Instant Replay: 048
Salvador Sobral — Anda estragar-me os planos
This is such a joyful tune — it speaks to the nature of spring, and wanting to shake things up, make some changes in your life, move on. The end of the chorus says "I want to go out dancing," and the music makes it so easy to do just that. I like to listen to this one on early morning walks, or on sunny afternoon bike rides along the Charles.
boygenius — Leonard Cohen
Without a doubt my most anticipated album of 2023 has been “the record” from acclaimed supergroup, boygenius. I'm very happy to say that Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers have delivered once again on their first full-length project together. It's hard to pick a favorite, but "Leonard Cohen" is an intimate little song that perfectly captures a moment in time.
Daniel Harding, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Chorus — Holst: The Planets: IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
I tell you, it's a sickness. Every time I hear there is a new recording of Gustav Holst's The Planets, I rush to get a copy. I just love Holst's artistry, making each planet sound so different and special in its mythical representation. Daniel Harding conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in one of the finest Planets recordings I've heard in a long time. I usually cringe when conductors take pieces slower than what the composers wrote originally. Harding's slower pace than other recordings we know and love makes the listener actually revel in Holst's mystical nuances. And even though this is a live recording, the top-notch engineering here makes it sound unexpectedly clean and intimate.
Janice Weber — Leo Ornstein: A Morning in the Woods
Lately, I have not been able to get Leo Ornstein’s A Morning in the Woods out of my head. A virtuosic composer-pianist and the prodigal son of the American Futurist movement of the early 20th century, Ornstein’s music (written largely for piano) unabashedly embraces both the jarring brutalism of the avant-garde and a tender lyricism that gives Rachmaninoff a run for his money. A Morning in the Woods is the perfect marriage of this juxtaposition, and clearly evokes the namesake of its title. If you’re anything like me, this piece will live rent-free in your head for the foreseeable future. You’re welcome.
Craig Padilla, Marvin Allen — The Prodigal Sun
Craig Padilla and Marvin Allen open their third collaboration, "Weathering the Storm," with this 19-minute textbook example of the Berlin School style of electronic music. Padilla lays down energetic sequencer lines and floaty ambient beds before Allen charges in with a blistering firestorm of guitar. Anyone who remembers Tangerine Dream (or who still listens to them, like me) will absolutely get their nostalgia button pushed and their analog pleasure centers pinged on this one.
Mike Oehmen — All The Way Up
Warm spring weather always seems to bring a swagger to everyone’s steps. One of my favorite saxophonists, local star Mike Oehmen, recently released a three-track EP, and I can’t stop listening. Through its 15 minutes, we get a soulful buffet of gospel, funk, and R&B. Its final track, I recommend that you listen to it, well… all the way up!
Cuarteto Casals, Eckart Runge — Boccherini: Night Music of the Streets of Madrid
Recently, I interviewed conductor Joshua Weilerstein for an episode of WCRB In Concert with Phoenix. During our conversation, he mentioned that one of the pieces on the program was used in a pivotal scene in the movie Master and Commander (2003). I decided to rewatch it later that weekend, and was thrilled to find Night Music of the Streets of Madrid featured throughout! It's a perfect movie with a perfect soundtrack — this movement plays at the very end, as the credits begin to roll.
Listen to this month's playlist: