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Instant Replay: 046

11 album covers for tracks included in February's Instant Replay, arranged in a grid.
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!
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!

Ludwig van Beethoven, Renaud Capuçon, Martha Argerich —
Laura Carlo
I finally got my hands on this December '22 release and I'm so glad I did! I have been a long-time fan of both members of this dynamic duo. Violinist Renaud Capuçon and pianist Martha Argerich play the Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata, the Schumann Violin Sonata No. 1 and Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata in A. I keep replaying my CD (especially the Beethoven) . . . so I think that means it's moving up to the top of my stacks. A fresh CD at the start of the year . . . nothing like it.

Never Gonna Make It — Dry
John Shanahan
The Facebook algorithm kindly dropped this song by South Shore-based pop punk group Never Gonna Make It in my lap, and I've been singing its chorus ever since. Packing hints of Blink-182 and Sum 41, this hook-heavy ode to realizing you just can't party like you used to (nor do you necessarily want to) would be a hit in a fair world. On top of that, the well-produced video for it is also a lot of fun.

Dolly Parton — Here You Come Again
Kendall Todd
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I’ve been humming this song for the better part of the last several months. Goodness knows why, other than that it’s classic Dolly, and music just doesn’t get much better than that. In any case, it has somehow become one of the 10-ish songs on constant rotation in my head. Does that make me crazy? Maybe, but at least I’m having fun.

Le Piano de la Plage — Charles Trenet
Katie Ladrigan
I adore French music, especially from the 1950s-60s. (It's no wonder I so enjoy Wes Anderson films — his soundtracks are peppered with them!) This song in particular just feels like sunshine on a cloudy day, and, being a bit single-minded, I've always loved anything to do with pianos!

Rihanna — Diamonds
Maya Shwayder
Although she hasn’t made music in a while, the Super Bowl was a shocking reminder of just how epic and effortlessly cool Rihanna is. The staging, the simpleness of it, the sweep of all of her big hits, it was all just so right. But particularly what stuck with me was her closing number, “Diamonds" — arguably one of her most raw and emotional songs — when she was wearing the giant red puffer coat in tribute to her late friend André Leon Talley, who was a genius of the fashion world and fell out of grace of the fashion elites toward the end of his life. It was a moving tribute and the perfect song for the moment.

Madison Cunningham, Remi Wolf — Hospital (One Man Down)(feat. Remi Wolf)
Edyn-Mae Stevenson
I’m very sure that I’ve already shared the original version of this song here, but considering that Madison Cunningham just won her first Grammy for “Best Folk Album” this month and then released this absolute banger just ten days later, it’s definitely worth mentioning twice…or maybe three or four times. The addition of Remi Wolf’s vocals on this One Man Down version add a layer of fun to the song, and there’s something about that bass line that scratches my brain just right.

Agachiko — Blue Winter
Russ Gershon
Vocalist and songwriter Gabrielle Agachiko had a long career in the rock and jazz worlds of Boston before relocating to Paris in 2015. Her supple voice and emotional directness are unmistakable in this track, her own original song. Sadly, she died from a stroke in the Paris Metro on her way home from a gig in January, leaving a hole in the hearts of fans, friends and collaborators in both cities. I was fortunate to be the music director and tenor sax player in Gabrielle’s last band in Boston, and we released this album on Accurate Records.

David Lang — Death Speaks: No. 1, You Will Return
William Peacock
While not particularly cheerful, death speaks by avid lowercase-title fan David Lang has constantly been in my ear as of late. Lang recontextualizes the literal character of Death (as expressed in Schubert songs) in what is functionally an indie-rock song cycle. In this recording, Lang even specifically assembled musicians who have reached outside the classical music sphere, including Shara Nova, Nico Muhly, Owen Pallett, and Bryce Dessner. The opening track “you will return” sets the tone of the cycle perfectly, with an immediate cloud of gloom and haunting beauty throughout—this is Lang at his absolute best.

Michael Giacchino, Nouvelle Modernica Orchestra — Sidereal Day: 35
Greg Ferrisi
After repeated viewings of Pixar's Incredibles movies (both of 'em. All. The. Time.), I searched to see what else composer Michael Giacchino had scored. It turns out, along with The Incredibles, some superhero movies, a Star Wars film, and a whole lot more, Giacchino also composed Travelogue: Volume 1, his debut solo album recorded in 2020. This album — a mix of Captain Kirk-esque "ship's logs" and jazzy, orchestral space exotica — tells the tale of a space traveler seeking a new home, and what happens when she finds one . . .

Othmar Schoeck, Christian Gerhaher, Heinz Holliger, Basel Chamber Orchestra — Elegie, Op. 36: 21. Angedenken
Brian McCreath
I had heard Christian Gerhaher’s voice on a few recordings, but not until I heard him in person during a live Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcast this month did I fully understand the remarkable qualities of his vocal instrument and artistry. I couldn’t help looking up his most recent recording, and, for me, it’s a stunning discovery. Schoeck, a Swiss composer whose music I hadn’t heard before, paints beautiful, heartbreaking scenes in his Elegie. Somewhat like Schubert’s Winterreise, the songs are painful, but with seductive quality and hardly any sharp edges. And Gerhaher’s seemingly effortless delivery releases pure emotion, unblemished by distractions of technique or over-interpretation. In “Angedenken,” the narrator sings of the almost unbearable beauty of nature and its power to evoke a lost love.

Gaby Moreno — Quizás, Quizás, Quizás
Tyler Alderson
Last week I was driving through the mountains of Oaxaca, alternating between admiring the scenery and white-knuckling the bumpy unpaved detours we were being sent down. This recording of one of my favorite Spanish-language songs came on the radio, and instantly those dusty backroads felt a lot more comfortable. Every adventure needs a soundtrack, and I'm glad this was on mine.

Ruth McGinley, Neil Martin — My Lagan Love
Colin Brumley
As a local metal musician myself, most of my research of new tunes is done via Bandcamp, the premier choice for local and independent bands and artists. Only recently did I find out that there is a search tab for classical music! I wasn’t disappointed the evening of that discovery: featured that day was a piano album by Ruth McGinley, and her approach to a collection of verdant, honest melodies from Ireland is just what I need in these colder winter months.

Listen to this month's playlist: