Maybe you're ready for autumn, or maybe you want to hold on to summer just a little bit longer. However you feel about September, there's something in this playlist that you'll love. Take a listen!
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!
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers -- New England
I've been biking all over New England this summer and every now and then this song gets stuck in my head due to the sheer beauty of my surroundings (and maybe an overload of endorphins). On Cape Cod's trails, in the Green Mountains, through the Franklin Land Trust: whoa, New England!
Nicola Benedetti -- Marsalis: Fiddle Dance Suite: 2. As the Wind Goes
Such a cool new album, featuring a violin concerto and a dance suite written for violinist Nicola Benedetti by jazz-master Wynton Marsalis. Both pieces fuse the classical, jazz, and folk worlds into a brilliantly enticing listen, and I highly recommend listening to the whole album once, then twice, then over and over.
Chanticleer -- Shenandoah
Every fall, the lengthening shadows and the bright foliage stir up a special kind of melancholy – indescribable and beautiful. George Eliot loved it so much, she said, “if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." When I hear the men’s choir Chanticleer singing an arrangement by Bartholomew and Erb of the haunting song Shenandoah, all the longing of the season is magnified for me. Tears every time.
Conrad Tao -- Carter: 2 Thoughts About Piano: Caténaires
On the last weekend of Tanglewood, Conrad Tao blew the minds of the audience in the Shed when he played this as an encore after his Ravel G Major concerto performance with the Boston Symphony. Kind of blew my mind, too.
Guy Johnston -- Howells: Cello Concerto, I. Fantasia
I love the history of this concerto and the beauty in this recording. Multiple people came together in the last 100 years to finish it - started in 1933, completed in 2015. And this recording makes that history shine all the more - the musicians brought the character of the church in which it was recorded to life, and if you close your eyes, you can see the beautiful stained glass and tall stone work that surrounds you while you listen.
Mitsuko Uchida -- Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K. 453: 1. Allegro
As Boston is overtaken by moving vans, I’m reminded that September is once again knocking at the door – and that means that a new school year is starting. One of my favorite pieces from my music history classes was Mozart’s 17th Piano Concerto – we spent a whole semester on it in form and analysis class. It’s got a cheeky summertime swagger to it, and if you’re like me and want to stretch out every last second of summer, this is a great piece to accompany that. By the way, legend has it that Mozart’s pet starling wrote the melody in the third movement!
The Oh Hellos -- Soldier, Poet, King
As we draw closer to the fall, I've started to pull up my autumn playlists and am struck by how impossibly PERFECT The Oh Hellos are. Their sense of songcraft, their luscious folk instrumentation, and their chorus, where you can still pick out each individual voice among those gathered... it feels like home.
George Winston -- Woods
Change of seasons... change of wardrobe... just... changes. Composer/pianist George Winston's "Autumn" has been my "must" go-to since I played it on college radio. The whole album is perfect for autumnal drives, for walks though crunchy leaves, for putting down the phone and actually writing someone a letter.
Kian Soltani -- Schubert: Nacht und Träume, D.827 (Version for Cello and Piano)
This might be the most beautiful piece ever written, full stop. I first heard it in Soltani's Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music, and in the true spirit of Instant Replay, I immediately sought out this album to hear it again. I could spend more time telling you why it's great, but I think you should just listen.
Listen to the cumulative Instant Re-Playlist: