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Six album covers

Hear a genre-hopping mix of our favorite music this month! Included: Patsy Cline, classical piano, and one of the all-time greatest hits in rotation on CRB.

This series highlights our favorite music of the moment – discoveries we’ve made when we’re at home cooking or cleaning, at the office, or out and about. Classical or otherwise, old, new, or just really cool, these are the tracks we’ve had on repeat this month. Find a cumulative playlist at the end of this post. Happy listening!

Amythyst Kiah — Fancy Drones (Fracture Me)
Emily Marvosh
Amythyst Kiah is a new discovery for me, but she has fantastic roots credentials (partnering with Rhiannon Giddens in "Our Native Daughters"), a way with lyrics that makes you really listen, and vocals that never put a foot wrong. For this track, use both earbuds – or better yet, some over-ear headphones – to get the full effect of the growls and stomps that keep the bass in the foreground.

Beatrice Rana — Chopin: Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20
Laura Carlo
I tend to be a creature of habit...and my November listening tends to gravitate towards autumnal, reflective recordings. That all changed when I heard pianist Beatrice Rana's performance with the Boston Symphony broadcast on CRB. I hunted for her CDs and was delighted with a fairly new release, "Beatrice Rana: Chopin." Chopin's Scherzos bring a range of emotions to the ears, from forceful to lighthearted, but a listener getting caught in that wide range of emotions can miss the skill the pianist must bring to them. Rana's technical prowess is a given – she is amazing – but she also has mastered musicality, and that is what brings my beloved Chopin to life for me. When the pianist feels it so does the listener.

[Hear Beatrice Rana's Boston Symphony performance and her description of this Chopin recording and its place in her experience of the global pandemic. - Ed.]

José González — Tjomme
Rani Schloss
I’ve had “Local Valley” on repeat since it came out recently and can’t recommend the whole thing highly enough. José González’s signature smooth and understated vocals pair flawlessly with his phenomenally multifaceted guitar playing. It’s warm, it’s subtle, it takes you on a journey. This album has a bit more percussion, more global influence, and more Spanish and Swedish than we’re used to hearing in his other albums, and I can’t stop listening to it.

Daniil Trifonov — Bach: Minuet in G Major, BWV Anh. 114
Brian McCreath
At CRB, we’ve been amazed by pianist Daniil Trifonov since he came to Boston for the first time, playing Chopin in our studio, in 2012. His most recent recording is Bach: The Art of Life, a sort of musical portrait of the Bach family. And sharing the space with the mind-blowing complexity and virtuosity of Bach’s The Art of Fugue is the beautiful collection – or notebook – Johann Sebastian assembled for his wife, Anna Magdalena. The elegant simplicity of what many of us learned as beginner pianists remains in this Minuet, but along with Trifonov’s world-class shadings and slight ornamentation, the context of the album lends the piece a sense of affection and warmth among a close-knit family.

Patsy Cline — Crazy
Alan McLellan
I don’t often head for country music, but there’s something very special about Patsy Cline’s singing – hers is one of those voices that just draws me in. It’s technically brilliant, and maybe that helps make the intimate connection – nothing out of time or out of tune to break the spell. And this hit, written by Willie Nelson back in the early 60’s, has just the right amount of melancholy sweetness.

Maurice Steger — Uccellini: Aria sopra la Bergamasca
Colin Brumley
It’s not often that I’m on air here at CRB, but this week I found myself stepping in for a few hours one fine Tuesday morning. I myself really enjoyed some of the classics we brought to you that particular show, including Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Schumann’s Piano Concerto. But we also like to bring some hidden gems, especially by some friends of ours from the Renaissance and early Baroque days. I shared a three-minute piece by Marco Uccellini and was reminded just how fun and whimsical he is. It’s time you discover one of our favorite pieces, his Aria sopra la Bergamasca – partially because I think you’ll love it, partially because we’ve all had it stuck in our heads for years, and it’s time you join us in that!

Snail Mail — Valentine
Kendall Todd
It's always an exciting day when one of your favorite musicians drops a new album. Snail Mail is an artist I've loved for years — the best way I can think to describe her music is that if you like Mitski, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and/or Phoebe Bridgers, you'll love Snail Mail. This latest album sounds significantly more mature than her previous releases, in a way that makes me really excited to hear what she does next. And she's only 22, so I hope she keeps making music for a long time yet!

Listen to the complete playlist:

Kendall Todd is the Content Manager for GBH Music.