Modern Vampires of the City, by Vampire Weekend. The chamber-pop quartet’s third LP finds the band in a more introspective state than the Afropop-infused bounce of its earlier albums. If the effect is a sometimes sleepier sound, it also results in the group’s most stylistically varied set of songs.
Preludes and Dreams
By Lera Auerbach
Works by Dubugnon, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Lili Boulanger
Messiaen Janine Jansen, violin; Itamar Golan, piano
By Paweł Łukaszewski Trinity College Choir, Cambridge; Stephen Layton, conductor
Piano Concerto “Resurrection”
By Krzysztof Penderecki Florian Uhlig, piano; Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Łukasz Borowicz, conductor
By Arvo Pärt Latvian Radio Choir; Sinfonietta Riga, Vox Clamantis, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Tonu Kaljuste, conductor
Son of Chamber Symphony and String Quartet
By John Adams International Contemporary Ensemble; St. Lawrence String Quartet; John Adams, conductor
Bagatellen und Serenaden
By Valentin Silvestrov Valentin Silvestrov and Alexei Lubimov, piano; Münchener Kammerorchester; Christoph Poppen, conductor
Preludes and Dreams, Lera Auerbach, piano. Lera Auerbach, a Russian Jew who has lived in the United States for over 20 years, is not only a pianist but a visual artist and award-winning poet. She is the creator of an impressive number of large-scale works such as the ballet The Little Mermaid and the recent Ode to Peace.
I entered parish ministry with a fair amount of idealism, particularly liturgical idealism. Inconveniently, the liturgical proclivities I picked up in seminary were not especially popular with my first congregation.
This became clear as a sleigh bell during our first Advent season together.
While my life and mind have been shaped by both American evangelicalism and political liberalism, I feel little personal connection to either C. S. Lewis or John F. Kennedy. Like a lot of people, I have mixed feelings about both men; perhaps more importantly, I wasn't around yet when they died. In any case, neither anniversary made me catch my breath this week.
Here's what did: Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday.
No one understood my nightly need to be reassured I’d wake up again the next day. Eyes closed, I saw no sheep but the tufts of pampas grass looming silver like a solitary path. The scroll hung above me, a verse in five and seven, its flowing hand thin and illegible—I still knew it was about our life not lasting very long. How is it that adults were okay with such a prospect? In July, bamboo blades rustled against paper cranes and prayer strips; I wondered how I’d made the cut, when I wasn’t a boy my father wanted, wasn’t a koi princess my mother said would magically turn her tail into a pair of legs. I looked for the fabled rabbits on the moon, a family of them taking turns to pound rice into pearly cakes along their dark, elliptical orbit.