It comes as no surprise that we listen to a lot of classical music here at WCRB. But when we’re off the clock, all bets are off.
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. Check them out one by one, or listen to the whole playlist at the end of this post. We hope you love them as much as we do! Happy April, and happy listening.
Muse -- United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage
This song accidentally introduced me to classical music. Muse’s anthemic anti-war statement is complimented with one of Chopin’s piano nocturnes at the end, and this pairing of diametric styles has me listening to it all the time since its release in 2009.
Lorelei Ensemble -- Anonymous: Pour ce que point fu de la amere espine
What makes this track so addictive might be surprising, given that it comes from an exquisite all-female vocal ensemble. Yes, the high voices soar to the heavens, as you would expect, but it’s the rich, silky lower end of the ensemble that I find intoxicating.
Ayreheart -- Dowland: Mr. George Whitehead his Almand
IMHO lutenist Ronn McFarlane can do no wrong. His group Ayreheart, which specializes in English Renaissance music, can do no wrong. When I want to hear something else, then I youtube them playing John Barleycorn.
ACRONYM -- Biber: Sonata jucunda
This one piece encompasses so many different wild moods, all of them just a little bit off kilter. ACRONYM plays with so much skill, enthusiasm, and raucous joy that every time I listen to this, I want to crank the volume way up and yell about how much this piece slaps.
Hozier -- "Shrike"
Oh, man, this song. "Shrike" is tender, romantic with a deep undercurrent of tragedy, and the opening bars have been rattling around in my brain for weeks.
Barbara Bonney -- Campion: Never weather-beaten Saile
It was a beautiful early spring afternoon when the sound of soprano Barbara Bonney singing Thomas Campion’s Never weather-beaten Saile transported me back to the sweet sounds of the 16th century. Before I knew what had happened, I’d stopped working and had listened to the track more than a dozen times.
Edgar Meyer -- Bach: Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008: I. Prelude
This is an album I was introduced to when I was a teen - when I was taking bass lessons - as the gold standard of bass playing, and it’s something that, like comfort food, I return to probably once a week. It’s my favorite version of the suites, played with an effortless dexterity that never ceases to amaze.
Voces8 -- Adès, arr. Clements: O Albion
Voces8 makes eight singers sound like an orchestra. The text is almost discernable, but not quite, beneath a wash of vocalization, and it feels like you’re adrift on the sea in another world.
Arcadi Volodos -- Brahms: Sechs Klavierstücke, Op. 118: V. Romanze in F Major
Some of the very last pieces that Brahms wrote for the piano are small in size and yet overwhelming in effect -- they’re everything about Brahms, compressed into intimate confessions. Here, the opening music melts into something dreamlike, as if Brahms were suddenly visited by a dear and sunlit memory that can never be lived again.
Listen to the music on our Instant Re-playlist: