New CDs added in June!

New CDs for June 2016

Classical

Yizhak Schotten – The Elegant Viola
George Szell & The Cleveland Orchestra – Szell Conducts Mozart
UMass Wind Ensemble – Fatastique: Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

Fantastique: Premieres for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble

Band Music

The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band – Flourishes and Meditations
The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band – Be Glad Then, America

Be Glad Then, America - U.S. Marine Band

Jazz

Duke Ellington- The Nutcracker Suite

Duke Ellington - The Nutcracker Suite

Vocal Music

Teresa Stratas – The Unknown Kurt Weill

Teresa Stratas - The Unknown Kurt Weill

New CDs added in April!

New CDs for April 2016

Classical

Johannes Brahms – Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano
Karen Gottlieb – Music For Harp
Mitchell Lurie – Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet

Mitchell Lurie, Clarinet

Mozart/Beethoven – Quintets for Piano & Winds
Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach – Genius – Music of Johann Sebastian Bach & Antonio Vivaldi

Quintets for Piano & Winds

Pop/Rock/R&B

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise
Tamar Braxton – Calling All Lovers

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
Aretha Franklin – Aretha Sings The Blues
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Aretha Sings The Blues

Jazz

Karrin Allyson – Many A New Day
Louis Armstrong – Blow Satchmo Blow
The Bad Plus – The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
The Bad Plus – The Rite Of Spring

The Bad Plus - The Rite of Spring

Terence Blanchard – Breathless
Michael Dease – Decisions
Chris Dingman – The Subliminal and the Sublime
Gil Evans Project – Lines Of Color

Michael Dease - Decisions

John Fedchock – Like It Is
Marshall Gilkes – Ko¨ln
Scott Hamilton & Jeff Hamilton Trio – Live In Bern
Lionel Hampton – 50th Anniversary Concert – Live at Carnegie Hall

Lionel Hampton - Live at Carnegie Hall

Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band – Eleven
Joe Magnarelli – Three On Two
Matt Ulery’s Loom – Music Box Ballerina
Matt Ulery’s Loom – Wake An Echo

Matt Ulery's Loom - Music Box Ballerina

Marcus Miller – Afrodeezia
Sun Ra and his Arkestra – In The Orbit Of Ra
Matt Ulery – By A Little Light
Matt Ulery – In The Ivory
Matt Ulery – Themes And Scenes

Sun Ra - In the Orbit of Ra

World Music

Andy Lau – Love: Special Edition
Amira Medunjanin – Silk & Stone

Amira Medunjanin - Silk & Stone

Electronic Music

Qluster – Tasten
Jane Rigler – Rarefactions: Compositions via Improvisations
Madeleine Shapiro – Sounds Nature: Works for Cello and Electronics

Jane Rigler - Rarefactions

New CDs added in March!

New CDs for March 2016

Classical

Helene Grimaud – Water

Helene Grimaud - Water

Opera

Giuseppe Verdi – Attila
Giuseppe Verdi – Oberto

Verdi - Oberto

Verdi - Attila

Pop/Rock/R&B

David Bowie – Blackstar

David Bowie - Blackstar

Jazz

Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest – Sylva

Snarky Puppy - Sylva

Blues

Buddy Guy – Born To Play Guitar

Buddy Guy - Born To Play Guitar

New CDs added in February!

New CDs for February 2016

Classical

Alexsandr Scriabin – Complete Preludes
Jean Sibelius – Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6
Jean Sibelius – Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7: “The Tempest” Suite No. 2

Sibelius -  Symphonies 6 & 7

Jazz

Joey Alexander – My Favorite Things

Joey Alexander - My Favorite Things

Pop/Rock/R&B

Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence + the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

New CDs added in January!

New CDs for January 2016

Jazz

Herbie Hancock – Future Shock

Futureshock

Pop/Rock/R&B

Adele – 25

Adele 25

Aerosmith – Honkin’ On Bobo
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

Sound & Color

Drake – If Youre Reading This Its Too Late
Elle King – Love Stuff
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

To Pimp A Butterfly

Lamb of God – VII: Sturm und Drang
Bettye Lavette – Worthy
Mark Ronson – Uptown Special
Mavis Staples – One True Vine

Mavis Staples - One True Vine

Tame Impala – Currents
Taylor Swift – 1989
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness

The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness

Celebrating Mozart’s 260th Birthday!

