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Our Newest Streaming Resource Medici.TV is an Absolute Dream for Classical Music, Opera, and Ballet Fans!

29 Jan

This month, we just debuted our newest streaming resource Medici.TV for our Hoboken resident card holders.  Medici.TV is the world’s leading classical music channel, which includes over 1,800 programs (3,000 original works), including: concerts and archived historical concerts; operas; ballets; documentaries, artist portraits and educational programs; and master classes.  The New York Times has said Medici.TV is “The closest thing to a classical Netflix.”

As a working mom it feels impossible sometimes to get out to see the multitude of ballets, concerts and operas that are going on just across the river so I am particularly excited by the fact that Medici. TV has more than 100 live events are broadcast each year, in partnership with the world’s most prestigious venues, opera houses, festivals and competitions.  So if like me life is keeping you from getting into the city to see live performances, you don’t have to miss out, just tune in to Medici.TV.  If you can’t go to Carnegie Hall, have Carnegie Hall come to you!

I’ve just started exploring all the amazing things that Medici.TV has to offer.  I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so one of the first things I chose to stream was the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland.  The opera composed by Unsuk Chin and commissioned by conductor Kent Nagano, features a libretto by David Henry Hwang and Chin.

unsuk-chin-alice-in-wonderland-nationaltheater-munchen

image from Medici.TV

The opera is just as unique as Lewis Carroll’s original work and puts a fresh spin on the source material.  Despite musically referencing classical composers like Handel, Puccini, and Stravinsky it also includes unusual instruments like musical saws, accordions, and a harmonica.  This was Korean born Chin’s first opera.

Also available for Wonderland fans is Being Alice, a documentary which records Lauren Cuthbertson, who performed Alice in the Royal Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation.  Being Alice follows her as she rehearses and then performs through the season’s final performance.  I really enjoy that with Medici.TV we don’t just get to see performances, but also get insight into what goes on behind them.  If you liked the book Mozart in the Jungle, here’s your chance to get more behind the scene peaks at the actual world of classical music and dance.

Have you streamed anything on Medici.TV?  Let us know what you have enjoyed in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

My Eclectic Holiday Playlist: Christmas Music You Can Stream from the Hoboken Public Library

18 Dec

It can seem a little decadent to purchase holiday CDs to listen to for just one month a year, so I prefer to stream my favorite Christmas tunes.  Hoboken Public Library residents have access to streaming music from Hoopla and Freegal.  Both services have tons of albums and songs to choose from such as Merry Christmas from Mariah Carey or if you prefer A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra.  I have some quirky favorites I’m sharing below that put an unusual spin on the holiday classics.

Lindsey Stirling’s Warmer in the Winter
Warmer in the Winter
Warmer in the Winter is one of my favorite Christmas albums.  Lindsey Stirling rose to fame with her riveting music videos where she energetically dances while playing the violin.  With the violin being one of my favorite stringed instruments, I love her version of the Dance of the Sugar Plum and fun take on You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.  Some tracks have guest vocalists; Warmer in the Winter is the cheerful title tune that will have you wanting to sing along.  Another bouncy upbeat Christmas favorite of mine is Gwen Stefani’s You Make it Feel Christmas.

Blackmore’s Night’s Winter Carols
Winter Carols

Blackmore’s Night is a traditional rock folk duo inspired by renaissance music, featuring Ritchie Blackmore (from metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow) and Candice Night, who adds beautiful vocals.  Since I’m a fan of renaissance inspired music, Winter Carols is another favorite. I especially like their version of I Saw Three Ships.  If you enjoy this one also check out Mediaeval Baebes’s Mistletoe & Wine and Loreena McKennitt’s A Midwinter’s Night Dream for more traditional inspired carols, which I also love.

Christmas with the Puppini Sisters
Puppini Sisters Christmas

For a retro sounding Christmas going a little less far back in time, stream Christmas with the Puppini Sisters.  The other two members are not actually related to Marcella Puppini instead their name was inspired by the Andrews Sisters.  All of the Puppini Sisters albums are worth checking out, but I especially can’t resist their fun take on Christmas classics during the holiday season.  I particularly like their take on Here Comes Santa Claus and Winter Wonderland.  They also have a fun version of Mele Kalikimaka, for another great cover of the classic Hawaiian Christmas song check out the one from duo She & Him’s Christmas Party.

Ornamental (A Projekt Holiday Compilation)
ornamental

Projekt Records was known in the 90’s for its Ethereal Gothic music including the founder Sam Rosenthal’s Black Tape for a Blue Girl.  Being a fan of many of the artist on the label this in another favorite that might appeal to those who don’t like the traditional pop sound of a lot of Christmas classics.  It includes great tracks by Nicki Jaine, Jill Tracy, Ego Likeness, Love Spirals Downward, and for Steampunk fan’s Abney Park with Steampunk Jingle Bells.  Some of the artists on the compilation also have their own holiday albums so you can also check out Spellbound in Winter by Unto Ashes.

Pokémon Christmas Bash
pokemon christmas

This is a favorite of my son who is Pokémon crazed.  It features silly Pokémon holiday inspired tunes like I’m Giving Santa a Pickachu for Christmas and Pokémon Christmas Bash.  It won’t blow you away with its vocals and music, but for Pokémon fans it is a fun background if Santa is bringing the new Sword and Shield Games.  If you like a little humor with your Christmas celebrations also check out Shonen Knife’s celebration of all things scrumptious with their Sweet Christmas.

With Hoopla you can borrow up to 10 albums of music per month (or books and movies).  Freegal lets you stream three hours of music per day and if you find a must have song you can download 5 songs per week that are yours to keep.  Freegal even creates holiday playlists if you like your Christmas Rockin’ or you prefer a Country Christmas.  For those celebrating Hanukkah this month, you can check out a variety of albums available on Hoopla.  Prefer to listen to music on CD; come in and browse our holiday collection in the first floor media room near the fireplace at the main branch!

No matter what holiday you typically celebrate this time of year, if you are Seinfeld fan, stop in for our Festivus for the Rest of Us celebration on December 19 at 7 PM!

Looking to give the gift of reading this holiday season; check out these great reads for kids, adults and teens recommended by the BCCLS Staff.  You can find out our staff’s holiday favorites from a previous post.  Also check out a post about recommended Christmas movies.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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