Harmony & Synergy

From My Life to Yours ~ Let's Build Some Bridges!

Music That Changed My Life

So I have a playlist called “Music That Changed My Life.”  There is so much music that fits this description, but these are the pieces that continuously move me to the core of my being…

Henryk Gorecki – Symphony No. 3, 1st movement

Samuel Barber – Adagio for Strings

Beethoven – 3rd Symphony, 2nd movement (the fugue section)

Shostakovich – 5th Symphony, 3rd movement

Eric Whitacre – Sleep

Brahms – G major Violin Sonata, 1st movement

Brahms – B major Piano Trio, 1st movement

Rachmaninoff – 3rd Piano Concerto, 1st movement

Beethoven – Opus 132, 3rd movement

***And the one piece that I keep coming back to… no matter where I’ve gone it’s “home” for me:

Bach – D minor Chaconne for solo violin (Shumsky recording is my favourite).  Since I can’t find a decent recording on youtube, here is the Brahm’s transcription for piano left hand,  which is a close second.  The major section in the middle is the one small line of music that is tattooed on my soul.


  1. yes, yes, yessssss. I’d like to add Brahms’ Piano Concerto #2, mvmt 2; Beethoven Piano Sonata Op. 109 and 110; Mozart Clarinet Quintet; and the finale from Shoshtakovich 5. There’s too much to list, really. Chopin Preludes. Brahms Clarinet Sonata in Eb. Poulenc Clarinet Sonata…I’m going to stop now.

  2. :) I was *just* thinking about this (and you) yesterday, as I was doing some Yom Tov cooking. I would like to add Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, second movement, Schumann’s piano Concerto in A minor (oh my goodness, is that sublime). Of course, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, all of it. Rachmaninoff concerto #3, and his prelude in g minor.

    I’m sure I’ll think of more, but I need to have some coffee first….

    • Wheeeeee this makes me what to go on a listening spree!

      • I’m just off to youtube myself for a musical extravaganza!

  3. Robert

    Although I am a non-Jewish British man, aged 66 years, your website sets off many echoes in me. Particularly the music that changed your life – in what way did it change it? And interestingly, the Bach chaconne has been practically my only listening for some weeks, since I heard a live performance by Isabelle Faust in Switzerland. Why should the same music echo for both of us, with such diferent backgrounds?

    • Hi Robert – I have found that many people connect to the same music, even coming from incredibly varied backgrounds. I really do believe that music has the ability to build bridges in ways that words and other actions cannot, so it’s not surprising!

      • Robert

        Thank you for your reply, Andrea. Interestingly, though, it was not music that led me to you, but a search for “How to find your true self”, which led me straight to your video “Lekh Lekha”, for which I thank you. There is a film I know called “The Silence”, by Ingmar Bergman, in which: “Ester finds solace through Bach. She comments to the old man who tends her hotel room on the universality of music. Even though they did not understand one another’s language, they both understood Bach. They could both experience it in the same way. Bergman fills some of the silence of “The Silence” with Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”. Bergman expounded on this theme—that within the human framework there is a holy part to which music speaks.” As it happens “The Goldberg Variations” are another of my favourite pieces.

        So it seems that, by both trying to find our true selves, although through different cultural approaches, our lives have touched in some some small way.

  4. Robert

    But you didn’t answer my question – in what way did the music that changed your life, change your life? I’m sure other people would be interested to know, too.

  5. AK

    Top of my personal list:
    J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations
    St. John’s Passion
    C. Monteverdi – Vespro della beata Vergine
    J. Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem

    About the question above: yes, I’d be interested to know, too! :-)

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