Face the Music: September is Classical Music Month on hoopla!

We’re past Labor Day Weekend now, and autumn is in the air. For some of us, the transition may bring back memories of previous Boston Symphony Orchestra seasons, which typically begin in September. But while the concert hall may be dark this fall, the music hasn’t stopped. Not only is there much to sample on the BSO at Home website, but one of hoopla’s latest collections will be music to your ears!

With its Classical Music Month collection, hoopla offers everything from themed compilations to acclaimed artists’ recordings to child-friendly albums. You’ll find the top 100 or top 40 cello classics, songs from musicals, and “most relaxing” pieces. If your chief goal is stress relief, then Classical Music for Relaxation (featuring Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin) might fit the bill. You can thrill to the best of the best with recordings from the likes of superstar pianist Lang Lang, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Hilary Hahn. If you or your little one is having trouble drifting off to dreamland, press play for Beethoven at Bedtime: A Gentle Prelude to Sleep. Or perhaps you’d like to share some creative downtime with the kids. If so, the rather unique album Color Me Classical: Calming Classics for Coloring can help you get into the flow!

For opera buffs, there are a few fabulous albums to take you to another world for a while. Bask in Diana Damrau’s rich coloratura soprano performances, Andrea Bocelli’s Passione, and the late, great Luciano Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits. And if you’d like a helping of pop with your classical, consider a couple of crossover titles: Classical Beatles with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which features many of the greats (“Michelle,” “Hey Jude,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” to name a few), and Sarah Brightman’s A Winter Symphony

By the way, once you’ve found an artist that you love, you can always click on the hyperlinked name and get a collection of his/her available albums. And don’t forget that hoopla offers at least 23,860 classical titles, so you should never be at a loss for inspiring listening!

If you’re new to hoopla, please do have a look at our FAQs section to get started. Need a Marblehead library card? You can go here to get one!

A Calming Classical Soundtrack

Perhaps you’d just like to be for a while. Breathe in, breathe out. Reset your anxious mind. Release negative emotions. I’m not talking about virtual yoga classes here (though what an excellent idea!). I’m talking about revisiting–or discovering anew–the soothing power of classical music.

Your “new normal” routine may not allow you to drop everything and de-stress for long periods of time–and that’s where our newly-curated 2020 APL Calming Classical Soundtrack on hoopla will stand you in good stead! Pop in your earbuds and live in a soul-soothing soundscape while going about your daily tasks. You’ll have the illusion of a “calm bubble” while still maintaining productivity and maybe saving your sanity! 

Chief among the 35 work-friendly offerings in this collection are albums featuring composers from the Baroque and Classical eras: Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. There’s a reason for that! The music of these periods tends to be highly patterned and structured, with repeated themes and variations on those themes. Ideally, as you listen, your thoughts will untangle themselves and your concentration will improve.

You might try the albums Big Bach Set, Vol. 3, Handel: Water Music, Haydn: Classical Music for Relaxation, Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, or Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 35 & 39. Or go for baroque (bad pun, sorry) with a mixtape of sorts, featuring recorder soloist Lucie Horsch: Baroque Journey. And if you need to break your concentration for a while and stretch those desk-cramped limbs, you can’t go wrong with some lively Elizabethan birthday party music.

There’s plenty more to explore in the collection–good, old-fashioned lullabies, Romantic-era de-stressors like Fauré and Debussy, and even albums with “dream” or “chill” in the title–all recently released.

And if you exhaust these selections, have a look at hoopla’s The Most Relaxing Series for even more classical comfort. You can breathe out now!