Marathon Music

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 06:21 PM

So many runners take their mp3 players with them on the course these days, and fleet-footed fans of classical music are no exception.

If you’re running the New York City Marathon this Sunday, what classical music will be on your iPod? Or if you’re like me – strictly a spectator – what classical selections would you offer as energy-giving musical vitamins to those intrepid souls who are running this Sunday?

Hosted by:

Jeff Spurgeon


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Comments [24]

Silversalty from Brooklyn

Yes. I definitely agree. Welcome back Ms. Dalferes. Pleasant memories brought to reality.

Same with Ms. ... Nimet, who seems to be hosting on a more expanded basis. The more the better. Unfortunately my listening day barely overlaps with Nimet's hosting time.

P.S. Admittedly, until I'd seen "Clayelle Dalferes" in writing I wasn't sure where the first name ended and the last began.

Nov. 07 2010 06:32 PM
Harry Shtab from Howard Beach, NY


Nov. 07 2010 03:10 PM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

Having run track in HS, I think Ken Lane's list comes close.....

I would start off with the Valkyrie to mirror the opening enthusiasm of the race. Then, as the insanity of what you're doing starts to sink in, I would try Von Zuppe's Light Cavalry. Later on, Rossini's Wiliam Tell overture. Then the final movement of Beethoven's 9th as you cross the finish line!

Nov. 07 2010 02:57 PM
Frank De Canio from Union City, NJ

When I see movement I think of Enesco's Roumanian Rhapsody kinetically enthralling as it is. Fot more of an abstract sense of movement one can throw in the second prelude from the first book of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier.


Nov. 07 2010 12:13 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Being a long-time runner myself, I would gauge my running in the marathon by starting out at a comfortable pace for me [playing on my ipod perhaps, Ravel's Daphnis & Chloe Suite #2] and then as I "warmed-up" speed up my pace, [playing Tschaikovsky's 1812 Overture], and in the last quarter mile, geared for maximum effort, [playing first the William Tell Overture then Wagner' s Ride of the Valkyries.]

Nov. 06 2010 03:47 PM
KLP from Brooklyn

"Chariots of Fire" original soundtrack composed by Vangelis. It's not really "classicial" per se, but seems appropriate.

Nov. 05 2010 12:40 PM
Tom from Briarcliff Manor, NY

This may not be original but once I hit the 20 mile mark, the William Tell Overture and the 1812 Overture can bring me in to the finish quite spritely. It works on Monday mornings as well!

Nov. 05 2010 09:59 AM
taylor mclean from jersey city

If you are going to transmit and eulogize the 'running' music from Rocky it would be just to credit the performers and composer.

Nov. 05 2010 08:55 AM
Bart from New York City

There are so many wonderful options to inspire while I perspire...Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Hayden, Bach...the list is seemingly endless, as are the miles I pass. Running with headphones or earplugs are, unfortunately, not a good option, as they can lead to recklessness and possible injury. So, I am left to the loud and sometimes noisy, brash music from the streets, and after the crash of the cannon on Staten Island, yet another rendition of Frank Sinatra crooning "These little town blues....are melting away..."

Nov. 05 2010 08:51 AM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

I couldn't think of the name of the "tune" but I remembered it was used in one of James Cagney's last films, to hilarious effect. A little search based on that found the answer.

Sabre Dance - Aram Khachaturian

I think this was mentioned by someone in a comment long ago about demanding that he (the commenter) play the tune on a piano that he was delivering - play it on the move from the back of a pick-up truck. But then my memory isn't that sharply focused so it's probably only vaguely related, if at all. :P

Like William Tell and Bolero, it would only work for a sprint finish. Better would be any tune that had a steady, even mesmerizing, rhythm.

Nov. 04 2010 06:53 PM
Beatriz Nivasch

The Bolero of Maurice Ravel

Nov. 04 2010 05:57 PM
Naim Peress from Forest Hills

I would recommend Flight of the Bumblebee and Rossini's William Tell Overture. I think those pieces will get you going.

Nov. 04 2010 04:52 PM
Kenneth H. Ryesky from Long Island

Interesting that this morning you should bring up the topic of music by which to run the marathon!

The tune that was going through my head while I was running yesterday was Offenbach's
Ballet des Flocons de Neige (Snowflakes Ballet) from Le Voyage dans la Lune (Journey to the Moon). In fact, it's still running through my head.

Last week, my persistent mental running music was Otto Nicolai's Overture from the Merry Wives of Windsor.

Nov. 04 2010 12:11 PM
Jamie from Brooklyn

First, the obligatory admonission not to run the marathon with headphones. As crowded as the race is for its first several miles, you are a hazard to yourself and others if you can't hear what's going on around you.

I never really got into using music while running. I prefer to focus on my surroundings and how my body is responding, and not be distracted from them. I did, however, do one long training run listening to the Saturday afternoon broadcast of Madama Butterfly. Twenty-one miles of Puccini wasn't bad at all!

Nov. 04 2010 12:08 PM
Mildred Rust from East Brunswick, NJ

Schubert's Trout Quintet. It is easy to entrain one's exercise (I used an exercycle) to the Trout's wonderful rhythm and joyousness. With it on, I have twice the energy, distance (endurance), speed, enthusiasm and duration. But I like the William Tell for the finish!

Nov. 04 2010 11:02 AM
william weinstein

My choice for the marathoners is the andante (or fast) movement from Beethoven's Pathetique piano sonata. Thank you.

Nov. 04 2010 10:52 AM

I'm no runner, but I think I'd prefer some mellow pieces, Hayden quartets and such. Or how about the Adagio movement from the "Gayane Ballet Suite", used in "2001" while Gary Lockwood jogs around the cylindrical interior of the ship.

Nov. 04 2010 09:56 AM

Les Preludes by Franz Liszt. Hands down.

Nov. 04 2010 09:45 AM
Michael Meltzer

The finish line deserves the Great Gate of Kiev.

Nov. 04 2010 09:32 AM
Robert Z from Springfield NJ

My favorite marathon training piece is Orff's Carmina Burana. The varying tempi and intensity seem to magically match whatever stretch of road and mood I am running. On grey days (such as today) any Philip Glass seems to work also. And I must admit - the non- (and never to be!) classical contingent - Madonna's "Vogue" - perhaps the best training music ever!

Nov. 04 2010 09:13 AM
ajsmd11215 from Brooklyn

Ride of the Valkyrie, Danzon #2, Chariots of Fire (not classical of course but very motivating) 1812 Overture for the finis

Nov. 04 2010 08:38 AM
F. N. Krook III

The 1812 Overature should be quite spritely with the injection of "The Flight of The Bumblebee" near the finish line.

Nov. 04 2010 08:20 AM
Michael Meltzer

For the first 18 or so miles, the Bach B-flat Partita (harpsichord or piano) for the serenity, then switch over to the finale from the William Tell Overture.

Nov. 03 2010 10:12 PM

My choices would be Carnival of the Animals or Sorcerer's Apprentice or Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev) but don't ask me why.

Nov. 03 2010 09:49 PM

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