#MorningMusic with Steven Reineke
#MorningMusic with Steven Reineke
The New York Pops' Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke kicks off our #MorningMusic series with a playlist of songs that help him fight anxiety by embracing beauty and peace. You can listen to Steven's playlist here and read his thoughts on his selections below!
Song: "Enigma Variations: Variation IX. Nimrod - Adagio" (Edward Elgar)
Performers: London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis
Album: Elgar: Engima Variations, Introduction & Allegro
"I've found myself, like many of us, fraught with anxiety these days. Uncertainty and fear are powerful emotions and it's important to remember to find time to focus on beauty and peace. This immensely beautiful piece of music by British composer, Edward Elgar, is a wonderful way to start any day. Closing my eyes and absorbing this music is a type of meditation for me."
Song: "O Magnum Mysterium" (Morten Lauridsen)
Performers: Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, Robert Shaw
Album: A Robert Shaw Christmas: Angels on High
"I've been in love with this choral piece ever since I first heard it. The text is a very old Latin responsorial chant, yet this musical setting is less than 20 years old. 'O Magnum Mysterium' translates to 'O Great Mystery; and is traditionally related to the Christian nativity scene. However, I generally think of the many great mysteries of life and faith as I listen to it."
Song: "Something Beautiful (Live)" (Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty)
Performer: Rebecca Luker
Album: Ahrens & Flaherty: Nice Fighting You (A 30th Anniversary Celebration Live at 54 Below)
"Lynn Ahrens' powerful lyrics and Stephen Flaherty's gorgeous music make this one of my favorite songs of theirs. The New York Pops and I are fortunate to call Stephen and Lynn dear friends, having honored them at our 29th Birthday Gala. This particular rendition is sung by another dear friend, the brilliant Rebecca Luker. With Rebecca's recent diagnosis of ALS, I'm reminded of the fragility of life. We wish her and her family all the best possible wishes in their fight with this terrible disease. Pay close attention to the lyrics as you listen to this one. Lynn's words deliver a profound message."
Song: "Fanfare for the Common Man" (Aaron Copland)
Performer: Carl Davis, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Album: Copland: Masterworks
"Sometimes I find myself getting restless and longing to get back to the normalcy of life in a vibrant metropolis like New York City. I know that will happen once we have a solid handle on this coronavirus. In the meantime, music like Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man' inspires me to be productive and ready to get back to work."
Song: "The Firebird (L'oiseau De Feu) - Suite (1919): Finale" (Igor Stravinsky)
Performers: Orchestra de l'Opéra Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung
Album: Stravinsky: The Firebird (Ballet Suite)
"I've been thinking a lot lately about evolution and natural selection, contemplating beliefs and folklore from around the world like Madame Pele, Hawaii's Goddess of Fire, or the Norse mythological story of Ragnarok for example. These are universal tales of death and destruction that lead to new episodes of birth and regeneration. I've been fascinated with these concepts for most of my adult life. Obviously, the current events around the world are once again stirring these thoughts in me. The brilliant Finale of Stravinsky's ballet score, The Firebird, perfectly underscores the period of new growth and fertility as the phoenix rises from the ashes. If this music doesn't fill you with hope and inspiration, I don't know what will."
Header photo by Richard Termine.