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Classical Notes

What would you want to hear for your last commute?

Posted at 6:49 AM on March 27, 2013 by Brett Baldwin (12 Comments)

Longtime listener Patrick K. wrote in, telling the story of his daily commute home. After 20+ years at the same job, he's retiring, and was wondering what Friday Favorites host Steve Staruch might recommend for his final Friday Favorites as a commuter on March 29, 2013.

His note:

Hi Steve,

For Friday Favorites this week, I wonder if you could play something to help me celebrate my final commute? I've been making the drive from Ramsey to MSP Airport--and back--for the better part of 20 years, and Classical MPR has been my "buffer" along those thousands of bumper-to-bumper miles. And Friday Favorites has been there for many of the wearisome end-of-the-week treks home.

I retire on Monday - April Fools Day. No joke! And so on my last Friday evening commute, I'd like to hear something that celebrates the journey. . . .

(I know it is Good Friday, so I'll understand if a little self-indulgence doesn't make the cut.)

As is somewhat customary at Classical MPR, Steve sent an email to the staff asking for their suggestions, and they came pouring in.

Morning host John Birge had this to say:

Adams Short Ride is always good. Copland Sunday Traffic.

Also, this quote:

"You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow."  -Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket

Overnight host and producer Valerie Kahler:

American in Paris recommends itself with those taxi horns. Short Ride in a Fast Machine. The last bit of Peter Hope's Momentum Suite? One of the Moto Perpetuos? (I dig the Sergei Nakariakov one, even though I was disappointed to learn he wasn't doing circular breathing)
And ever the movie maven, weekend host Lynne Warfel suggested
The Theme from "Airport" (Alfred Newman).

What do you think we should play?

Suggest a Friday Favorite song for longtime listener Patrick! We want to celebrate his final work commute on the 29th. When you think of pieces that speak to travel, change, or celebration, what comes to mind?

Comments (12)

Mendelssohn's "Italian Symphony" 1st movement - uplifting, soaring, makes you smile (but you may have to fight the urge to conduct the orchestra while driving)!!

Posted by Pat | March 27, 2013 11:00 AM

Alleluia Chorus! Alleluia.. no more com-mute..!
Alleluia, Alleluia, there is no more commute...

Posted by Nan | March 27, 2013 4:30 PM

I think the New World Symphony would be appropriate - not only for last day of work but also for Good Friday. The symphony denotes hope in a new world. Your commuter is definitely entering a new world of retirement -- and it is definitely not like working and requires hope for the future.

Posted by Barbara Parker | March 27, 2013 4:37 PM

The gods' entry into Valhalla by Wagner.

Posted by Greg Seitz | March 28, 2013 8:42 AM

Has got to be Beethoven's "Les Adieux" piano sonata. The whole thing: the goodbyes, the hellos, the loves, the sorrows, and the triumph after prolonged struggle!

Posted by Joseph Tambornino | March 28, 2013 8:52 AM

I have a lot of suggestions, but here are my three top picks.

Der Abend: - Frans Schubert.

Benediction: - Henry Purcell

The Sun Goeth Down: - Edward Elgar, from the Kingdom.

Posted by Dr F. Mark Carter | March 28, 2013 8:55 AM

Play "Orkney Wedding with Sunrise" by Peter Maxwell Davies. It will be the perfect rousing piece to help you ride off...into the sunset!

Posted by Tom Oscanyan | March 28, 2013 11:03 AM

Brahms Academic Festival Overture brings to mind the celebration of having accomplished or completed something significant.

Haydn's Op. 76 "Sunrise" quartet (especially the 1st movement) seems appropriate when reflecting on the metephorical "dawn of a new day."

Posted by Micah | March 29, 2013 12:28 PM

What were you playing at 9:00 this morning, March 30th? It started with guitar and then went to violin....Please play it again for Friday Favorites! :)

Posted by Diane Childs | March 30, 2013 8:20 PM

Elgar's pomp and circumstance.

Posted by Jeremy | April 1, 2013 9:20 AM

Play Schuman's Concertstuck for 4 horns. It already sound like traffic.

You can also play the first section of the Pines of Rome because it actually features a traffic jam.


Posted by JB | April 2, 2013 12:50 PM

4th movement of Beethoven's 9th.

What could be more appropriate than "Ode to Joy"? If retirement were to be involuntary and unwelcome, then some version of "The Volga Boatmen's Song" with "Birthday Dirge"-like lyrics inserted.

Posted by Peter Schuman | April 2, 2013 1:26 PM