Most beautiful, most sorrowful, most bizarre, and most traditional Classical Music Recent Picks.

From Gypsies to the Proms, Mozart, to Whitacre. The new classical music coming into our library collection is certainly full of favourites, but also full of music slightly less well known in the classical repertoire. This month’s Recent picks is a collection of brilliant, but less appreciated performers and composers, as well as some ideas we may not be familiar with.

Books

Syndetics book coverWorld music is where we found it / essays by and for Allan Thomas ; edited by Wendy Pond and Paul Wolffram.
“In this volume, Allan’s distinctive voice and sensibility are sustained through another generation of ethnomusicological studies by students and colleagues who have jumped over the boundary fence to find music in its social context at stock sales, agricultural shows, dance festivals, brass band competitions, Irish pubs, and in communities wherever they have travelled.” – (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverMozart and the Nazis : how the Third Reich abused a cultural icon / Erik Levi.
“Despite the apparent incompatibility between Mozart’s humanitarian and cosmopolitan outlook and Nazi ideology, the Third Reich tenaciously promoted the great composer’s music to further the goals of the fascist regime. In this revelatory book, Erik Levi draws on period articles, diaries, speeches, and other archival materials to provide a new understanding of how the Nazis shamelessly manipulated Mozart for their own political advantage.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

CDs

hamelinclassmusicpicsfeb12 études in all the minor keys [sound recording] / Marc-André Hamelin.
“Hamelin plays Hamelin: a glimpse into the fabulously bizarre musical mind of one of the greatest piano virtuosos of today. Marc-André‚ Hamelin’s twelve Études, written over a period of nearly twenty-five years, have already achieved cult status by reputation as pianistic challenges beyond the reach of most human fingers.” – (adapted from amazon.com description)

kopatchinskaja class music febRapsodia [sound recording].
“The exciting young Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaya, who earlier this year won a BBC Music Magazine Award for her recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, is here joined by a small group of musicians including her mother, also a violinist, and father, a renowned cimbalom player, in a selection of pieces that reflect Eastern European folk and Gypsy traditions. Amongst the composers represented are Enescu, Ligeti, Kurtág and Ravel.” – (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

tavenerclasspicksfebThe whale ; Celtic requiem.
“The Whale, [Tavener’s] avant-garde oratorio, and Celtic Requiem, written for soprano, orchestra and children’s choir, were his first ever full-length releases, and remain extraordinary examples of British contemporary classical music.” – (adapted from amazon.com description)

lightandgoldclasspicksfebLight and gold [sound recording] / Eric Whitacre.
“Light and Gold, The Most Beautiful Music on Earth…. The first in a stunning collection of Eric Whitacre’s choral works conducted for the first time by Eric himself and performed by The Eric Whitacre Singers, Laudibus and friends.” – (adapted from amazom.com description)

DVDs

symphonyclasspicksfeb The symphony of sorrowful songs [videorecording] / [music by] Górecki.
“Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 reached sixth position in the U.K. pop album charts when it was first released in 1992, as well as becoming the nation’s top classical album. This film features a complete performance of the Symphony No. 3 as well as a rare interview with the composer. It was originally commissioned by Melvyn Bragg for The South Bank show in 1993.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

promsclasspicksfebThe last night of the proms [videorecording] : live from the Royal Albert Hall.
“Celebrate a great British tradition and embrace the spirit of this magical evening. Tradition met high jinks in 2010 as Jiří Bělohlávek conducted his second Last Night, while the spirit of Henry Wood presided, as always, over the grand finale of the BBC Proms. Renée Fleming lends her lustrous soprano to music by Strauss, Dvořák and Smetana.” – (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)