Top picks: PBS's 'The Calling,' Leonard Bernstein 60-CD set, Keith Urban's 'Get Closer,' and more
PBS documentary 'The Calling,' 60-CD set 'Leonard Bernstein: The Symphony Edition,' new Keith Urban album 'Get Closer,' and more recommendations.
When the call came
"The Calling" takes us on a four-hour journey through the lives of those who have been called to serve God. The series profiles the aspiring Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and evangelical Christian leaders as they dig into their educational process and grapple with how to balance their divine calling with the demands of everyday life. Airs Dec. 20 and 21 on PBS's "Independent Lens."
Composer, conductor, educator Leonard Bernstein's impact on 20th-century classical music cannot be overstated. Now for the first time, Sony Classical has released his collected symphonic works, "Leonard Bernstein: The Symphony Edition." The 60-CD set retraces his years with the New York Philharmonic and includes a book of essays and photos.
Contentment fits Keith Urban well, as the smooth set of radio-ready pop-country songs in "Get Closer" (Capitol Records) makes clear. Mr. Nicole Kidman gushes on domestic tranquility in "Without You" ("The traveling/ The singing/ It don't mean nothin' without you"), delivers arena singalong fare with "Put You in a Song," and teams with Richard Marx (yes, that one) on what is sure to be a major single in 2011: "Long Hot Summer." Urban rarely surprises, but his cool efficiency and nimble guitar work make him a consistent performer whose charming confidence is well-earned.