Beautiful, uplifting music...

I fired up my computer this morning with the intent of making a post about several excellent, fairly new classical recordings that I think are beautiful, uplifting, and superbly recorded, only to find the news on CompuServe about the space shuttle Columbia. After some second thoughts about whether the timing for my planned post was in good taste, I decided that a recommendation for music that lifts the spirit and reminds us of our common humanity was entirely appropriate.

The two classical CD's that I want to recommend are:

1. Vivaldi: Concerti for Mandolin and Various Instruments, played by Fabio Biondi (violin) and the Europa Galante (Veritas 7243 5 45527 2 4). This is the second recording of Vivaldi's music by Biondi and the Europa Galante that I have purchased -- the first was their CD of Vivaldi's "Il Cimento Dell'Armoniia e Dell'Inventione", which is also a superlative recording. Biondi and the Europa Galante have a delightfully bracing flair to their playing, and I intend to acquire more of their CD's which include Bach (violin concertos) and Scarlatti. If I were rating this CD on a 10-point scale, I'd give it a 10 for performance, and a 9 (or maybe 9.5) for recording quality.

2. Haydn: String Quartets, Opus 64, #2,4, and 5, performed by the Quatuor Mosaiques (Naive Astree E8875). The Mosaic Quartet has recently recorded several superb recordings of Mozart's string quartets, and has further enhanced their already fine reputation with this release of Haydn's string quartets that includes "The Lark" (Opus 64, #5). For anyone who enjoys classical string quartets, this recording deserves to be included in the "must own" category. This CD offers extraordinary music, distinguished playing, and exceptional audio quality, and on my 10-point rating scale, this CD gets 10's for both performance and sound quality.
For something appropriate to the day, in view of the loss of the men of the Columbia, i would suggest Faure's Requiem by Herreweghe on Harmonia Mundi. I can think of nothing more achingly beautiful and fitting!
Brahms, "Leider & Romanzen, secular choruses" Arnold Schoenberg choir. Teldec 4509-92058-2

My decidely non-audiophile wife describes this as sounding like angels singing. Maybe more beautiful than uplifting but does both. I am usually pleased with the quality of Teldec recordings and this is no exception.

Another Teldec is Mendelssohn String Symphonies nos, 8,9, & 10. Concerto Koln. 4509-94565-2.
there is nothing quite as moving as choral music and the early renaissance pieces sung by the oxford camerata with jeremy summerly conducting is a fine example. naxos 8.550843