Classical Music Recent Picks

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn is not a great singer. But the 30 years she has spent with the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York have been about greatness beyond self, the importance of community, and the joy of creating. Part memoir, part history, part case study, Imperfect Harmony is accessible and infectious. With the enthusiasm of a hobbyist and the discipline of a professional, Horn unfolds the history of choral music, the neurological science underpinning what happens in listeners’ and performers’ brains, and the effort it takes to put on a performance.”  (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

coloursinthedarkColours in the dark [sound recording] : the instrumental music of Alexander Agricola. “The Ensemble Leones deliver this early music album of Agricola’s instrumental works with aplomb and refinement. This album illustrates the darker side of Agricola’s compositions that his contemporaries in the late 1400s would have certainly considered odd. We can now appreciate them for their tight harmonies and masterful treatment of counterpoint. Listening to this album was affecting and did in fact invoke the colours in the dark that the album title suggests.” (Summary by Emily)

Syndetics book coverNeujahrskonzert 2012 [videorecording] = New Year’s concert 2012 / an ORF production in collaboration with the Wiener Philharmoniker ; directed by Karina Fibich. “While this DVD is of a New Year’s concert over a year ago (!) it is still an exciting concert with high energy and entertainment much like the New Zealand Air Force Band ‘Proms’. The music (like always) is of an exceptionally high standard performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker. Quite the spectacle.” (Summary by Emily)

Syndetics book coverBritten’s century : celebrating 100 years of Benjamin Britten / edited by Mark Bostridge ; introduced by Nicholas Kenyon. “This biography canvasses all aspects of Britten’s life and works. With a star-studed list of contributors ranging from Dame Janet Baker, to playwrite Alan Bennett, and musicologist/conductor Philip Brett (who had particular influence in LGBT musicology) this book provides fascinating insight into what was already a fascinating man and life.” (Summary by Emily)

Two new scores have come into the library comprising of two volumes of musical theatre hits for women! And with a new production of ‘Annie’ set for New Zealand stages mid-2014, maybe you’d like to brush up an audition piece…

Syndetics book coverThe singer’s musical theatre anthology. Soprano. Volume 1 / compiled and edited by Richard Walters.
“The most comprehensive collection of Broadway selections ever organized specifically for the singer. Each of the five volumes in the series contains important songs chosen because they are appropriate fpr each voice. All selections are in their authentic, original form, and taken from the original vocal score. The songs in The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology, written by such noted composers as Kurt Weill, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Kern, are vocal masterpieces ideal for the auditioning, practicing or performing vocalists. Contents: Barbara Song; Bill; Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man; Climb Ev’ry Mountain; Come Home; Falling In Love With Love; Far From The Home I Love; Glad To Be Unhappy; Goodnight, My Someone; Green Finch And Linnet Bird; Hello, Young Lovers; I Could Have Danced All Night; I Loved You Once In Silence; If I Loved You; Love, Look Away; Many A New Day; Mister Snow; Much More; My Funny Valentine; My Lord And Master; My Ship; My White Knight; No Other Love; Not A Day Goes By; Old Maid; One More Kiss; Out Of My Dreams; Pirate Jenny; Show Me; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; So In Love; Solomon Song; Somebody, Somewhere; Somehow I Never Could Believe; Something Wonderful; Summertime; Surabaya Johnny; Ten Minutes Ago; That’ll Show Him; The Golden Ram; The Saga Of Jenny; The Simple Joys Of Maidenhood; Till There Was You; Under The Tree; What Good Would The Moon Be?; What’s The Use Of Wond’rin’; Where Or When; You’ll Never Walk Alone.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverThe singer’s musical theatre anthology. Mezzo-soprano/belter. Volume 2 / compiled and edited by Richard Walters.
“The selections are presented in their authentic settings, excerpted from the original vocal scores.” (Syndetics summary)

And while these next two books are from a series held in our Childrens’ collection, they are both entertaining, informative, and pretty to look at!

Syndetics book coverBeethoven for kids : his life and music : with 21 activities / Helen Bauer.
“Gr 6-8-This well-written text tells the story of Beethoven’s life and music from his birth in Bohn to his death in Vienna. The text winds above and around rather lengthy information boxes that describe places and people who influenced Beethoven. The material in them is interesting but reading it breaks up and slows down the main narrative. The book is handsomely formatted with decorative boarders and illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of archival artwork.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVerdi for kids : his life and music : with 21 activities / Helen Bauer ; foreword by Deborah Voigt.
“Giuseppe Verdi, one of the great composers of the nineteenth century, lived in a turbulent time in Italy. Bauer competently ties together Verdi’s life and the development of Italy into a unified country in a way that helps readers (both youth and adult) understand the complexity of each. Photographs and informational text boxes enhance the text. As with previous books in the series, 21 related creative activities are included. Back matter is highlighted by recommended recordings of Verdi’s operas. Of particular interest to budding musicians and music educators.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)