A “Year of Wonder”-Ful Classical Music: January

One of my projects for 2019 is to read my way through this book, which is filled with classical music pieces for every day of the year! It has been an enlightening month, and I’d like to share with all of you my top 5 favorite pieces from January’s list. Below are the links to the songs. Happy listening, and check out the poetry that goes with them!!!

1) O Virtus Sapientiae, by St. Hildegarde von Bingen

St. Hildegarde was a powerhouse of creativity! For such a busy woman, she came up with some incredibly meditative music. This haunting selection sends chills up my spine!

2) ‘Les Chemins de L’amour’ – ‘The Paths of Love’, by Francis Poulenc

Written during WWII as an act of artistic defiance against the Nazis, this is a wonderful piece of French cabaret music! The singer’s voice is so full and rich, so sultry and classy at the same time.

3) ‘Ubi Caritas et Amor’ from Four Gregorian Motets, by Maurice Durufle (This one gets first place for me!!!)

“Where charity and love are, there God is.” That is the translation of the title. I highly recommend reading the full translation. It’s just pure beauty in every line. This particular arrangement by Ola Gjeilo combines the echoes of Gregorian Chant with silvery, liquid piano music to absolutely stunning effect.

4) ‘Dirait-on’ – ‘Should We Say’ from Les chansons des roses, by Morten Lauridsen

This piece is so like a lullaby. I don’t know what it is about French, but if flowers had a spoken language, this would totally be it. It also reminds me of a wonderful movie called “Therese,” about St. Therese of Lisieux. The soundtrack is fantastic!!!!! Click here to listen to one of the songs.

5) My love is like a red, red rose: Poetry by Robert “Rabbie” Burns, sung by Bryn Terfel

“Rabbie” Burns was a Scottish poet, and I never knew the UK valued him so highly as to dedicate an entire day to the celebration of his work. The lyrics, (or poetry) of the song is some of the most romantic I’ve ever heard. It touches on the pain of separation, while reaffirming love’s everlasting nature.

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