A new month means a new batch of music favorites from the team at WCRB! Our second-ever Instant Replay is a grab bag of fantastic tracks in every flavor.
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!
Jethro Tull -- Fauré: Pavane
One of my mother's favorite pieces is Gabriel Faure's "Pavane." She has loved every version of it that I've brought home for her. She can't hear much any more, but she would have loved this one, too, for Mothers' Day.
Luciano Pavarotti -- Tagliaferri: Passione
Luciano Pavarotti pours his heart into this song, without hesitation, without any sense that his exuberance is ever too much. Oh, come on! It’s a Neapolitan song, so it’s never “too much!" Whenever I hear it, I’m reminded that I can afford to be a little less cynical, and a little more passionate, myself!
Lucy Dacus -- Night Shift
The first time I listened to this song I hit the replay button immediately after it ended. Dacus explores the full emotional arc that follows a breakup: she gives us, both lyrically and musically, plaintive, then reflective, then primal, with a heavy dose of optimism. It’s genius; just read Adam Marantz’s take in the New Yorker. This is a song you’ll want to live in for a while, regardless of your relationship status.
Christine Schäfer, Aribert Reimann, Petersen Quartet -- Mendelssohn: ...oder soll es Tod bedeuten? …: Leise zieht durch mein Gemut
This album is another one of those "any time, anywhere" go-tos for me. I simply can't get enough of the creativity of the arrangements of Mendelssohn's songs and the 21st century intermezzi that tie them all together.
Skylark Vocal Ensemble -- Thorvaldsdottir: Þann heilaga kross
I was introduced to this piece via Chris Voss’s Voices program. This track rides the line between haunting and meditative, and the entire album by the Skylark Vocal Ensemble really is worth a listen.
Snail Mail -- Heat Wave
Snail Mail rules. This is the song that got me to listen to them -- it kept popping up in my Spotify-generated "Made for You" playlists, and I never, ever skipped it. Every Snail Mail song is a good honest jam, and this is one I want to crank up loud every time I hear it.
Victoria de los Ángeles -- Canteloube: Baïlèro
In the 1920s, Joseph Canteloube went out in search of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France. He created new versions of the tunes he collected, with one soprano surrounded by the lush sounds of a modern orchestra. In “Baïlèro,” a shepherd and a shepherdess call to one another across a river while the meadows are blooming and the birds are singing. I cry every single time I hear it. Not because it’s sad, but because it opens up a landscape so vivid and warm that the feel of the French breezes and the smell of the summer wildflowers become achingly real.
Olivier Latry -- J.S. Bach: Pièce d'Orgue, BWV 572
This recording is a Shelby Cobra 427, wherein Bach’s compact North German masterpiece is the cute British sports car, the (now temporarily and sadly silenced) organ at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is the massive V8 engine, and Olivier Latry plays the part of Carroll Shelby in putting them together. The layered, increasing intensity of the middle section is utterly mind-blowing. Turn it up to 11.
Hear the whole playlist: