Music: Classical

March 10, 2011

Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Missy Elliott, More: Napster Playlists Featuring Women

As we continue our celebration of Women's History Month, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of the many Napster playlists focused on music made by women. These are from all different genres and styles, so have a look, click on whatever sounds good to you, and let's hear it from the ladies!

American Women American Women Popular roots music and country hits from some of the top female artists in America. Includes songs from June Carter Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Sheryl Crow.

Hot R&B Female Vocalists Hot R&B: Female Vocalists: Some of the hottest tracks and biggest hits from major stars, including songs from Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, Alicia Keys, and Beyoncé.

Essential Lite Female Vocalists Essential Lite: Female Vocalists: Great soft pop and ballads from many eras, featuring artists such as Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and Roberta Flack.

Women of Comedy Women of Comedy: Hilarious bits from the funniest females in stand-up comedy, including Ellen Degeneres, Sarah Silverman, Sandra Bernhard, and Lisa Lampanelli.

Legendary Ladies of Country Legendary Ladies of Country: Unforgettable female stars of the '60s and '70s who paved the way for today's generations. Includes Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn.

Grrrl Power Grrrl Power: Celebrate the women of alternative rock with a slew of classic tracks from such mainstays as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, PJ Harvey, and more.

Pioneering Women of the Blues Pioneering Women of the Blues: Though blues artists tend to be men, a surprising number of women have made a crucial impact, including Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ida Cox.

Pop Divas The '80s Pop Divas: The '80s: A platinum setting of hits from some of the decade's most glittering solo female superstars, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson, and more.

Female Jazz Vocalists of Today Female Jazz Vocalists of Today: Music from stellar comtemporary vocalists informed by both traditional and modern jazz. Features Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, and Diana Krall.

Composing Women Composing Women: Works from female composers working in what was once a male-dominated field. Includes Barbara Strozzi, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Meredith Monk.

Women of Contemporary Christian Music Women of Contemporary Christian Music: The most uplifting tracks from female artists leading the way in CCM, featuring Francesca Battistelli, Bethany Dillon, and Heather Hedley.

Ladies First Female MCs Ladies First: Female MCs: Get in touch with the first ladies of hip-hop. But don't expect them to go easy on you—these MCs, including Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, are fierce.

Femmes Fatales Femmes Fatales: Devastatingly seductive sounds from the dark side of alternative music, including music by Björk, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Morcheeba, and more.

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March 01, 2011

Dario Marianelli, Jane Eyre Soundtrack Coming March 8

Jane Eyre It's safe to say Italian composer Dario Marianelli has crafted some fine movie scores in his time: Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist, to name a few, those first two having won him Academy Awards. So it's only natural we're excited about his new score, Jane Eyre, due next week (3/8). The period piece, based on Charlotte Brontë's classic novel and due in theaters March 11, is a perfect canvas for Marianelli. After all, romantic, sweeping music has been his forte throughout his career. The ambitious score features rising violinist Jack Liebeck, who was honored with a Classical Brit Award last year. With his moving and adventurous work on Jane Eyre, you could say that Marianelli "scores" again.

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February 22, 2011

Lisa Batiashvili, Echoes of Time

Lisa Batiashvili, Echoes of Time Last week, DG released Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili's exciting label debut, Echoes of Time. This showcase of her gorgeous (Georgious?) playing features hypnotic interpretations of Violin Concerto No. 1 by Shostakovich, whose work has been ingrained into Batiashvili's musical identity since an early age. Not only did her father consistently rehearse Shostakovich's music throughout her childhood, but David Oistrakh, for whom Shostakovich's violin concerti were written, was the instructor of her inspirational teacher in Hamburg, Mark Lubotsky. The resulting masterful embrace of the material from such a direct lineage of influence is strikingly apparant in this recording; it seems to empower Batiashvili to demand as much freedom from musical expression—regardless of political oppression—as Shostakovich did himself. It's a powerful and moving performance. The album also features French pianist Hélène Grimaud and additional works by Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, Estonian classical composer Arvo Pärt, and Rachmaninov.

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February 08, 2011

R&B Love, Lovers Rock Hits, Classic Rock Valentine, and more: New Valentine's Day Napster Playlists

We've got a ton of new playlists for you to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year, and you've gotta love that, right? So cuddle up with that someone special and take your pick of these romantic collections:

R&B Love (Napster Playlist) R&B Love: Major R&B hits with a common theme. Features classics from Mariah Carey, Keyshia Cole, DeBarge, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, and more.

Lovers Rock Hits (Napster Playlist) Lovers Rock Hits: Romantic reggae bursting with heartfelt emotion. Includes hits from Gregory Isaacs, Luisa Mark, Sugar Minott, and Deborahe Glasgow.

Classic Rock Valentine (Napster Playlist) Classic Rock Valentine: Hits and album cuts fueled by love. A mix of upbeat rockers ballads by Kiss, Bad Company, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, and more.

Modern Love (Napster Playlist) Modern Love: Romance, alternative-style. Includes modern rock from Paramore, Franz Ferdinand, Florence & The Machine, and more.

The Pompatus of Love (Napster Playlist) The Pompatus of Love: Rock, doo-wop, blues, and the mysteries of romance from Steve Miller, The Clovers, The Medallions, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Muddy Waters.

Classical Valentine, Vol. 2 (Napster Playlist) Classical Valentine, Vol. 2: Love-themed instrumentals for the lovers' holiday. Features Berlioz, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Janacek, and more.

Easy Love (Napster Playlist) Easy Love: Romantic ballads and soft-rock beats. Includes love songs from Nat King Cole, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban.

My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2 (Napster Playlist) My Funny Valentine, Vol. 2: Comedians take an uncensored look at love. Anthony Jeselnik, Whitney Cummings, and Greg Giraldo hold forth.

Smooth Valentine Love Songs (Napster Playlist) Smooth Valentine Love Songs: Tender R&B/jazz-infused songs from Al Jarreau, Michael Buble, David Sanborn, Harry Connick Jr., Dave Grusin, and more.

Soft Rock Seduction (Napster Playlist) Soft Rock Seduction: Cozy classics made for romance. Features songs by Bill Withers, Karen Carpenter, Bread, Richard Marx, and Peabo Bryson.

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January 31, 2011

John Barry, 1933–2011

John Barry The film-scoring community lost one of its truly magnificient composers yesterday, John Barry. The venerable musician died Sunday from a sudden heart attack at 77. Barry composed some of the most identifiable and beloved melodies of all time, including the James Bond theme and many of the franchise's subsequent film scores, the immediately recognizable song "Born Free," and the heart-wrenching score to Out of Africa. The latter two earned him two of his five Academy Awards—he also won Oscars for the score to Born Free ('67), The Lion in Winter score ('69), and score for Dances with Wolves ('91). His exquisite body of work also includes Zulu, The Chase, Midnight Cowboy (for which he won a Grammy), Somewhere in Time, and The Scarlet Letter, among many others. If you've got some time, revisit or discover his catalog—it's one of the most worthwhile you'll ever hear.

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January 24, 2011

Anne-Sophie Mutter: Great Violinists: Anne-Sophie Mutter (Napster Playlist)

Great Violinists: Anne-Sophie Mutter (Napster Playlist) German violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter is a one-of-a-kind musician. At just 13, she made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, and two years later recorded Mozart's third and fifth violin concerti with them. Her impressive experience includes performances with the New York Philharmonic begininng in 1980, her debut at Carnegie Hall in '88, and multiple Grammy awards from '94-'05. She's currently performing Dvorák's violin concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle over the next few days in Baden-Baden and Vienna. Napster's "Great Violinists: Anne-Sophie Mutter" playlist captures shining moments from Mutter's career, including moving interpretations of Massenet, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Brahms. If you are especially drawn to masterful violinists, you can also check out others in this playlist series, which include greats Gil Shaham and Jascha Heifetz.

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January 12, 2011

Audra Mae, Warpaint, Ceci Bastida, Wess Morgan, More: “Discover—Best of 2010” (Napster Playlist)

Discover -- Best of 2010 (Napster Playlist) For all of the top hit tracks that flooded the airwaves, stadiums, and stereos in 2010, we assembled our "Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010" playlist (read about it here). But what about all of the lesser-known artists with just as much talent? And in genres outside of pop? Well, we thought these artists were just as deserving of a year-end wrap-up, so we put together our "Discover: Best of 2010" playlist. It covers a wide range of "unsung" heroes like Americana artists Audra Mae, Justin Townes Earle, and Dar Williams, as well as emerging underground alternative bands like Warpaint, Junip, and Black Mountain. Crossover world and Latin artists include Mala Rodriguez, Ceci Bastida, and Alex Cuba. You'll find stellar classical performaces of J.S. Bach and a groovy easy listening pick, Chopin style. Country highlights include Reckless Kelly and Mary Chapin Carpenter, while comedians Felipe Esparza and Joe DeRosa take jabs at your funnybone. And Christian music listeners can look to Marvin Sapp and Wess Morgan for lovely inspirational sounds. And there's much more, so dive on in and enjoy.

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December 22, 2010

2010 Holiday Playlist Round-up

We've got a whole slate of nifty new holiday playlists this year for your seasonal listening enjoyment. We hope you like them as much as we do—click away and let us know what you think!

Club Christmas Club Christmas: Danceable holiday music to keep the Yuletide party going. Includes music from Mariah Carey, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, and more.

Winter Journeys Winter Journeys: Classical music for cold-weather travel. Including works by Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Leroy Anderson.

Hot Pop Holiday Hot Pop Holiday: Contemporary pop stars sing holiday favorites. Features fun renditions by artists including Lady GaGa, Mariah Carey, and the Glee cast.

Smooth Jazz Christmas Smooth Jazz Christmas: Smooth jazz artists including Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Kenny G, Jeff Golub, and Diana Krall celebrate with holiday classics.

Hard Rock Holiday Hard Rock Holiday: Heavy seasonal sounds for a head-banging holiday. Featured artists include August Burns Red, L.A. Guns, Skid Row, and Spinal Tap.

Funky Christmas Time Funky Christmas Time: Holiday music with a groove. Features seasonal favorites from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, James Brown, Donny Hathaway, and more.

Holiday Chill Holiday Chill: Downtempo Yuletide favorites by David Arkenstone, 2002, and DRM, plus remixes of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Mel Tormé.

Kids Sing the Hits Christmas Kids Sing the Hits: Christmas: Favorite holiday songs performed by the Kidz Bop Kids, the KidzTown Kids, the Countdown Kids, and more.

Classic Rock Christmas Classic Rock Christmas: Holiday standards with a beat. Includes songs reworked by The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more.

Santa Movie Soundtracks Santa Movie Soundtracks: Songs featured in holiday movies by Elvis Presley, The Jackson 5, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and more.

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December 21, 2010

Shaquille O'Neal and The Boston Pops

Maestro Shaquille O'Neal Look out, fine conductors of the world. There's a new man at the podium: The one and only Shaquille O'Neal. Well, Lockhart, Gilbert, Dudamel, Muti, and others probably won't be biting their nails over this, but Shaq's recent charitable stint as the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra was quite an amusing feat. And while some may scoff at the very notion, it's hard not to crack a smile at Shaq's continuing incorrigible conquests. Last night's musical gesture may have been a Christmas present from "Maestro Shamrock" to his new NBA hometown, Boston, where he and the Celtics will face off with the Orlando Magic on Christmas Day. Under the baton of Shaq, the Boston Pops merrily performed three numbers: The traditional carol "Sleigh Ride" (view video), The Jackson 5's "Can You Feel It," and Queen's "We Are the Champions."

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December 20, 2010

Classical Christmas (Napster Playlist)

Classical Christmas (Napster playlist) There are only five shopping days left before Christmas, and at this point you've either spent days hunting down gifts, or you're mapping out a last minute mad dash around town. Whatever state your list is in, you can count on getting caught up in frenzied crowds at some point, so if you're in need of some calming seasonal sounds, look no further than this collection of traditional carols. Click play when your shopping day is done for a well-deserved respite and a nice reminder of the soothing side of the holiday.

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