Couperin: Les Barricades Mystérieuses

Last winter I heard a piece of music I had never heard before and, like so many before me, I became obsessed. I couldn’t even think about this piece without compulsively turning it on and listening to it several times and so eventually I decided it was time to unleash this glorious baroque beast onto all of you as well.

YES ELLEN, HARPSICHORD

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Delibes: Cortège de Bacchus (Sylvia)

I try not to pick favorites, I really do. But the first time I heard this piece of music I just kept yelling “What IS this?”WHO is this?” which tells you a lot about how much fun it is to hang out with me. This piece is so exhilarating and exciting and incidentally, my number 1 pick for classical music pieces to run to. Are you ready for Bacchus?

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Copland: Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo

Howdy y’all! We’re jumping right into Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo today so put on your cowboy boots, saddle up and let’s wrangle this great piece of American music!

Rope ’em cowgirl!

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Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

I think we can all agree that Spring is finally here. People are beginning to go outside again, windows are open, trees are budding and birds are singing. When I started thinking of something “Springy” to write about, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending,  filled with hope and nostalgia and bird songs, felt all kinds of right.

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Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Part One

THE PIECE(er… -s): “Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann”, Clara Schumann (Op. 20) / Johannes Brahms (Op. 9)
DATE: 1853 (Clara Schumann) / 1854 (Johannes Brahms)
ERA: Romanticism
GOOD FOR: when you feel sad because love is so beautiful but will you ever find it?!?!, generally crying your eyes out

 

The relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann is the most beautiful, bonkers, and heartbreaking love story in classical music. It has everything: Star-crossed lovers! A scandalous legal battle! Incredible musical works inspired by and dedicated to each other! Syphilis! And one of the most tragic endings you’ll hear this side of Shakespeare. It’s my favorite coupling in all of music, so just give up now, Taylor Swift!

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Partita for 8 Voices

WORK TITLE: Partita for 8 Voices
COMPOSER: Caroline Shaw
DATE/ERA: 2012/New Music
IDEAL FOR: When you need some Joy, or when you’re looking for some next level acapella group music.

 

The first time I heard Partita for 8 voices was shortly after it had won the pulitzer. I put it on casually in the background while I fiddled around on the internet but it only took about a minute and a half before I closed my browser and sat stunned. I got to the end, sat blinking at my computer and pressed play again. See below for live footage of the moment

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