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WPR Music Hosts Share Music That Calms And Inspires

Many of you have reached out to us to say how much the music on WPR matters to you during these challenging times posed by the new coronavirus. We’ve been grateful to hear listeners describe how music can be calming, reassuring, and inspiring. Especially when the news, important as it is, can sometimes feel so exhausting.

Since you’ve told us what kinds of music are a help to you, our hosts wanted to share some of the music that does the same for them.

Stephanie Elkins, ‘Morning Classics’ Host

For self-soothing during anxious times, one of my favorite solutions is baroque music played on the harp. The sound is comforting and makes me feel safe. It helps me appreciate that there is still loveliness and beauty amid fear and tragedy.

Years ago, I volunteered as a classical host for a community station in Wisconsin, where I discovered a recording by native daughter Victoria Drake. She grew up in Milwaukee and now has a very successful career as a freelance harpist and recording artist in New York City.

Drake’s recording, “Scarlatti’s Harp,” features her transcriptions of keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, and I fell in love with the roundness and resonance of the sound combined with the orderliness and unique beauty of each sonata. It made such an impression that I bought my own copy and found I was playing it whenever I needed comfort or solace.

Drake has gone on to create more wonderful baroque recordings, including the complete “Solo Cello Suites” by Johann Sebastian Bach — another synthesis of beauty, order and (especially on the harp) warm resonance.

It’s music that serves as a balm for my soul; music that works its way into body, mind and spirit and lifts me up; music

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