1. Thomas Tomkins, “When David Heard”
Tomkins is one of the great English 16th/17th century composers, and this song is incredibly moving. It describes the events after King David’s son, Absolon, dies. Tomkins really captures the king’s feelings.
2. Benjamin Britten, “Hymn to St. Cecilia”
This is my favorite Benjamin Britten song. Benjamin Britten was born on St. Cecilia’s Day. It has a wonderful playful section halfway through.
3). The Hood Internet, “Two Weeks of Hip Hop”
This was the first mash-up I was ever exposed to. It combines Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” with the rap group Dead Prez’s “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop.” The combination syncs up beautifully.
4. Tyler, The Creator, “Yonkers”
Tyler the Creator and his rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have recently burst onto the music scene. His rapping is incredible — dark and vulgar. He recently released his new album “Goblin” last week, selling 50,000 copies in its first week. He has an incredible diss on the B.O.B.’s song “Airplanes.”
5. Herbert Howells, “Gloucester Service”
This is my favorite Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. The start of the Magnificat has a beautiful soprano line combined with a heavenly organ part.
6. Henry Purcell, “Hear My Prayer, O Lord”
This song is set to the Psalm text, “Hear my prayer, O Lord/ And let my crying come unto Thee.” The harmonic language really exemplifies the feeling of sadness.
7. Yann Tiersen, “La Valse d’Amélie”
Used in the movie “Amélie,” an incredible movie about a French girl in Paris that combines reality with fantasy. It is a wonderful, catchy tune.
8. Atmosphere, “Reflections”
Atmosphere is a wonderful rap duo from Minneapolis. This song has playful lines, a great beat and a very catchy hook.
9. Mountain Goats, “This Year”
This song tells a wonderful story. And at this point in the school year, it is especially appropriate.
10. Red Flag Productions, “Party and Bullshit in the U.S.A.”
This is the only way I will ever listen to Hannah Montana. Her song “Party in the U.S.A.” is combined with the Notorious B.I.G.’s song Party and Bullshit. Biggie’s flow with the catchy guitar riffs from Hannah Montana create a hilarious almost satirical combination of hardcore rap and pop music.