"Who had this crazy idea to invent school all of a sudden? Charlemagne!"
Anyway, considering that many of you will be dealing with the same thing in the coming weeks, here are five albums that will help you through your first week back on the job (or any rough week, for that matter), whether you're a student or not.
If you ever wanted your classical music with a side of indie (or vice versa):
Love I Obey (Rosemary Standley & Helstroffer's Band)
For a really, really good version of a piece you probably know:
Bach: Motets (Collegium Vocale Gent, cond. Philippe Herreweghe)
For an album that will replace your dinner party jazz playlist:
Jazz på svenska (Jan Johansson, piano; Georg Riedel, bass)
I usually spring for new jazz over old jazz, but this album is a classic (just ask the quarter of a million people who have bought copies). Sparse and smooth, Jan Johansson takes Swedish folk tunes and adapts them for a low-key duo of piano and bass. He treats the original folk tunes with such respect -- from his adaptations, I know exactly how the original was meant to sound. There's a good reason why it's the best-selling Swedish jazz album of all time, and still maintains a degree of relevance more than 55 years after its release.
If you want to hear the best music written for the best instrument you've never heard of:
Marais: Pièces favorites (François Joubert-Caillet, viol; L'Achéron)
Marin Marais wrote hours and hours of music for the viol (an earlier predecessor of the modern double bass that looks kind of like a cello -- if you're curious, watch Tous les Matins du Monde starring Gérard Dépardieu). It's all great, but some movements are simply transcendent. François Joubert-Caillet is the single viol player who has most consistently impressed me; here, he's selected a representative sample of Marais's most outstanding works and compiled them onto one phenomenal album. His continuo team is outstanding (continuo is a group of instruments that together comprise accompaniment for baroque music -- usually a melodic instrument and an instrument that plays chords e.g. a second viol and a harpsichord) and help to cement this album among the most satisfying Marais albums on the market today. And if you really like it, you can listen to his most recent album, a six-hour recording of one of Marais's complete books for viol.
If you really just want to get lost in the sauce:
Songs of Olden Times: Estonian Folk Hymns and Runic Songs (Heinavanker, dir. Margo Kõlar)