Spring Playlist Pt. 3

The final playlist for spring will probably open new doors to sounds you’ve never heard. From Estonian to Chinese to American, you’ll be transported by these sonic pictures. You might even dance a little thanks to Strauss. Be sure to take a look at the first and second installments of this series!

Yu-Xian Deng: Spring Breeze

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A lovely piece by a Chinese composer, leaves fluttering in the calm air created by the gentle guitar.

Johann Strauss, Jr.: Flower Festival Polka

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Written in 1852 for a Viennese flower festival, it’s easy to picture fluffy-frocked ladies dancing among tulips in the Burggarten to this tune.

Jean Sibelius: The Flowers

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These delicate piano miniatures are like the first crocuses pushing their way through the snow.

Veljo Tormis: Three I had those words of beauty

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The “three words” are never named in this love song, but the music joyfully illustrates the three places they exist–the sunny daytime, the moonlit nighttime, and the glimmering stars, reflected in the maiden’s eyes.

Darius Milhaud: Little Symphony No. 1 “Spring”

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A little demented whimsy to animate anyone who’s feeling a little stir-crazy after this long winter!

Ned Rorem: Spring Music

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Rorem’s piano trio has all the ups and downs of a Minnesota spring–gorgeous moments of repose, occasional rain storms, and sunshine filled with ecstatic joy.

Spring Playlist Pt. 2

Our second installment in a series of suggestions for your spring paylist includes some familiar names, but you might also hear something new, like Prince Gustaf or Hugo Wolf. Who doesn’t love Prelude to the Afternoon of Faun or the opening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6? Check out these tracks and add them to your library! Also, don’t forget to take a look at the first part of our Spring Playlist.

Claude Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

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A charming flute begins this warm picture of a lazy afternoon.

Prince Gustaf: Merry as a Bird

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Edvard Grieg: Lyric Pieces: “To Spring,” “The Little Bird” and “Butterfly”

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The Scandinavians, like Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Edvard Grieg of Norway, really know how to celebrate the end of winter.

Ottorino Respighi: The Birds

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It’s a sure sign of spring when the robins, goldfinches and bluebirds are back in town. Respighi’s orchestral birdcalls perfectly set the mood for an afternoon of bird watching along the Mississippi.

Hugo Wolf: Er ist’s!

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It’s here! It’s finally Springtime! (Let’s hope so, anyway.)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”: 1st movement

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Even if Beethoven hadn’t given titles to the movements of his “Pastoral” symphony (this one is “Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country”), this music would still have the welcoming tone of a new adventure.

The Short Version: Domestic Scene, chez Heartbreak

In the composer’s conception the opera was good, in early performance a flop, in posterity one of the greatest. But death intervened between steps two and three, left him bewildered and believing that his greatest achievement, wasn’t. The soldier from Seville wasn’t the only one unmanned by the girl in the tobacco factory.

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Peter Lieberson (1946-2011)

Composer Peter Lieberson passed away over the weekend. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, shortly after his wife, soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, lost her battle with breast cancer.

Lieberson was a practicing Buddhist and influenced by the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa. He won the Grawemeyer Award in 2007 for Neruda Songs, a loving cycle for soprano and orchestra setting some of the Love Sonnets of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and composed for Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. In addition to his work with major orchestras such as Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Lieberson collaborated with musicians, such as Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Oliver Knussen.

Spring Playlist Pt. 1

With warmer weather, hopefully where you live, there comes more time spent outdoors, walking, jogging, yard work or just sitting on the porch. We’ve curated a few playlists to accompany whatever you’re doing. Listen to Morning Glories for some other suggestions (you can check the titles and composers on our playlist page). You will also find links where you can purchase the music, load it to your mp3 device, and you’re set for spring! Here are our first set of suggestions:

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 “Scottish”: 2nd movement

Energetic, buoyant, just the sound for greeting the sunrise on a clear day.

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Felix Mendelssohn: Songs without Words “Spring Song” and “May Breezes”

A little more Mendelssohn–two piano pieces that always bring to mind cartoon bunnies.

“Spring Song”:

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“May Breezes”:

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Gustav Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer: “Morning walk”

The bird’s song in the first verse says it all: “Isn’t it becoming a fine world? Chirp! Chirp! Fair and sharp! How the world delights me!” (Translation from the Lied, Art Songs, and Choral Texts Page, http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=10693)

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Johann Strauss, Jr.: Voices of Spring Waltz

Spring is a time to dance, and Strauss is always ready with a waltz for any season.

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Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring

Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” might not have been intended to depict the season, but still has the fresh feeling of a new beginning, complete with sunrise, dance, and optimism.

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