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Classical 101

Christopher's Favorite Recordings


THREE AUDIO TRACKS I still have several shelves of LPs I bought over thirty years ago that have never appeared on compact disc. You either re-oil a turntable and listen to a scratchy and faded LP (well loved, well worn) or you do without. I know a lot of us of a certain age are emotionally attached to our old records.  There they sit on the shelves, looking at me now, often with superb art work and liner notes, but you can only hear them in your mind and in your heart. So, Christopher, why not put them on CD yourself, you may ask? Why not, indeed, except that I'm the Luddite par excellence. Thankfully, our own Dave Gelfer, a superb engineer who worked at WOSU for many years, recently took custody of a stack of my favorites and is beginning LP to CD surgery on my behalf. A few years ago another friend took my most treasured LP of all and did a similar operation for me. I listen to this homemade CD very seldom. I don't know why the performances and the music move me so much.  I knew some of the artists, and the listening experience recalls a happy time in my life in my favorite city. Courts and Chapels of Renaissance France was recorded thirty five years ago by the Boston Camerata. The recording was produced by Titanic Records, run by one guy out of his home in Somerville, Mass. These were beautifully produced LPs, impeccably done with superb cover art. The albums themselves were works of art.  The records were beautifully crafted. Here are some samples. First, a prayer by the French composer Claude Goudimel (152-1572). Goudimel joined the Huguenots in France and died in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacres in Paris in 1572. Priere avant le repas (Goudimel) [audio:15-track-15.mp3] Here's another Goudimel setting, of Psalm 137, "By the waters of Babylon, we sat down and wept for thee, Zion" [audio:18-track-18.mp3] And here is music from the Avignon Cathedral, c. 1600, "La bono novello,"  a version of The Annunciation: The Good News [audio:26-track-26.mp3] Three favorite cuts of mine from a beloved LP:  Courts and Chapels of Renaissance France, with The Boston Camerata led by Joel Cohen. The singers include Jane Bryden, Katherine Edmonds, Frank Hoffmeister and Mark Baker.