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Tunes for a Monday Morning


Today, I just want to be reminded that the world holds light and beauty as well as darkness...

Above: "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Davis, in Gloucester Cathedral in 2012. This is the same cathedral where the piece debuted in 1910, in a performance conducted by Vaughn Williams himself.

Below: "Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten," by the great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. It's performed here by the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The conductor is James Gaffigan.

Above: "Dream in White on White" by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning American composer John Luther Adams, who is based in Alaska. Most of Adams' work is inspired by nature and this piece is no exception, described as  "a sweeping musical landscape in the acoustically perfect tones of Pythagorean diatonic tuning, evoking the treeless, windswept expanses of western Alaska." It's performed here by the Virtuoso String Orchestra, conducted by Joaquin Valdepeñas.

Below: "Further Foundation," by American composer Rachel Grimes, who is based in Kentucky. The piece is on her gorgeous new album, The Clearing (2015), performed here by Grimes on piano, Scott Moore on violin, Christian Frederickson on viola, and John Duncan on Saxophone.