Mozart's birthday

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg on January 27th, 1756. He was a musical prodigy and wrote half of the number of total symphonies he would create between the ages of 8 and 19. Here is a cool little feature article with GIFs about his early life: http://www.sinfinimusic.com/uk/features/other-features/classical-buzz/young-mozart-1756-1791-the-early-years-of-musical-child-prodigies-nannerl-and-wolfgang.

Baby Mozart

Although he only lived to be 35, he composed over 600 works during his lifetime. Many of which are acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence on subsequent Western art music is profound.

In honor of his birthday here are some interesting facts:

* Mozart, his father, and his sister traveled around the noble courts of Europe to perform music. Travel was difficult in those days, and all three Mozarts suffered serious illnesses on the road. Wolfgang never grew to be a strong man, and researchers believe his many illnesses as a child left him small, pale, and delicate.

* While in Vienna as a child, Mozart performed for Empress Maria Theresa. He amused her when he asked one of her young daughters to marry him. She was Marie Antoinette, the future queen of France.

* Among Mozart’s prolific musical creations are 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos, 5 violin concertos, 27 concert arias, 23 string quartets, 18 masses, and 22 operas.

* When Mozart visited the Sistine Chapel as a child, he astonished everyone when he remembered and wrote down, note for note, Allegri’s Miserere. This composition had been previously kept a secret.

This grand piano is attributed to Johann Schmidt of Salzburg, a friend of the Mozart family, whom Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang's father) helped to secure the job of court organ and instrument maker in Salzburg. In the 1980s, an extensive cleaning revealed the initials of Wolfgang Mozart scratched inside long ago. It is possible that Mozart played this piano in Salzburg.  You can see this instrument at the Metropolitan Museum of Art now.  http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/505526

This grand piano is attributed to Johann Schmidt of Salzburg, a friend of the Mozart family, whom Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s father) helped to secure the job of court organ and instrument maker in Salzburg. In the 1980s, an extensive cleaning revealed the initials of Wolfgang Mozart scratched inside long ago. It is possible that Mozart played this piano in Salzburg. You can see this instrument at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

* Constanze Weber was Mozart’s wife and her father Fridolin’s half-brother was the father of composer Carl Maria von Weber. Constanze had three sisters, Josepha, Aloysia and Sophie, who were all were trained as singers and later performed in premieres of a number of Mozart’s works.

* Mozart’s compositions were cataloged in the 19th century by Köchel, and they are now generally distinguished by the K. numbering from this catalog such as Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus K.618.

* In the largest-ever recording project devoted to a single composure, Philips Classic produced 180 compact discs in 1991 containing the complete set of authenticated works by Mozart. It comprises over 200 hours of music and would take over 6.5 feet of shelving.

* Mozart’s music has featured in quite a few films. For example, his “Duettino- Sull’aria” from one of Mozart’s most popular operas The Marriage of Figaro makes an appearance in The Shawshank Redemption.

We have all manner of interesting recordings, scores, books, and DVDs featuring the works of Mozart here at the Parsons Music Library. Why not come and see what we have to offer? We are always happy to assist.

Here are a very few (out of hundreds) of possibilities (links will take you to the relevant records in the library catalog):

Mozart speaks : views on music, musicians, and the world : drawn from the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other early accounts  / selected and with commentary by Robert L. Marshall.

Mozart speaks : views on music, musicians, and the world : drawn from the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other early accounts / selected and with commentary by Robert L. Marshall.


Mozart speaks : views on music, musicians, and the world : drawn from the letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other early accounts

Mozart's opera  "Don Giovanni" premiered in 1787.  This is but one of many recordings.

Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni” premiered in 1787. This is but one of many recordings.


Don Giovanni

Score of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor
Symphony no. 40 in G minor, K. 550 ; Symphony no. 41 in C, K. 551

Actor Tom Hulce plays "Wolfie" in the 1984 film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's play "Amadeus."

Actor Tom Hulce plays “Wolfie” in the 1984 film adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus.”


