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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Yesterday was Yo-Yo Ma's 60th birthday, and he was the subject of the quiz. Here's another one today. Yo-Yo Ma's recordings, which number close to 100 (!), have won 18 Grammy Awards. What is the name of his brand new disc? It was our featured New Release last week. Answer >>


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      This week’s best live music

      Friedrich Cerha day | Jamie xx | Spector | A$AP Rocky | Colin Towns Mask Orchestra | London Sinfionetta: Feldman – For Samuel Beckett

      For long-time indie rock trier Fred McPherson, Spector feels like the last-chance saloon. A mixture of smug fop meets Harry Potterish nerd, he fronts a similarly conflicted band, beset by vulnerability but convinced of greatness. Some were drawn to the band’s debut album Enjoy It While It Lasts, with its romantic exertions in the late-Britpop idiom, but the demand for a new LP, Moth Boys, was a surprise even to Spector. Unswerving from their original plan, the band still play strident synth-pop, atop which McPherson swoons theatrically. It’s a sound that demands a specialised audience – perhaps this will be the time they find it.

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      Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Manze review - Holloway premiere lets tuba sing

      Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
      Robin Holloway’s tuba concerto gave expressive voice to an orchestral underdog, while the RLPO sounded thrilling under an empathic Manze

      Robin Holloway has pursued an equal-opportunities approach to concerto writing, having created showpieces for orchestral underdogs such as the viola, bassoon and double bass. The piece premiered this evening, Europa and the Bull, describes the birth of a continent from the rape of a nymph and takes the form of a concerto for the tuba.

      Holloway believes the big daddy of the brass section to be unfairly maligned; a perception that a 20-minute expostulation of a tuba’s sexual activity may, on the face of things, seem unlikely to dispel. And though Holloway’s writing is fairly rampant in parts, he makes expansive room for exploration of the lyrical, even seductive qualities that give the instrument a certain nobility. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s heroic principal tuba Robin Haggart fully conveyed the profound, singing quality achievable from this very large yet surprisingly expressive horn.

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      Riccardo Chailly: ‘I want to do things differently, to put life on hold’

      Conductor Riccardo Chailly is at the height of his powers, so why is he determined to slow down? He tells Fiona Maddocks about leaving Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and his return to La Scala, Milan

      The sound knocked me back like a great crashing wave. It was a shock, a terrible blow to my body, to my head, to my soul. But in a nice way.” Riccardo Chailly, 62, has never forgotten his first rehearsal with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra nearly 30 years ago, at the Salzburg festival. The work was Richard Strauss’s early tone poem Don Juan, which bursts forth with strings soaring up like a fleet of rockets, brass detonating in mad retort. Those opening bars intoxicate and overwhelm, even from a safe seat in the audience. How much more electrifying to be on the podium, knowing a single flick of your baton has created this bolt of energy.

      Back then, Chailly was a fervent, 33‑year-old Italian with reddish-chestnut flowing hair, a slightly unruly beard and a glittering career ahead of him. He was already music director of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, an ideal training ground for a fast-rising young conductor. His unlikely rival in the same, western half of a still-divided city was Herbert von Karajan, nearly 80, silver-haired and impeccably tailored, with most of his achievements as music director of the illustrious Berlin Philharmonic already in the past. Karajan remained, nevertheless, the most powerful figure in classical music and an unexpectedly generous mentor.

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      travel with wfmt

      travel feature

      Discover WFMT's Classical Italy next May! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive twelve-day classical music lover's journey to "Bella Italia" next May. Imagine staying in the heart of Venice in a restored old abbey and experiencing Donizetti' opera La favorite at the historic La Fenice Opera House!

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      new releases

      Dvorak: New World Symphony

      DSO Live

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      A Festival of Julius Fucik

      Chandos CHSA-5158

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      Chopin: Preludes

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 1910

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      The Franchomme Project

      Delos DE-3469

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      Parry: Choral Music

      Hyperion CDA-68089

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