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"The Four Seasons" for a Climate-Changed World

A tree photographed over time, with one half in bloom and the other dead
A tree photographed over time

A new series of compositions reimagines Vivaldi for the year 2050. Also, Yo-Yo Ma's stunning performance at this week's presidential inauguration, proof that music makes you smarter, and more, all in this week's roundup!

1. It's a question that has plagued connoisseurs and casual fans since the mid-1800s: which of Schubert's songs are his best, and which are his absolute worst? At last, brave writer Jeffrey Arlo Brown presents his definitive ranking of every single song Schubert ever wrote.

2. The inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday featured a host of remarkable musical guests -- including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who played an arrangement of Amazing Grace that just might bring you to tears.

3. Senator Bernie Sanders's fashion choices were the highlight of the inauguration for internet meme-makers, but none made us chuckle quite as much as this:

4. Speaking of presidents, you may know that Bill Clinton played the saxophone, but do you know which president played the banjo? Or the harmonica? From the Boston Globe, here are 5 presidents and their musical moments.

5. From WKAR, here's an interview with composer Julie Giroux, whose piece "Integrity Fanfare and March" was selected to be played by the Marine Band ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's swearing-in this week.

6. When researcher Martin J. Bergee set out to disprove the theory that learning an instrument makes you smarter, he expected it to be pretty easy. But what he found surprised him.

7. Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" concertos are beautiful, but do they still ring true for a world affected by climate change? A new series of compositions -- called "The [uncertain] Four Seasons" -- uses climate change data to reimagine Vivaldi's work for the world as it will be in 2050. Here's a clip:

Kendall Todd is the Content Manager for GBH Music.