July 2018 Staff Picks

July’s staff picks features albums and playlists that we’ve been listening to this month! Each featured release has been handpicked by our staff along with a brief quote. Want to listen to the featured release? Simply click “Listen Now” in each review section. Happy listening!

“The second volume of Grainger’s “Complete Music for Wind Band” contains a number of standout works, including two fantastic and moving versions of “Irish Tune from County Derry”, one of my favorite pieces of music.  Known the world over as the tune from the popular song “Danny Boy”, the piece is presented here in two arrangements. The first, a more traditional approach, features wonderfully contrasting dynamics and conservative chording. The second version features more daring chromatic changes and an interesting organ part which begins the piece. The Royal Norwegian Navy Band has a warm, rich sound and the recording quality is first-rate.” – Kris | Listen Now

“In anticipation of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial on August 25th, I’m listening to unCLASSIFIED’s ‘Celebrate Bernstein’. His many contributions to the worlds of classical music, musical theatre, and dance are unparalleled.  I love this playlist because it has a great mix of all of these genres.  If you are a West Side Story fan (who isn’t???), be sure to check out ‘On the Town’—fun and seriously underrated!” –  Natalie | Listen Now

“When a Russian composer meets Broadway, the result is these fantastic Jazz Suites. Taken from his movies and ballets dances pieces, we can appreciate the fine art of Shostakovich as an accomplished melodist.” – Philippe | Listen Now

“Clearly a labor of love dedicated to her mother-in-law, the majority of this recording is made up of the song cycle, The Long View, written by Patrice Michaels.  The songs are largely drawn from texts from Justice Ginsburg’s past, including my favorite, Dissenter of de Universe, which includes excerpts from some of her most influential dissenting opinions.  This recording was produced by James Ginsburg, Justice Ginsburg’s son, which makes the entire recording a family affair–something I find makes the entire album very special.  The text used in “My Dearest Ruth” is from the last letter the late Marty Ginsburg wrote to his wife.  The song is heartbreaking and beautiful, and it shows the love and admiration Marty had for his wife, her spirit, and her work.  This is a really wonderful listen for anyone who is interested in learning more about the life of a truly inspiring woman.” – Caitlin | Listen Now

“This playlist is comprised of 101 tracks from 101 of the top composers active today. It’s a hint at just how diverse and inventive classical music can be.”
– Dan | Listen Now

Ronn McFarlane’s latest Sono Luminus is stunningly beautiful and definitely makes me feel as though I’ve been transported to the Scottish Highlands. Perfect for relaxing, working, or otherwise. I also appreciate that he’s a West Virginia native! Strongly recommended.” – Jesse | Listen Now | Music Video