Here's your disc of the week for Feb. 24, 2013. Each week CBC Radio 2's In Concert looks at new classical music releases and selects one recording that you'll want to know about.
Artists: Polkastra with special guests Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano, and David Krakauer, clarinet.
Repertoire: A classical/klezmer/celtic fusion concept album of music for post-modern matrimony.
The Wedding Album is the latest release from the irreverent, irrepressible, immensely talented Canadian violinist Lara St. John. With a group of like-minded musicians (among them the multi-instrumentalist Daniel Lapp, soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and even the Toronto Children's Chorus), she's come up with an impertinent novelty album that's full of familiar wedding tunes transformed by skillful, albeit cheeky, arrangements.
listenTake Wagner's familiar Bridal Chorus played with a Yiddish accent.
listeOr Pachelbel's ubiquitous Canon given a bluegrass inflection.
Along with music suitable for the ceremony, there is a plethora of party tunes, including a catchy Celtic Wedding Medley, a riotous Kosher Chicken Dance (see video below).
And this version of "O Sole Mio" that only lacks an appropriately sleazy lounge lizard on vocals. It's all topped off with a couple of tunes for when the party comes to a close (the centrepieces askew, the bridesmaids a little worse for wear).
This includes this haunting version of "My Buddy," featuring the very talented Canadian Daniel Lapp, that will leave you weeping in your champagne flute.
Here's a whole nuptial experience in a collection of music that runs a little over an hour. Witty, wacky and weirdly entertaining, it's yet another example of Lara St. John's remarkable ability to make musical merriment. Mazel tov!
Check out the Kosher Chicken Dance Video here:
Disc of the Week: Lara St. John plays Bach