Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Four, Student Staff Picks

For our final week of the Isolation Playlist, we are featuring recommendations from Mendel’s Public Services student staff. They are currently working on finals after finishing their online classes. Amid all the dean’s date papers, they’re listening to their favorite music and utilizing PUL’s e-resources!

Here are our recommendations for May 4-8, 2020:

1. Tchaikovsky, Waltz of the Flowers, from The Nutcracker, on Digital Theatre Plus

Public Services Assistant Natasha Montiel says, “The piece reminds me of springtime and is motivating me to practice piano throughout quarantine.” Watch the entire ballet, or just the waltz (around 1:14:00).

2. Chopin, Etude op.10 no.12 (Revolutionary) on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Jessica Pan recommends: “It is a gorgeously driven, passionate piece and it mirrors some of the organized chaos that is my life during quarantine.” This recording is performed by Murray Perahia.

3. The Struts, I Always Knew, (cover of song by The Vaccines)

Public Services Assistant Abigail Denton says, “It’s really powerful, just him singing and playing the piano, and it is a great song to listen to and sing along with when you have a lot of pent-up emotions–as I’m sure we all do during these difficult times.” Investigate more indie/rock music on Rock’s Back Pages and Rolling Stone through PUL’s e-resources.

4. Mozart, Piano Duet in D Major, K.448 on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Megan Ormsbee recommends, “It’s one of my favorite pieces to listen to while I’m working outside on the swinging chair we have on the porch. I’ve written quite a few essays to this song, and when I’m listening to it while sitting in the sun, it just makes me feel really happy.”

5. Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances, on Naxos Music Library

Public Services Assistant Fumika Mizuno says, “One piece I’ve been listening to is Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. The piece has a little bit of everything. It’s dramatic and lush, yet driving and exciting. The saxophone solo is also amazing!”

This playlist installment has come to a close, but keep watch for future Mendel recommendations. Please reach out to us at muslib@princeton.edu with your suggestions, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Happy listening!

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Three, Motivating

As the third week of our playlists comes to a close, we encourage you to replay these recommendations for an extra motivating boost!

Here are our recommendations for April 27-May 1, 2020:

1. Steve Reich, Music for 18 musicians, on Naxos Music Library

Listen to nearly one hour of repetitive, yet evolving, minimalist grooves that serves as a mantra to get you through long work sessions!

2. Handel, “Disserratevi, o porte d’Averno” from La Resurrezione on Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall

Check out the thrilling opening aria with oboe and soprano, and blazing coloratura (as well as the whole oratorio!). Handel is perfect for motivation! The concert is from 2014 with conductor/harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm and singer Camilla Tilling. (Remember to create a personal account with Digital Concert Hall if you are a first-time user!)

3. Brahms, Piano Quintet (Op.34, f minor) mvt.1, on Naxos Music Library

Mendel’s Collections Services Manager, Brittany Jones, recommends this chamber music: “Brahms is always good for motivation. He’s so good at lush, energetic, dramatic music that was popular in the romantic period and this is one of my favorites of Brahms. I often listen to this in the morning and it gets me moving and starts out my day with a positive outlook.”

4. Florent Ghys, Melody from Mars, from Television, on Naxos Music Library

Motivate yourself with continuous motion, pulsing strings, and hypnotic vocals by Princeton’s own composer, Florent Ghys. He has several albums available on Naxos.

5. Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro Overture, on Met Opera on Demand

Upbeat, energizing, and foreshadowing all the action to come, this overture will keep your Friday motivated all day long!

Please write to muslib@princeton.edu with your recommendations, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily playlist installations. Stay safe, healthy, and motivated!

Mendel’s Isolation Playlist: Week Two, Meditative

Our second week of musical recommendations is complete! This week’s theme was “Meditative,” and we hope that the following selections will help you refocus and find peace during these tumultuous times!

Here are our recommendations for April 20-24, 2020:

1. Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert on Alexander Street Music & Performing Arts (Track 23)

Recommended by composition graduate student Pascal Le Boeuf, “A groundbreaking improvised solo piano concert from 1975 that I used to listen to as a teenager while reading. This music exists at the center point of jazz, classical, and minimalism. It isn’t too demanding for the listener, but creates a mood or headspace that pairs well with a number of daily activities like cooking, reading, yoga, walks, and social distancing.”

2. Max Richter, From Sleep, on Naxos Music Library

According to Pitchfork magazine, the pieces “conjure dreamy states, where ideas seem fluid and flexible and the world around you seems somehow softer.” Mendel Music Library Public Services Coordinator, Sara, highly recommends this whole piece for its meditative qualities!

Hands playing the strings of a 21 string Kora harp-lute, an African musical instrument. Rome, Italy

3. Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté, Ali and Toumani, on Naxos Music Library: World

Listen to these lyrical, acoustic duets by blues guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré and kora master Toumani Diabaté.

4. Gabriel Pierné, Impromptu-caprice, Op. 9, on Naxos Music Library

Flowing, bright, solo harp melodies are perfect for your spring day in quarantine.

5. Hildegard von Bingen, O Ignee Spiritus, on Naxos Music Library

Listen to chant for soprano and vielle to refocus, performed by Sabine Lutzenberger and Per-Sonat. “O comforting fire of spirit, Life, within the very Life of all Creation.”

As always, please join us in listening and sharing! Write to muslib@princeton.edu with your recommendations, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our daily playlist installations.