Copyright ©2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Moving on to another kind of music. This week we've been sampling the best music of the year. And today, that includes a CD by a composer who is creating a new kind of classical music.

Osvaldo Golijov mixed his African drums, and electric guitars, and the poetry of Pablo Neruda, and the gypsy music, and the entire Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and more on his new recording. It's called Oceana.

The music is surprising and it works to the ears of John Schaefer, who hosts the program "Sound Check" on member station WNYC in New York. Oceana is his top classical pick of the year.

JOHN SCHAEFER: What's interesting about Golijov's music is, yes, it's multi cultural, it explores both music and popular music and electronic music. And there's - you know, there is no sense of this being a fusion. It's just really organic.

(Soundbite of music)

SCHAEFER: He doesn't seem to be working hard at this, you know? There are a lot of composers who seem to be very self-conscious about trying to bring something modern, something multiculty(ph) into their classical music.

With Golijov, it's a completely natural process.

(Soundbite of music)

SCHAEFER: For example, if you listen to his piece, "Night of the Flying Horses," you hear this kind of wild melodic ride that is borrowed from the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haidouks. And this is one of his kind of personal influences being played through the music. It's this kind of relentless musical gala. It's like that old song ghost riders in the sky come to orchestral life.

INSKEEP: The album Oceana revered by John Schaefer, who hosts the program, "Sound Check" on member station WNYC in New York.

To hear his top 10 favorites and to browse our comprehensive guide to the best CDs of 2007, just go to our new music Web site, npr.org/music.

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