February Playlist: For the Love of Love

From Brahms to Bowie, no musician can escape the influence of love and the ways in which it shapes the music we make and the songs we listen to. UNCSA bassoon professor Saxton Rose has filled this month's playlist with thoughtful pieces that explore the emotion in its many different forms—passionate romance, a parent's love for a child, an homage to a particular place and time. There's even a song from a UNCSA alumna.

Hit play below and set the mood for Valentine's Day, your next date or a quiet evening at home:


Rose shares his playlist inspiration below, which showcases love in many forms:

For the love of a muse: Johannes Brahms, “Ballade Op.10, No.4 in B major.” In 1855 Johannes Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann: “I can do nothing but think of you... What have you done to me? Can't you remove the spell you have cast over me?” We may never know the extent of their 40-year intensely intimate relationship, but in the Op. 10 Ballades, written soon after meeting Robert Schumann and his wife Clara, the emotional impact of their deepening relationship on his music is clear.

For the love of place: Samuel Barber, “Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op.24.” This is a love song to a time and place—a tender contemplation of the American South. James Agee's prose paints an idyllic, nostalgic picture of his native Knoxville, Tennessee, while Barber's setting is some of the most beautiful music which exists.

For the love of a child: “I Have Never Loved Someone” by My Brightest Diamond. The love for a child in this simple lullaby is unending and unconditional. Sung with the sound of a crib rocking gently in the background, it's a timeless and tender expression of pure love.

For the love of your life: “Morgen!” by Richard Strauss. When Richard Strauss married the singer Pauline de Ahna in 1894, his wedding gift to her was a set of songs. One of which, “Morgen!,” with text by John Henry Mackay, was sung at my own wedding. It holds a special place in my heart, of course, however no list of love-related music could omit Strauss, the last of the great Romantics.

For the love of love: “Liebst du um Schönheit” by Gustav Mahler (English translation):

If you love for beauty,
Oh do not love me!
Love the sun, 
It has gold hair!

If you love for youth,
Oh do not love me!
Love the spring-time
That is young each year! 

If you love for wealth,
Oh do not love me!
Love the mermaid,
[Who] has many limpid pearls!

If you love for love,
Oh yes, love me!
Love me forever;
I will love you forevermore!


Saxton Rose

This month's playlist is by Saxton Rose, Bassoon Faculty.


by Corrine Luthy

February 9, 2017