple: you just open up iTunes, press shuffle, and see what the first ten recordings to emerge are.
So, here goes. And first out is...
1. Salve Regina – Eia Ergo, Advocata Nostra
Handel Carmelite Vespers
Taverner Consort & Players / Andrew Parrott
(Virgin Classics) Amazon
Andrew Parrott's wonderful performance of liturgical music by the young Handel, written while in Italy in 1707.
2. Nuevas Te Traygo, Carillo (Anon)
Teresa Berganza; Narciso Yepes
From Teresa Berganza's evocative exploration of Spanish song, with characterful accompaniment throughout from guitarist Narciso Yepes.
3. Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Barbara Bonney; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly
Riccardo Chailly's – and in this excerpt Barbara Bonney (Matthias Goerne her performing partner) – atmospheric performance of Mahler's Lieder cycle.
4. Komm, Du Süsse Todesstunde
Bach Cantata No 161
Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists / Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Graceful playing supports some soulful singing here, from Volume 8 of the most epic of Bach recording projects.
5. A Solfinge Song
Tallis The Complete Works, Vol 9
Chapelle Du Roi
The concluding disc of Chapelle du Roi's complete Tallis series focused on Instrumental Music and Songs – given the choral offerings in the rest of the series, an intriguing but enjoyable bit of Tallis for iTunes to have randomly chosen!
6. Suite in D minor Op 117 – In the Summer
Sibelius Works for String Orchestra
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra / Juha Kangas
Sibelius from Nordic specialists the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra – an earlier track on the album, Andante Festivo, is a stirring Sibelius miniature absolutely worth hearing.
7. Hojohe! Hollojo!
Wagner Der fliegende Holländer
BBC Chorus; New Philharmonia Orchestra / Otto Klemperer
Nothing controversial here: a superb example of casting, characterisation and conducting earned this set a well-deserved 'GROC' status.
8. Whitlock O Give Thanks Unto The Lord, For He Is Gracious
Westminster Abbey Choir / Martin Neary
(Virgin Classics) Amazon
Part of a double album aimed at conveying the beauty of the Anglican Psalm tradition – in this case a Percy Whitlock setting. The choir of Westminster Abbey are in fine voice.
9. Beethoven Piano Sonata No 10, Op 14 No 2
An early-ish stop along Stephen Kovacevich's survey of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas.
10. No, così scellerato
Mozart La clemenza di Tito
Philip Langridge; Lucia Popp; Zurich Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Given how much Mozart there is in my hard-drive I'm rather pleased some turned up, and any Mozart conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt is to be welcomed indeed.
Well, that's my list, a completely random insight into the contents of my collection as stored in my computer. So why not do likewise, and let us know your results in the comment section below? Perhaps you'll listen to something you haven't heard for a while, perhaps you'll just enjoy again some of your favourite recordings. No cheating now.
Martin Cullingford is editor of Gramophone - brought up in Britten country on the Suffolk coast, when not practising the guitar he can often be found enjoying Evensong.