Year of Wonder – December

December is the last month of my Year of Wonder. Clemency Burton-Hill's book Year of Wonder describes one piece of music for each day of the year, and I have listened to every piece in the book so far. It's been great fun, to say the least.

November was a particularly good month with many dreary, minor key pieces to fit the mood for late autumn. A few of my favorites (at least the ones I could find on YouTube) are embedded below.

Whether you have already begun the journey or would like to begin now, I have embedded a Spotify playlist for Burton-Hill's recommendations for December.

Enjoy!

Spotify Playlist for DECEMBER of the Year of Wonder


Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, "When I am laid in earth"
Performed by the English Chamber Orchestra
Jessye Norman (soprano)



Chopin, Nocturne No. 8 in D-flat major, op. 27 no. 2
Performed by Evgeny Kissin


Holst, Choral Hymns, "Hymn to the Dawn"
Performed by the BBC Singers, conducted by Nicholas Kok


Villa-Lobos, Bachianas brasileiras, No. 5, Aria
Performed by cellists from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Barbara Hannigan (soprano)



Reich, Music for Pieces of Wood
Performed by Third Coast Percussion


MacMillan, Miserere
Performed by Third Coast Percussion


Chopin, Etude Op. 10, No. 3 in E major (1832)

"After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." – Oscar Wilde

Valentina Lisitsa, piano

Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

“Everybody loves classical music, they just haven't found out about it yet.” – Benjamin Zander

Embedded in this posting is a must-see TED talk by
Benjamin Zander, the musical director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Zander's moving performance of Chopin's Prelude in E minor should be enough to persuade everyone to begin a journey into the world of classical music.