NPR has a wonderful round-up of "The saddest music in the world: 6 tunes to make you teary eyed."
NPR, which welcomes additional selections from listeners, starts with these heartbreakers: "When I Am Laid in Earth," from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas; "Largo" from Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5; Mahler's "I've Become Lost To The World"; Avro Part's Cantus In Memory of Benjamin Britten; "Der Leiermann from Schubert's Die Winterreise; and Lieberson's "My love, If I Die and You Don't."
Have a listen at NPR Classical.
With so much of the greatest 20th-century music in the gut-wrenching genre, I naturally thought of these pieces as contenders:
1. Lush Life (Johnny Hartmann sings Billy Strayhorn). 2. Homage to Polish president Lech Kaczynski (18-year-old Canadian-Argentine composer Isaias Garcia). 3. Danny Boy (Frederick Edward Weatherly). 4. What's New? (Bob Haggart-Johnny Burke). 5. Leaving Me Now (By Level 42's Mark King-Phil Gould). 6. I'll Be Seeing You (the Vera Lynn classic, by Irving Kahal-Sammy Fain).
And one antidote: Our own Parachute Club's Rise Up. The band shot its video entirely on the streets of Toronto - a chance to see what 1980s T.O. looked like before the condo-tower invasion.
Hardly a definitive list. What are your faves for mourning happiness lost?