I know that my last staff picks post offered some great CDs but this time around, the CDs will be even better, hopefully. Here we go!
Stokowski Encores – This recording is as exciting as it gets, just the pieces that the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski uses for encores. Plus! Stokowski did all of the orchestrating on this CD for example pieces like Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (my favorite piece ever and the reason I listened to this CD in the first place) and The Engulfed Cathedral by Debussy. Guaranteed to take any rocking evening to the next level! (CD 1440)
To What Strange Place: The Ottoman-American Diaspora 1916-1929 – A while back, January to be exact, I wrote a post about Ian Nagoski and his 78 78s. To summarize this amazingly interesting story, Nagoski is a collector of old 78s but not just any old old 78s, he only collects ones with foreign sounding titles. What he found was that all those seemingly foreign 78s were actually recorded in the United States during a period where record companies brought in immigrant artist to make recordings to sell back to their respective ethnic neighborhoods. Nagoski discovered this and has since been releasing albums of these 78s and To What Strange Place is one of them. My favorite track of this album is the haunting Smyrneiko minore by Maria Papagika. (CD 9614)
Mechanical Music by Gyorgy Ligeti – Ever hear a barrel organ? If not then you need to listen to this album. If yes then you still need to listen to this album, because it isn’t just music for barrel organ, but also player piano and 100 metronomes. That’s right 100 metronomes. I can’t really say too much more about this album other than that it is so cool and you need to listen to. Seriously though, listen to it. (CD 9538)
Complete Viola Quintets Vol. 1 by Wolfgang Mozart – Is the thought of finals bringing you down bringing you down? Then this CD is your savior. It’s all you love from Mozart’s quartets with a bonus viola. How can you say no? Probably because you can’t. Even if you are having the worst day of your life, for example if what you think is your father’s ghost, but is really your rival dressed up as your dead father, is forcing you to write your own Requiem which will probably lead to your death (if you don’t know what I’m talking about get this DVD from Media Services), then this album is guaranteed to brighten even your most sturm-und-drang days. (CD 9666)
Ohm +: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music - Finally, my final staff pick is this awesome compilation of Electronic Music. This CD is great for those of us who have never heard electronic music before and for those of us who can’t get enough of it. Featuring instruments like the telharmonium, theremin, ondes martenot, electronic sackbut, clavivox and electronium. Including performances by artists such as Clara Rockmore, John Cage, Brian Eno, Olvier Messiaen, Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis and La Monte Young (one of my personal favorites). Plus a DVD! So good! (CD 4976)