Favorite Music

Give me a laundry list and I’ll set it to music. —Gioacchino Rossini

When listening to songs, I tend not to notice the lyrics. (Not to mention that memorizing them is way beyond me. The only song whose lyrics I can safely claim to know by heart is “Happy Birthday to You.”) It means that I could easily see myself enjoying a national anthem of an obscure country or a sacred song to resurrect the dead as much as I would enjoy a cheesy Carole Bayer Sager tune. And it means that to me the pieces from The Sound of Music would be as enjoyable had Oscar Hammerstein II written his lyrics in any other language. Well, except German, perhaps. Quoting the Kappelmeister from Amadeus (1984), “German is—scusate—too bruta for singing.”


  • Albert Hay Malotte’s “The Lord’s Prayer” (arranged by David Foster, performed by Andrea Bocelli featuring The Mormon Tabernacle Choir) from My Christmas (2009)
  • Ennio Morricone’s “Cinema Paradiso” (performed by Chris Botti featuring Yo-Yo Ma) from Chris Botti in Boston (2009)




OTHER PIECES (selected)

  • “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s Rinaldo—used in Antichrist (2009)
  • “Air” from Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 3
  • “Laudate Dominum” from Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore
  • “Che soave zeffiretto” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro—used in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Mozart’s “Ave verum corpus”
  • Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto—used in Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
  • Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria”
  • “Una furtiva lagrima” from Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore—used in Match Point (2005)
  • “Il dolce suono” from Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor—used in The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Poco Allegretto from Johannes Brahms’s Symphony no. 3
  • “Intermezzo” from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana—used in Raging Bull (1980)
  • “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana” from Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally
  • “Méditation” from Jules Massenet’s Thaïs
  • Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 5
  • Adagio Sostenuto from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2
  • Adagio from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2
  • “Donna non vidi mai” from Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
  • “Quando me’n vo” from Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème
  • “Mia gelosa!” from Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca—used in Milk (2008)
  • “O mio babbino caro” from Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi—used in Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007)
  • “Nessun dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot—used in Mar adentro (2004)
  • “Someone to Watch over Me” from George Gershwin’s Oh, Kay! 
  • “Embraceable You” from George Gershwin’s Girl Crazy
  • Herman Hupfeld’s “As Time Goes By”—used in Casablanca (1942)
  • Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”
  • “They Say It’s Wonderful” from Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun—used in Spider-Man 3 (2007)
  • Victor Young’s “When I Fall in Love”—used in Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
  • Arthur Hamilton’s “Cry Me A River”—used in V for Vendetta (2005)
  • Du Fen’s “Qing ren de yan lei”
  • “Somewhere” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story
  • “Edelweiss” from Richard Rodgers’s The Sound of Music
  • “All I Ask of You” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
  • “With One Look” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard



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