Amadeus on DVD

We have many recordings of Mozart's Piano Concertos.   (This one happens to be on DVD.)

We have many recordings of Mozart’s Piano Concertos. (This one happens to be on DVD.)


Mozart : great piano concertos : vol. II, nos. 1, 4, 23 & 24

Staging Scenes from the Operas of  Mozart
Staging scenes from the operas of Mozart : a guide for teachers and singers by William Ferrara

New CDs added in December!

New CDs for December 2015

Classical

Susan Allen – Postcard From Heaven
Franz Schubert – The Unauthorised Piano Duos, Volume 3

Postcard From Heaven

Early Music

Psallentes – Missa Transfigurationis

Missa Transfigurationis

Film Music

Carmine Coppola and Francis Coppola – Apocalypse Now Redux
James Newton Howard – Snow Falling On Cedars

Snow Falling On Cedars

Pop/Rock

Various Artists – Soul Of Sue Records
Various Artists – I’m A Good Woman – Funk Classics From Sassy Soul
Sisters

I'm A Good Woman

Jazz

Lafayette Harris, Jr. Trio – Bend To The Light
Jacob Fischer- … In New York City
Donald Vega – With Respect To Monty

Bend To The Light

Band Music

The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band – Elements

Elements

World/Folk Music

George Wassouf – The Best of George Wassouf
Various Artists – Teen Dance Music From China and Malaysia
Voices of Ireland – Lord of the Dance and Other Famous Irish Songs &
Dances

Teen Dance Music From China and Malaysia

“Lights, please … ” – “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the Music of Vince Guaraldi

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Title Card

The animated TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut on December 9th, 1965 on CBS.

The special was atypical for most cartoons at the time because of its contemplative message, its use of real children (some of whom were too young to read) to voice the characters as opposed to adult voice actors and its LACK of use of a laugh track. (Peanuts creator Charles Schulz refused to allow one saying he wanted to “let the people at home enjoy the show at their own speed, in their own way.”)

A Charlie Brown Christmas - cast

A Charlie Brown Christmas was also noteworthy for its holiday-infused jazz soundtrack created by musician/composer Vince Guaraldi.

Jazz musician/composer Vince Guaraldi

Jazz musician/composer Vince Guaraldi

Guaraldi became involved with the Peanuts before the start of production for the Christmas special. Producer Lee Mendelson heard Guaraldi’s 1963 radio hit “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” while traveling by taxi on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and initially commissioned Guaraldi write a jazz soundtrack for a television documentary about Charles Schulz called A Boy Named Charlie Brown that wound up never being broadcast. According to Mendelson, the first performance of “Linus & Lucy” occurred over the phone during the production of the documentary. Fortunately, the Christmas special allowed the piece to find a home.

Peanuts characters dance to Guaraldi's iconic "Linus & Lucy"

Peanuts characters dance to Guaraldi’s iconic “Linus & Lucy”

The jazz soundtrack to the special was initially a hard sell, both to Charles Schulz (who was not much of a jazz fan at the time) and to the network since jazz had never been used in an animated special before. Despite Schulz’s initial feelings about jazz, he pushed for Guaraldi’s music to be included because he believed it created a perfect “bubbly, childlike tone” for the show.

Interestingly, the song “Christmas Time Is Here” was something of a happy accident. According to Lee Mendelson: “For the Christmas Show, [Vince] wrote an original melody that wasn’t in the documentary. It was a beautiful melody that opened the scene where the kids are skating. When we looked at the final cut, it seemed to me to be very slow. I said, ‘Let me see if I can find some lyricists to put some words to it.’ I couldn’t find anybody. I sat down at my kitchen table and in 10 minutes I wrote a poem called ‘Christmas Time Is Here’ to the melody. I wrote all the words down, handed it to Vince, and said, ‘Find a choir of kids to sing this.’ He had been working with a choir to do a jazz mass in San Francisco. He rushed them all together, about two days later. So that whole thing was written and recorded in about over a two-day period and then rushed into the final mix [of the special].” The song has gone on to become a holiday standard and has been covered by many artists including Tony Bennett and Diana Krall.

