Bunky Mortimer III is clearly one of the great fanatical connoisseurs of the recorded repertoire. Over at Taki’s Magazine, Bunky has prepared a well-thought out program of recorded music to take you through your entire day.
Some sample recommendations:
My chaise-lounge-bound researches reveal that the sinewy modulations of a violin concerto are well suited to the onward section of the morning. Sibeliusâ€™ has an icy gymnasticism that is most refreshing, while Tchaikovskyâ€™s stays just the right side of sentimentalism (the only absolute sanction is against the regressive schmaltz of Brahmsâ€™ offering; one of the few pieces of music we would be better off without). And then there is the beautiful arc of Beethovenâ€™s; the last movement of which has a piratical swagger, which is a great tonic if planning to break the law later in the day. You will notice this morning menu crosses the peaks of the Romantic repertoireâ€”yet contains no opera. Morning musicâ€”like morning drinkingâ€”is a means to an end: the day itself. Opera is too distracting and all-encompassing to serve this end; although we may make an exception for its instrumental passages. Here we can catalog some Wagner. The TannhÃ¤user overture will send you out the door as if fired by a circus cannon (if it were made by Krupp and pointed at Poland, that is). â€œSiegfriedâ€™s Funeral Marchâ€ carries a similar risk: that unless youâ€™ve repositioned your countryâ€™s borders by lunch, youâ€™re going to feel like an underachiever. The same nourishing snarl is present in the opening of Mahlerâ€™s Second Symphony. By now a palate cleanser may be needed with your pre-lunch cocktail. For this you may turn to the final piece of classical music ever created: the last of Straussâ€™ Four Last Songs, fittingly entitled â€œIm Abendrot (At Sunset).â€
[Ending the day:]
Where then to end? With the greatest musical recording ever made: Dinu Lipattiâ€™s rendition of Bachâ€™s â€œIch Ruf Zu Dir, Mein Herr (I Call to You, My Lord).â€ Lipatti was dying of leukemia and recorded it against the instructions of his doctors. Its sublime cadences instruct us fully in the acceptance of our condition. As he called out from the keyboard, Dinu Lipatti was approaching eternal rest. You will hopefully not be: Soon another day will dawn, and your journey can begin anew.