What's your classical anthem for 2018? We asked listeners that question as we started the new year, and the response was overwhelming. Classical MPR host Steve Staruch shared as many suggestions as he could on his weekly Friday Favorites request show. Here are some of his top picks.
Dvorak's Fifth Symphony
John from Duluth: "I am retiring this spring, and the bold and joyful sounds of Dvorak's 5th Symphony are what I want my retirement to sound like. This symphony is rarely performed and deserves to be better known."
Conor from Chaska: "This piece is not only a depiction of chivalry, but also displays early Elgar's "innocence and lack of polish" (via elgar.org). Manners, modesty, willingness to be imperfect. Not bad goals for 2018."
Suk's 'Toward a New Life'
Paulette from Canby, Minn.: "I thought 2016 was bad, and then 2017 was worse surely 2018 will be an improvement. At least, it seems to be on the upswing for me, so far, and this piece is all about optimism and bravely marching forward into the unknown. At least, I hope so."
Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1, first movement
Dan from Maple Grove: "This movement has a beautiful melody that soars high, reminding me that I can too."
Samuel Wesley's Rondo on 'God Rest You Merry Gentlemen'
John from Roseville: "This piece always seems to me to embody good will toward others. I want to treat others, and myself, with increased dignity, respect and kindness during the new year." (Scroll down to Track 16 below.)
Stephen Paulus' 'The Road Home'
Lisa from the Roseville area: "I'm in the midst of a job transition and am not sure where I'm going to land. A line in this song is leading me: "There is no greater beauty than where you belong." I'm looking for that beauty."
Sibelius' Second Symphony
Sue Ellen of Maple Grove: "My anthem for 2018 is the Sibelius Second performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. Prior to hearing Sibelius by the Minnesota Orchestra, I didn't know what I was missing. It's my 2018 anthem because it veritably bursts with beauty in its sweeping melodies and rich sonorities. I'm a Sibelius lover for (and of) life!"
Copland's 'Appalachian Spring'
Molly of the Roseville area: "This piece has always reminded me that hope springs eternal, and that while new year's resolutions may wither by spring, there's always time to re-evaluate and restart all year long."
Adams' 'The Chairman Dances'
Michael of Stillwater: "The theme for 2018 is not what I wish it would be, but what I think it would be: the twitter twittering and the chairman dances."