In Your Ear: Jennifer Hambrick

As part of Tell Me More's occasional series "In Your Ear," Jennifer Hambrick, announcer and producer at WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio, shares her favorite classical tunes and Billie Holiday's "I'm a Fool to Want You."

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of the guests on our program to share the music that gets them going. This week, we're going outside the box and reaching out to music gurus from around the country to hear about their personal playlists.

Today, we get a classical spin from an announcer and producer from WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio.

JENNIFER HAMBRICK: I'm Jennifer Hambrick. I'm the midday host of WOSU Public Media's Classical 101 radio service, and we really like to play a variety of classical music styles and our listeners really seem to appreciate that.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NUIT D'ESPAGNE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing in foreign language)

HAMBRICK: One of the things that's playing in my ear these days is "Nuit d'Espagne," or "A Night in Spain" by Camille Saint-Saens.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NUIT D'ESPAGNE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing in foreign language)

HAMBRICK: And in this song, a lover is calling for his beloved to escape with him to the woods at night before the blossoms of spring disappear forever.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NUIT D'ESPAGNE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing in foreign language)

HAMBRICK: Another piece that's in my ear these days is the aria "Vesti la giubba," from the opera "Pagliacci," by Ruggero Leoncavallo, and this recording I love is sung by the tenor, Jonas Kaufmann.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARIA, "VESTI LA GIUBBA")

JONAS KAUFMANN: (Singing in foreign language)

HAMBRICK: This aria is sung in the opera by the character Canio, who is a clown in an acting troupe and he has just learned that his wife has been having an affair. He has to give a performance that night and in this aria he tells himself to concentrate on his work of making people laugh, even though his heart is really just bitterly broken, and the thing I love most about this recording is that you can hear in Kaufmann's voice Canio's resentment at having to laugh through his pain.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VESTI LA GIUBBA")

KAUFMANN: (Singing in foreign language)

HAMBRICK: Really just gritting his teeth through the pain. You can really hear that in Kaufmann's interpretation, and so you really end up feeling for this betrayed clown who has to make other people smile, even though he has been hurt by the person he loves most, and so this clown is - I guess it really could be like any of us.

Another song I'm listening to is a song called "I'm a Fool to Want You." This is the first track on Billie Holiday's recording "Lady in Satin."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M A FOOL TO WANT YOU")

BILLIE HOLIDAY: (Singing) I'm a fool to want you. I'm a fool to want you, to want a love that can't be true, a love that's there for others too. I'm a fool to hold you.

HAMBRICK: And I love this recording because even though Billie Holiday's voice has, by this time, just been shot by booze and drugs, you can hear in it, really, her whole life story. You can just hear in her voice all the pain from all the destructive relationships she had had, so it really tells the story of Billie Holiday's pain.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M A FOOL TO WANT YOU")

HOLIDAY: (Singing) To share a kiss the devil has known.

MARTIN: That was Jennifer Hambrick from WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio telling us what's playing in her ear.

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