It sometimes seems as though every Food Network show or special is somehow connected to furthering our understanding and appreciation of comfort food — that culinary category of dishes designed to warm (and occasionally weaken) the heart by playing on various childhood memories, emotional heartstrings, and long-dormant taste-buds. Yet it’s easy to see why Food Network spends such a significant percentage of their air time on the “comfort food” genre; it’s actually comforting.
Over the years, I have discovered myself to be not only highly receptive to the sort of “culinary comforting” endorsed by Food Network Nation, but highly receptive to its audio equivalent, as well. I am a big believer in “Comfort Music.” In fact, I can usually tell when I have reached a certain level of stress (either at work or at home) by the amount of time I spend listening to Bach’s Keyboard Concerti. At root, their appeal is essentially the same to me as that of comfort food; they’re actually comforting.
So, finding myself listening to them with increasingly regularity of late, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite YouTube playlists — a piano version of Concerto #3 in D Major, featuring Glenn Gould, and a more “traditional,” period-instrument version of the same concerto, performed by Trevor Pinnock. The side-by-side comparison is great fun. And did I mention that they’re very comforting?
Nor are classical pieces the only works that I find comforting — I’m not that weird. (Well, OK, I am. But not in that way.) High stress levels tend to result in a higher percentage of Irish music around the Susanka household/workplace, as well. The Bothy Band’s “Rip the Calico” reel is in high demand at the moment.
Anyone else find themselves responding in a like fashion to “Comfort Music?” And if so, care to share a few of your favorites? I’m always on the lookout for more…