Our first list comes from Jared Pierce who is not only our accompanist, but also a terrific bass you might catch singing with us when he’s not playing for us.
Click here to listen to Jared’s playlist on Spotify.
- Symphony 2, Adagio – Rachmaninov
I discovered this gorgeous piece of music a few years ago. Of all the pieces I have ever encountered, I think this is the most beautiful ever written. The sweeping orchestral melodies which seem to spin infinitely upward bring me to tears every time.
2. Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2 – Brahms
This was the first work I learned upon entering my bachelor’s degree program at 17. I worked on it feverishly for 6 days, falling in love with its simple yet heartbreaking melody. Whenever I’m having a hard day, I often turn to this piece for solace and escape. Ax’s performance here is sublime in every sense and second only to Van Cliburn’s rendition.
3. Forrest Gump Suite – Silvestri
As a young man in high school, it was my ambition to become a film score composer. The scores of Alan Silvestri were often playing in my car. This use of solo piano accompanied by strings really spoke to my artistic sensibilities. This simple melody gave me hope in following my dreams as a composer and musician.
4. Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat Major, Op. 53 “Heroic” – Chopin
This performance of the “heroic” polonaise by the legendary Rubinstein is arguably my favorite, not because it is immaculately played or of the best recording quality. Instead, it’s because he truly captures the heart and indomitable spirit of the work, and of Chopin himself.
5. Ubi Caritas – Gjeilo
Just listen and enjoy.
6. Heidenröslein, D. 257 – Schubert
This fun little piece about a young man and a rosebush was one of the first pieces I collaborated on with my wife, soprano Liberty Pierce. Fleming’s unique blend of whimsy and vocal control provide the perfect setting for this piece about scorned love.
7. Piano Concerto No. 20, Allegro – Mozart
Martha Argerich is arguably one of the greatest pianists of the past century. Couple her playing with the likes of Claudio Abbado at the podium and you have a recipe for pure magic. Mozart’s genius in piano and orchestral writing is on full display in this concerto, from pain to passion, tragedy to triumph.
8. Stars – Ešenvalds
I was first introduced to the music of Ešenvalds with my work with UCA. His choral writing is cerebral, rich, and often innocent. This rendition by Voces8 is quite lovely and thought provoking. The use of crystal glasses (a favorite of Ēriks) is the perfect accompaniment to the choir.
9. La Bohème: “Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì” – Puccini
This legendary recording of Mirella Freni singing Mimi opposite the great Luciano Pavarott, is quite possibly the most influential piece of opera ever written. I was first introduced to the work by my wife Liberty (another UCA member) who sang it in recital during our undergraduate days.
10. Requiem, Op. 48, Libera me – Fauré
As a bass/baritone and pianist/organist, this piece hits all the right notes for me. It has long been a secret ambition of mine to sing this solo with choir and orchestra. The moment when the choir is ushered in by fortissimo French horns to state, “That day, day of wrath,” I am always filled with goosebumps. It’s awe-inspiring.
11. Road to Perdition – Thomas Newman
I remember listening to this track on repeat as a young man in high school. I sat in my car staring an exquisite rose growing in my parent’s garden. The slow and meandering melody which begins to swell and blossom mixed with the image of this singular rose held me.
12. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, Aria – Bach
Say what you will about the eccentric performer that is Glenn Gould, his 1981 version of the Goldberg variations is a exercise of genius.
13. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly – Bradford
Since joining the UCA in 2012, I have had the pleasure of performing the majority of Barlow Bradford’s compositions. This beautiful Christmas arrangement is a perfect example of Barlow’s masterful sense of color, richness, imagination, and simple beauty. It embodies all we love about the Utah Chamber Artists and its one-of-a-kind conductor.