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Music to Sleep By

In early 2012, a study by Australian economists found that sleep – or the lack of it – has a lot to answer for. Not only do Australians’ poor sleep patterns cost the national economy $5 billion a year in direct health care: if other things such as lost productivity, absenteeism and poor work performance are also taken into account, the figure is closer to $31 billion!

The answer, according to Tina Broad, Director of the ‘Music: Play for Life’ program, is simple. Music has a unique power to overcome our stress and ease us into that longed-for land of pleasant dreams. With this new double album, Music to Sleep By, ABC Classics offers a rich selection of soft, gentle music to smooth away the wrinkles of the day.

What type of music helps if we’re sleep deprived? What should we be listening to in order to bring on the sleep of angels? Many people experience slow music, without a heavy beat, as relaxing, but personal musical preferences have a lot to do with inducing a relaxed, ready-forsleep state.

Why is this so? Because neuroscience tells us that our relationship with music is a deeply personal thing. Listening to music we love causes the release of dopamine – the feel-good hormone – and listening to music we don’t like activates a fight-or-flight response in the amygdala and causes a release of adrenalin.

As musician/producer turned neuroscientist, Daniel Levitin – who topped the New York Times bestseller list with his book, This is Your Brain on Music – has said, the effect of music on mood is profound: “There are things that music can do for us that language can’t… If you’re feeling really uptight or stressed, you’ve had a bad day, you’ve had a fight with somebody – words sometimes aren’t as soothing as the right piece of music.”

Look no further than this collection for the right piece of music to soothe, calm, relax and send you into that delicious state of deep, refreshing slumber.

Track Listing

CD1

1 BACH Air on the G-String (Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: II. Air)

2 SCHUMANN Träumerei (Dreaming) from Scenes from Childhood

3 BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV1051: II. Adagio ma non tanto

4 VIVALDI Guitar Concerto in D major, RV93 (Originally for lute): II. Largo

5 SATIE Gymnopédie No. 1

6 SATIE Gymnopédie No. 3

7 GLUCK Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orpheus and Eurydice

8 PÄRT Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror)

9 HANDEL Lascia ch’io pianga from the opera Rinaldo

10 BARBER Adagio for strings (Original version: String Quartet, Op. 11: II. Molto adagio)

11 HANDEL Concerto in B-flat major for two guitars, HWV294 (Originally for organ): II. Larghetto

12 ALBINONI Oboe Concerto in D minor, Op. 9 No. 2: II. Adagio

13 MOZART Adagio for Glass Harmonica, KV356 (617a)

14 BACH ‘Letzte Stunde, brich herein’ (Final Hour, Break Now Upon Me) – Aria from Cantata BWV31

15 BIZET L’Arlésienne – Suite No. 1: III. Adagietto

16 GALILEI Toccata

17 DEBUSSY Clair de lune from Suite bergamasque

CD2

1 BACH The Well-Tempered Clavier: Prelude in C major, BWV846

2 SAINT-SAËNS The Swan from Carnival of the Animals

3 BACH ‘Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier’ (Beloved Jesu, We Are Here) – Chorale Prelude BWV731

4 HANDEL Largo (Ombra mai fù) from the opera Xerxes

5 HANDEL Recorder Sonata in A minor, HWV362: III. Adagio

6 BACH Cantata BWV106 (Actus Tragicus): Sonatina

7 BEETHOVEN String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130: V. Cavatina (Adagio molto espressivo)

8 VIVALDI Concerto for two guitars in G major, RV532 (Originally for two mandolins): II. Andante

9 BEETHOVEN ‘Moonlight’ Sonata (Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2): I. Adagio sostenuto

10 WEISS Guitar Concerto in D minor: I. Largo

11 BACH Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV825: II. Allemande

12 BACH Schübler Chorale No. 1 ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’, BWV645

13 PURCELL The Fairy Queen: Act IV: Largo

14 PURCELL A New Ground

15 BACH Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor (Reconstructed from Harpsichord Concerto, BWV1060): II. Adagio

16 HAYDN Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major: II. Adagio

17 BACH 'Wir glauben all' in einem Gott, Vater' (We All Believe in One God, the Father) - Chorale Prelude BWV740

18 BACH Concerto for two violins in D minor, BWV1043: II. Largo ma non tanto

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