June looks a little different than usual, this year, but one thing that hasn't changed is our love for music of all kinds. Here are the tunes we've been spinning when we're off the clock.
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!
Zahra Lux -- Beau Soir
One of my favorite aspects of being a metal musician is meeting fellow metal-heads who are also huge classical music fans. One of Boston’s premier metal vocalists happens to be one of them, and the penultimate track of Zahra Lux’s brand new Rosewater EP is an absolute gem: Debussy’s “Beau Soir.” The vocal performance through the album is as magically spectral and welcoming as the watercolor harmonies of Debussy’s song – and it’s just the escape we all need right about now.
Nina Simone -- Mississippi Goddam
Been thinking a lot about activist art lately. Nina Simone is a staple.
The Hollywood Symphony -- Lisztomania (From Mozart in the Jungle)
It's fun, it's full of feeling, it's whimsical and I love hearing Phoenix's hit in this orchestrated form!
Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma -- J.S. Bach: Trio Sonata No. 6 in G Major, BWV 530: I. Vivace
It was Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach's Six Suites for solo cello on WCRB in mid-May, as his gift to all during this pandemic, that sent me back into the stacks to find his 2017 CD, "Bach Trios." He joins long-time friends bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile here. I know - it seems like an unlikely combination for Bach - but trust me, it works! And this album is perfect for listening with a cool glass of lemonade in hand, as we enjoy the late spring/early summer...
Chicago Sinfonietta -- Abels: Global Warming
For the past few years I’ve been trying to look beyond the standard "dead white guys" of classical music to find more variety for our playlists, and recent events have renewed those efforts. I’m searching deeper and broader than I ever have before, and hopefully you’ll hear those results on air soon, if you haven’t heard them already. One piece I’ve found that I absolutely love is “Global Warming,” by Michael Abels, an awesome blend of international styles. Hope you enjoy it!
Black Violin -- Showoff
To put it simply, Black Violin rules. This track was released as a single along with their album, "Take the Stairs," all of which is fantastic. I love it when you can tell an artist is having fun in their music, and that's definitely the case here.
Budapest Festival Orchestra; Iván Fischer -- Mahler: Symphony No. 7: IV. Nachtmusik 11: Andante amoroso
Mahler 7 seems to be a piece a lot of people don’t get, at least from what I’ve read. But I’ve always loved it. And not just because of that rock and roll last movement I brought up a few Instant Replays ago. There’s also this funny little movement, which is wistful, happy, and a bit sad, all pretty much at the same time. It’s trying to figure things out. Feels a lot like the last few months. And this recording, which just came out, has been on my phone constantly, for walks, drives, while doing the dishes or laundry, whatever. Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra make all of it organic, natural, and sincere.
Hear the full playlist: