I usually listen to my local classical music station, WCRB, while I work. Sometimes I listen to All Classical Portland, which I started listening to because I start writing really early in the morning, and the all-night shows tend to have less chatter on them.
Both of these stations have a number of pieces they play over and over again, and one of these is the section of Smetana's Ma Vlast called The Moldau.
I remember when I first heard that piece, as a teenager. It came on some record of classical selections, I don't remember what, and I loved it. It's a great piece of program music, traveling down a river from its springs to its greatest majesty.
I still love it--and own the complete Ma Vlast. But it seems like this piece in particular gets way too much airplay.
European concert music, Baroque to Early Modern, is my music, the music I grew up on, and the music I still return to, both for stimulation and recentering. I do worry about wearing it out. But the unification of my thoughts with the music really enables me to get my work done. At my age, that's nothing I would give up on easily.
I have recently been changing location, from my office to the living room, where I take notes and think in total silence. It's an odd feeling, like I should be able to hear the rattle of the little marble of my mind rolling around inside my skull. Sometimes old and familiar habits need to be disrupted simply because they are old and familiar, and thus rote. I'll see if I get something out of this.
I may well miss a few playings of The Moldau, which would be OK.
Update, 12/17/14, 10:43 a.m.: I just tuned to All Classical Portland, and there it is again! Those damn peasants are dancing (one of the sections of the piece, if you are unfamiliar). Oh, well, it always sounds like fun to me. Happy peasants. How we envy them, and their folk dances.