In fact, it is hard to imagine the holiday season in the US now without the beloved special and its music!

Charlie Brown Christmas album art

Univeristy of Richmond students, faculty and staff can stream the soundtrack to the special by logging into the Alexander Street press database to which the library subscribes. They can also access Guaraldi’s Grace Cathedral Jazz Mass (which also celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015) as well as several of Guaraldi’s other albums.

Grace Cathedral concert

A Charlie Brown Christmas has become the second longest running animated Christmas special of all time (behind 1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) and the soundtrack album was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2011.

Charlie_Brown_Xmas_tree

The Parsons Music Library has a special display about A Charlie Brown Christmas and Vince Guaraldi that you can visit through the end of the year — come check it out!

“There Are Places I’ll Remember …” – The Beatles’ Rubber Soul turns 50

The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Rubber Soul is the sixth album released by the Beatles. It was issued in the UK on December 3rd, 1965, fifty years ago. (And was released in an altered form in the US on December 6th, 1965.) The album was the first album the Beatles recorded during a continuous period (between October 12th and November 15th, 1965) instead of being recorded piecemeal between tour gigs. This gave the band an opportunity to craft an album that was a more cohesive and introspective unit. Rubber Soul‘s 14 songs (11 composed by John Lennon & Paul McCartney, 2 composed by George Harrison and 1 written by Lennon, McCartney and Ringo Starr) are stylistically diverse, incorporating elements of R&B, folk rock, pop, soul and psychedelia. It is also the first Beatles album to NOT include any cover songs (i.e., songs orignally written and recorded by other artists).

Rubber Soul was unique for many reasons. The Beatles were beginning to experiment with lyrics that were not necessarily about boy-girl romance and are more lyrically sophisticated than songs like “She Loves You“. “Nowhere Man” isn’t about romance at all — a first on a Beatles album.

The group also experiments with incorporating unusual instruments (for the time) and sounds onto the album. George Harrison’s use of the sitar on Lennon’s “Norwegian Wood” helped to spark a musical craze for Indian instruments in pop music. Other “world music” influences are evident in the jazzy French style of McCartney’s “Michelle” and a Greek flavored accompaniment on Lennon’s “Girl” (with acoustic guitars standing in for bouzoukis). “In My Life” features an instrumental bridge with a Bach-like passage played on piano, but sped up to sound like a harpsichord.

The Beatles’ willingness to experiment in the studio was a feature of their work that would continue to develop by leaps and bounds over their next couple of albums. The spirit of experimentation even extended to the album cover itself, which featured a distorted image of the Fab 4 and, unlike most pop albums of the time, did NOT feature the name of the band on the front cover.

Rubber Soul remains a fulfilling album to listen to and to quote music critic Walter Everett, “was made more to be thought about than danced to, and this began a far-reaching trend.”

New CDs added in November!

New CDs for November 2015

Classical

Eighth Blackbird – Filament
Antonio Vivaldi – Complete Viola D’Amore Concertos
Franz Schubert – The Unauthorised Piano Duos
Pablo Villegas – Americano
Kontras Quartet – Origins

Eighth Blackbird - Filament

Pablo Villegas - Americano

Vivaldi - Complete Viola D'Amore Concertos

Early Music

Blue Heron Renaissance Choir – Music From The Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 4

Blue Heron Renaissance Choir

Vocal/Opera

Joyce DiDonato & Antonio Pappano – Joyce & Tony: Live At Wigmore Hall

Joyce & Tony:  Live at Wigmore Hall

Musicals

Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Hamilton Cast Recording

Pop/Rock/Country/Blues

Juan Diego Florez – Sentimiento Latino
Shemekia Copeland – Talking To Strangers
Shemekia Copeland – Outskirts of Love
Janelle Monae – The Archandroid
Janelle Monae – Metropolis: The Chase Suite

Sentimiento Latino

Metropolis

Outskirts of Love

Jazz

John Scofield – Past Present
Sun Ra – Four Classic Albums Plus Bonus Singles
Sun Ra – Soundtrack to the Film Space Is The Place
Kenny Clarke – Kind of Clarke
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra – Dee Dee’s Feathers

Dee Dee's Feathers

Sun Ra - Space Is The Place