31. March 2015 · Comments Off on L’Énsemble Agora · Categories: Listen

Since I just wrote about a book that included this group, I thought I’d put this up so you can hear them a bit …

31. March 2015 · Comments Off on Offers I Receive · Categories: (p)Reviews™, Books, Recommendations

I get emails from a variety of places. Some offer me free tickets to concerts so far away I write back and accept and ask if they provide the plane tickets. Yeah, I’m goofy sometimes! Others are for rap or heavy metal artists. I don’t usually reply to those, but sometimes I write back asking what caused them to ask me if I’m interested. I never receive responses. I’ve been invited to movie previews and a variety of other events. Most are in New York and they’ve never sent me plane tickets so I’ve never gone. Others are asking me to listen to a CD or read a book. I very rarely agree to do this any longer: I simply don’t have the time and I sure don’t need more stuff around the house! I tried for a time and I realized what WORK reviewing can be. Not my cup ‘o tea, really.

Recently, though, I was asked to take a look and listen to the book Sleep Softly; Classical Lullabies by Brahms, Schuber, Satie, Debussy … and I was intrigued enough to accept the book and CD. I’m currently listening to the music for the second time. This book will be available on May 1, 2015.


The group playing the music is L’Ensemble Agora. The music is sweetly arranged, and I enjoyed listening. The writing in the book seems geared more toward older readers rather than the little ones. The illustrations by Élodie Nouhen would appeal to children and adults alike. Most importantly … drum roll … you can hear oboe and English horn! 🙂


Reading the info about the company that put this out I read “In 2014, The Secret Mountain, publisher of beautifully produced children’s books and music from around the world, released the Parents’ Choice Gold Award winning storybook-music CD Simply Fantastic: An Introduction to Classical Music. The first title from that collection, Listen to the Birds, also won national awards and acclaim the previous year.”

They have a variety of series: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from Around the World (five books), Dream Songs Night Songs from Around the World (three books), Sing Along Songs (six books), Lullabies (three books), and Stories and Songs (seven books), along with the Classical Music (three books) that includes the one in my possession.

If I had young children I am fairly sure I’d be buying more of these books. This one is charming.

To see more go to The Secret Mountain.

31. March 2015 · Comments Off on Classical Cats · Categories: Read Online

Music has a soothing effect on us humans when we go under the surgical knife … but what about cats? A veterinary team from Portugal addressed that burning question, and determined that if you’re going to put a feline patient under, classical music works the best. But stay away from the heavy-metal tunes.


The “but” bothers me … it implies, to me, that heavy-metal tunes are a type of classical music.

Call me silly. 😉

31. March 2015 · Comments Off on Up-regulate?! · Categories: Read Online

Yet another new study …

A new study reveals that listening to classical music enhances mood, sharpens memory and enhances learning.

Listening to classical music kicks your genes into action, spurring the onset of several physiological processes in the body that can boost your mood and enhance your memory, according to Finnish researchers.

Genes that secrete and transport the feel-good hormone dopamine are called into action as well as those involved in a process called synaptic neurotransmission, which sharpens your memory and ability to learn.

These genes that get enhanced after listening to classical music, or “up-regulated” in scientific terms, are known to be responsible for songbirds’ musicality, according to the researchers, indicating that we share an evolutionary platform with them.

What’s more, classical music hinders the activity of genes that facilitate neurodegeneration, so turning up the tunes could also preserve the cells in your nervous system.

We are so constantly going on about how smart classical music can make you. Drives me bonkers, to be honest. I listen to it because I love it, doggone it! I will continue to listen to it (and play it) because I love it, and it moves and feeds me, and I think it’s good for my heart.

Still, you might just want to up-regulate those genes. You choose.

I skimmed it here. (No time at the moment to take the time to watch the lengthy videos.)

30. March 2015 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

You don’t have to be educated to enjoy classical music, you get educated by listening to it.

—Alice Sara Ott

I read it here.

30. March 2015 · Comments Off on Unbelievably Clever! · Categories: Read Online

I basically played Mozart and violin concertos again and again because it stimulated the inner ear of the unborn baby, and everything that they promised happened to both my children. They came out alert, unbelievably clever, and very relaxed.

—Helena Bonham Carter

Of course if they take up oboe they’ll probably lose the “very relaxed” bit. 😉

I read it here.

Oh, and I think most mothers believe their children to be unbelievably clever. Except when they are misbehaving, that is!

Getty Images does it again.

I think they need to hire some musicians so we can help them identify their instruments.

30. March 2015 · Comments Off on Ain’t Necessarily So · Categories: Ramble, Read Online

From CList:

Single case for oboe, in extremely good condition (slight scuffing to fabric lining). Branded as “Bundy”, but would obviously fit any oboe.

Of course most of us would be more than reluctant to have a Bundy case in the first place, but cases doesn’t always work for all oboes! I have to Marigaux oboes and the older one is narrower. My (slightly but still old now) newer oboe won’t fit into that lovely, thin case.

Bonna, Protec (pink, anyone!?), BAM, Wiseman, Boston Double Reeds (custom made!) … those seem to work for all brands. I have used BAM cases, and have friends that use others that seem to fit anything, but I think a case that was built for a specific oboe could be problematic.

Besides, who wants to advertise Bundy? 😉

29. March 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Orlando Gibbons: Hosanna to the Son of David
Collegiate Chorale of Wright State University; Hank Dahlman, Conductor

29. March 2015 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

Weelkes: Hosanna to the Son of David
Armonia Early Music Ensemble; Dr. Ryan Board, Director