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Violinist Epongue Ekille from Rochester is one of the people calling for a greater recognition of Black musicians’ contributions to classical music. She shares her experiences and some listening recommendations.

Inspiring Listening Recommendations

Apr 20, 2020

One of the things that I am truly missing recently is playing as a part of community orchestras. Conductors of various ensembles are continuing to connect with and inspire their musicians even while we can't meet in person.  Dr. Paul Shewan, who is director of the Roberts Wesleyan College Community Orchestra, recently sent out some listening recommendations to the orchestra, and he said that it would be okay to share them online with you here too. ~Mona 

I hope you are all doing well. As music can provide comfort in difficult times such as these, I thought I would send you a list of pieces that are meaningful to me. It is my hope that, if you explore some of these pieces, they will be encouraging and uplifting to you. Feel free to dialogue and/or create your own list. Mine is by no means extensive. Enjoy!

After having so much fun researching and speaking about the music that surrounded Queen Victoria, in her personal and public life, I have decided to create a Spotify playlist of some of that music.  It's a crazy anachronism, I know, but if I put it on a wax cylinder or one of Edison's machines, I don't think it would be as useful for you. 

The Accursed Huntsman. The name is even creeper in French: Le Chausseur Maudit

This oft overlooked orchestral gem by Belgian composer Cesar Franck was part of the program that I got to hear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this past week. It's full of dramatic and creepy effects in the orchestra, as the piece follows the journey of the Count of the Rhine who gets himself in trouble by deciding to go hunting instead of going to church on Sunday. While he's out in the woods, a voice cries to him, "Accursed hunter, be thou eternally pursued by Hell!" And thus, an infernal hunt commences, where the count is now pursued by demons and imps.

 

With Halloween around the corner, it's a good time to add Franck's Accursed Huntsman to your playlist – along with these other creepy, haunted classical pieces.