Best of 2017 Folk and Classical Music

As you ponder what to give as gifts for the music-lovers in your life, consider the expertise of some Iowa Public Radio music hosts. In this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hears about the notable releases and recordings of 2017 from the host of IPR's The Folk Tree Karen Impola, as well as classical music host Barney Sherman.

Karen Impola's top folk music picks for 2017

1. Catfish Keith – "Shake Sugaree" – Mississippi River Blues

2. Al Murphy – "Steamboat Quickstep" – Hogs in the Cornfield

3. Keith Reins & Tara McGovern – "The Twa Sisters" – Folk Songs You Never Sang in Grade School

4. Raldo Schneider – "That Thing" – Churchills’ Blues

5. Medicinal Purposes – "Badazz" – That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

6. Rhiannon Giddens – "At the Purchaser’s Option" – Freedom Highway

7. Joel Mabus – "We’ll Understand It Better Bye and Bye" – Different Hymnals

8. David Rawlings – "Yup" – Poor David’s Almanack

9. Usher’s Island – "Felix the Soldier" – Usher’s Island

10. The Early Mays – "Chase the Sun" – Chase the Sun

Barney Sherman's classical music holiday gift suggestions for 2017

1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Celebratory Cantatas– Masaaki Suzuki conducting the Bach Collegium Japan (BIS 2231)

2. Hector Berlioz: Les Troyens – Joyce DiDonato and a large cast, John Nelson conducting the Strasbourg Opera (Erato 5762209)

3. Osvaldo Golijov: Azul (and music of Dvorak, Sufjan Stevens, and Karlheinz Stockhausen) - Yo-Yo Ma and the Knights led by Eric Jacobsen (Warner 559989 )

4. ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), Thrive on Routine - music by ACME members Caroline Shaw, Caleb Burhans, and Timo Andres, as well as a piece by John Luther Adams. (Dorian Sono Luminos 9221)

5. Johannes Brahms: Late Piano Works –  Arcadi Volodos (Sony 88875130192)

6. Martha Argerich & Friends: Live from Lugano 2016 (three CDs, Warner 0190295831653)

7. Jennifer Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto, Oboe Concerto - soloists, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero (Naxos 8.559823)

8. Tyshawn Sorey – Verisimilitude (PI Records) – played by the composer and his ensemble

9. Georg Philipp Telemann: Concertos for many instruments - The Academy of Early Music of Berlin (Harmonia mundi HM 902261)

10. Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations  - pianist Beatrice Rana (Warner 9029588018)

Special bonus: Barney's pickes included two Iowa-authored books : 

-The Elocutionists: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word by Marian Wilson Kimber (University of Illinois Press, 2017)

English Pastoral Music: From Arcadia to Utopia, 1900-1955 by Eric Saylor (University of Illinois Press, 2017)

EXTRA Bonus: Barney has since added:

11. Sibelius: Piano Works - Leif Ove Andsnes (Sony)

12. Edinburgh 1742 - Ensemble Marsyas (Linn)