Sad, but hopeful.
I haven't read the whole thread but if this piece hasn't already been mentioned it should have been! This piece is officially the saddest song ever written: Miserere. The story of the piece is quite remarkable: Composed in the early 1500s by Gregorio Allegri it was first performed (as part of a mass) in the Sistine Chapel. After hearing the piece, Pope Urban II considered Miserere to be so sad and beautiful that it would be dangerous to allow the public to hear it. He proclaimed it illegal (punishable by excommunication) to notate the music or perform Miserere outside of the Sistene Chapel. For over 250 years the only people allowed to hear the piece were members of the clergy attending mass at the Sistene Chapel. During this 250 years Miserere became a legend, an almost mythical piece that was rumoured to cause death from overwhelming beauty and sadness. Then, in 1770 a 14 year old boy managed to sneak into a performance and from this single hearing of the 12 minute piece he went to his lodgings and wrote the whole thing down from memory. He gave the piece to an English music publisher who published it in 1771. The boy was summoned to Rome by the then Pope but instead of receiving a terrible punishment, the pope rewarded the boy's amazing musical genius and officially lifted the ban on Miserere. The boy's name by the way was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Here a link to a decent recording of the piece. Even if this isn't your usual style of listening, at least try the first two or three minutes, it is amazing, especially on a good quality system. By the way, Miserere is designed to be performed by two choirs in different parts of the church, so some parts sound very distant. It's supposed to sound like that, it was a renaissance stereo/surround sound technique called antiphony. Enjoy:
Conor Oberst – Breezy
This song was written about Conor’s friend, Sabrina Lane Duim (aka “Breezy”), who played Harp on Bright Eyes’ Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. She passed away on January 13, 2007 in her apartment in Palo Alto due to complications with medications she had been taking. Her passing was ruled accidental. She was 22.
The early death of any young person is sad, and the song creates the atmosphere of reflection and loss.