How uncool is that? Yannick posts playlist for cats

How uncool is that? Yannick posts playlist for cats


norman lebrecht

April 11, 2019

From the PR division of the Philadelphia music director:

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s “A Cat’s Music Playlist” is available to stream or download on Apple Music and Spotify. Along with the playlist, Yannick provided a personal note with each selection to provide insight into why he chose the work.

“A Cat’s Music Playlist” Companion

Chopin: The Nocturnes by Claudio Arrau–“Ideal for afternoon pet naps … Once in a while, I will even play some Nocturnes on my Pleyel piano at home so my cats can hear it live!”

Debussy, Fauré & Ravel: String Quartets by Quatuor Ébène–“French music is a favorite of our three cats, and the sounds of string instruments remind them of Pierre playing his viola at home.”

Schubert: Lieder by Franz Schubert, Renée Fleming, Christoph Eschenbach–“Animals have great taste when it comes to the human voice—and our dear friend Renée’s voice always casts a spell on them!”

Destination Rachmaninov: Departure by Daniil Trifonov, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin–“Our cats are great romantics; they love passionate music. This one is for early evenings, with some adrenalin rushes before a good night’s sleep.”

Mahler: Symphony No. 5 by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin–“Our cats each have their favorite movement: Rodolfo indulges in the first movement, Melisande purrs during the Adagietto, and Rafa revels in the Finale!”

Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5 (Live) by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, RIAS Kammerchor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin–“This is clearly morning music: lots of energy and good for playful moments!”

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro by Luca Pisaroni, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin–“As you may notice, our cats have operatic names and, fortunately, they love listening to opera. This great Mozart masterpiece is one of their favorites!”

Richard Strauss: Tone Poems by Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic–“Even with his Italian name, our Rodolfo is a big fan of German music, when it is bold, full, and rich, like this great collection.”

Wagner: Parsifal by Sir George Solti, Vienna Philharmonic–“Our first cat was named Parsifal, and his love for Wagner’s music was second to none. Parsifal was a real connoisseur and would listen (and nap) during the entire opera (close to five hours!).”

Debussy by Seong-Jin Cho–“Once upon a time, we had a Pelleas next to our dear Melisande, and the sounds of Debussy at the piano would be the soundtrack to their cuddles.”

Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 by the Orchestre Métropolitain, Yannick Nézet-Séguin–“It might seem like an odd choice, but Bruckner’s symphonies are a big hit with all of our cats! I believe this to be cosmic music, and it touches the harmony of the earth and nature, and therefore … our pets!”

Stravinsky / Stokowski–The Rite of Spring / Bach Transcriptions by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The Philadelphia Orchestra–“When our cats need to burn some energy—sprints, marathons, mouse-toy hunting—this is the perfect soundtrack!”

Rossini: Cats’ Duet by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf–“Well, ‘of course’ our cats can sing this ‘better’ (in their minds), but they still enjoy when humans try to imitate their unique vocabulary.”

Speaks Volumes by Nico Muhly–“Our pets have long and tiring days. After all, a commitment to napping takes much energy! This collection of pieces from our dear friend (and pet lover) Nico is sure to be restorative.”

Higdon / Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos by Hilary Hahn, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko–“Our dear friend Jennifer Higdon is Philadelphia-based, a true animal lover, and one of the great composers of our time. Our cats can discern how special her music is!”

Brahms: The Hungarian Connection by Andreas Ottensamer–“Our close friend Andy wouldn’t disagree; the clarinet is the perfect cat instrument! Our little friends LOVE to listen to clarinet music, and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet is ideal for lullabies before the night (or before another nap!).”



  • R. Brite says:

    Always happy to be uncool, myself. I think this is sweet.

  • Christopher Storey says:

    Lovely stuff ; but his cats’ attention span must be a great deal longer than mine if they can listen to all of Bruckner 1 – 9 !

  • Lincoln Herring says:

    Here’s the article from the Philadelphia radio station WRTI in case anyone is curious:

  • martain smith says:

    Anything to be in the news and make a “buck”!

  • RW2013 says:

    prrrrrrr grab that pussy…

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Is everything about YNS newsworthy? Does anyone really care about music tastes of his felines?
    Me thinks this is way too much information and I am getting cavities just reading it.

  • Hanna Nahan says:

    OK, I am a cat lover, but this is really vile. Although kudos for picking Solti’s Parsifal – the finest Wagner set he recorded, but strangely underrated….

    • Sixtus says:

      Agree about the Solti Parsifal. Among other things, the use of the Vienna Boys Choir makes a huge difference in the last few minutes of the outer acts. No wobbly opera-chorus sopranos sticking out of the texture here!

  • Anon says:

    I guess I’m uncool.
    My cat loves music. She always joins me on the bench when I practice piano.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Oh, no; not De Pussy!!!

  • Cyril says:

    Anyone who has cats and a piano knows they would rather walk on the keys and the strings than actually listen to music…

  • jean86 says:

    Poor cats…

  • Been Here Before says:

    I know a cute pianist who I am sure will be downloading the cat’s playlist. Perhaps her Schumann-Scriabin CD could be added to the list, too!

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Uncool or hip, he has Philly sounding fantastic on those Sirius XM satellite radio broadcasts. I’ve enjoyed everyone I’ve heard.

  • fflambeau says:

    Well, it does come from the PR Department. As for cats liking Bruckner, look at who’s conducting in the selected recordings. This is all PR.

    I’ve had many cats and can say none of them liked music of any kind. Their interests: themselves, food, sex, and sleep.

    Birds are much more attuned to music. I find wild birds near me seem to enjoy Mozart, Sibelius, and Alan Hovhaness.

  • Jessica says:

    My super-cool Somali cats love Mozart piano sonatas. But my old cat, that big ginger bruiser Solti (1999-2014), lived up to his name. He adored Wagner – especially “his” own recordings – and would always trot in to listen if one of the CDs was playing.

  • Larry W says:

    Yannick is The Man from U.N.C.O.O.L.

  • Zenaida says:

    Back in 2016, David Teie, Cellist with National Symphony Washington DC, did a lot of research about music for animals, especially cats. He did a fundraiser for his project which 10x exceeded his expectations. I think he released 2 CDs and here is a TED talk about his work

  • sycorax says:

    The only animal by whom I ever sure about his liking of music was one of my horses. He loved Mozart and relaxed when he heard his music.