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The Beatles: Here Comes the Sun

To close out the week, here are the Beatles welcoming the summer sun in after the long, cold, lonely winter.

Cole Porter: Too Darn Hot

Thinking back on my years living in New York City, I remember how sweltering the summers could be. I’ll try to send NYFOS and NYC a Mediterranean breeze from my home in Barcelona, but in the meantime, here is Ms. Fitzgerald once again, telling us that it’s “Too Darn Hot.”

Gabriel Fauré: Au bord de l’eau

While this song does not specifically mention summer, I think it beautifully captures the languid blissfulness of a warm summer evening spent in the best possible company. Here is Gérand Souzay to paint this beautiful picture for us “Au bord de l’eau.”

Stephen Sondheim: The Girls of Summer

To continue with our celebration of summer, here is a Sondheim gem sung by Dawn Upshaw, warning us about the dangers of “The Girls of Summer.”

Gershwin: Summertime

I’m honored to be invited to contribute to NYFOS’s Song of the Day for a second time. As summer gets into full swing, this week I wanted to feature a few songs that celebrate the season. Here to start us off are the incomparable Louis and Ella with “Summertime.”

Stephen Sondheim: “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods

To conclude the week, I offer you one of my favorite songs about children, “Children Will Listen” from Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Even before I had my own little one, the message of this song always went straight to my heart. Such a beautiful way to be reminded of our power and responsibility towards the next generation, here sung by the song’s originator, Bernadette Peters.

Mozart: “Pa Pa Pa Pa” from The Magic Flute

And now for some parent-related frivolity courtesy of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This duet makes having lots of little ones running around sound like nothing but fun, but I’d love to hear another version of this ten years down the line once all of those little Papagenos and Papagenas have their parents busy! This recording features Bryn Terfel and Miah Persson.

Schubert: Erlkönig

Being a parent opens the door to a whole new set of fears, which makes this already frightening song downright terrifying. I clearly remember the first time that I heard Schubert’s “Erlkönig” in a German diction class twenty years ago and being completely riveted. Here to bring us this miniature masterpiece is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Jeff Blumenkrantz: I Won’t Mind

Continuing with our theme of motherhood, “I Won’t Mind” by Jeff Blumenkrantz beautifully captures the feeling of longing for a child, by highlighting all of the seeming mundane things that make time spent in their company exquisite, here sung by Audra MacDonald.

Francis Poulenc: La courte paille

This last year my life has changed rather dramatically with the arrival of my daughter Amélia. So when I was invited to contribute to the Song of the Day series, the natural theme that came to mind was exploring motherhood in song. So to kick off the week, here is Poulenc’s song cycle La Courte Paille, a set of lullabies and children’s songs that he dedicated to Denise Duval for her son, performed here by Felicity Lott and Pascal Rogé.

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