(Bach, Chopin, Brahms)

Lyndsie Alguire: Suspended in Light

It's not often that I write about purely instrumental music, but I just could not let this one go without a good review. Suspended in Light might have it's weak spots here and there overall, however, the combination of the beautiful piano melodies and occasional violin contributions all dressed up in some modern enchanting electronic sounds seem to work just perfectly. So if you are looking for something to keep you company throughout the long workday, Lyndsie Alguire's compositions might just be your answer.

MIT Choir: Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana

Originating from 1230 AD, the Carmina Burana is a set of medieval manuscripts consisting of 254 poems and dramatic text. It was an epic piece of text that was created by theological students mainly to satirize the church. Most of the works centered on subjects such as wealth, the nature of life, financial abuses, joy of Springtime and even the pleasure and perils of drinking. The Carmina Burata was translated into an beautiful cantata by German composer, Carl Orff in 1937. The composer's version of the Carmina is now available as a free download right on FMA. Performed by none other than the MIT Orchestra under the direction of Dr. William Cutter (2006.) This is a great piece of classical/medieval music brought to life in these modern times.

Tracks to Sync – June 2011 (mp3 mix)

Tracks to Sync, June 2011 (MP3 Mix) is a pretty cool monthly compilation from Free Music Archive. This time around, the mix was inspired and made especially with the FMA online producer in mind. The songs focus on instrumental ambient tracks from new and up-and-coming artists in the indie online music world. There have been several "Tracks to Sync" mixes released on the site as well. Some of the previous ones include two versions of Ten Tracks to Sync, one featuring selections at FMA prior to 2011 and ones that were gathered right at the onset of the year. There's also a special compilation aimed for YouTubers to choose from and use in their videos.

Singing In The Abbey: Winter Demos 2011

On their Facebook page, Chicago band Singing In The Abbey describe their sound as Thom Yorke meets Julie Andrews. I can see where they are coming from. On Winter Demos there is a dramatic theatrical flair that is balanced by the strings and indie pop structure. Annie Higgins plays piano and sings; she has put this band together centered around her piano and songs and is joined by Donna Milleron on cello and vocals, Katie Cooperon on violin and vocals and the lone guy, Jason Toth on percussion.

International Music Score Library Project

It could just be the largest virtual library of public domain music scores, or at least the largest one I have ever stumbled upon. The International Music Score Library Project, also known as the Petrucci Music Library after Ottaviano Petrucci (credited with producing the first book of sheet music in 1501), holds over 83,000 scores with 1,500 recordings for over 33,000 works of over 4,700 composers. So if you u need some music scores, want to learn more about different time periods in music history and its composers, or simply want to download some of the greatest compositions, this site is a gem. And beginning January 22 of 2011 it also started to support video recordings.

Alex Bailey: The Four Seasons

I could've sworn Alex Bailey was simply Damien Rice in disguise! Of course, I was wrong. This talented singer creates beautiful acoustic folk pop music that's meshed with a tinge of classical. If you ever enjoyed downtempo, moody music like Damien Rice's, then this album is definitely right up your alley. Sometimes the similarities are a little too uncanny, but there's no doubt it's still great music. Definitely an artist worth checking out as long as you appreciate acoustic folk pop.

Bartois: Solo Piano

Bartois or Bart Knol has developed a deep love for his craft thanks to his encounters with revered contemporary composer of the 20th century, Philip Glass, as well as French composer and pianist, Eric Satie. Bartois’ solemn piano pieces remind you of a quiet soliloquy that people do when by themselves. These straightforward classical pieces fit in perfectly into the works of the masters. Although not as complex and engaging, they are enough to conjure some deep pensive thoughts. Music that perfectly fits “quiet evenings and peaceful mornings.”

Dr. Phibes & The Ten Plagues of Egypt – Music of the Gods Vol. II

Dr. Phibes & The Ten Plagues of Egypt - Music of the Gods - Vol. II is the love child of two simingly opposite music styles - classical & heavy metal. It is a crazy and exhilarating mesh of heavy guitars along with classical strings, church organs and lots of noise. The second installment out of a two volume set features mixes of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and Sonata For Flute, Bassoon And Bass I/II/IV by Antonio Vivaldi, apart from Bach's Fugue.