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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Check back soon for another quiz question.
When conductor Marin Alsop became the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007, she was the first woman to hold this position with a major American orchestra. She’s also the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, and the first conductor ever to receive a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. I sat down with this trailblazing conductor during rehearsals with the more... more...
European music took root in the Americas as the colonies began to expand. But the more enthusiastic cultural exchange arguably occurred on the other side of the Atlantic. Learn more about how early American dance created a craze in Europe. more...
Thousands gathered on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 to celebrate the 102nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Previously staged in Daley Plaza, the city’s Christmas tree can now be seen at the west entrance of the park, across from the Michigan Avenue and Madison Street intersection. This year’s tree, a 63-foot Colorado blue more... more...
Some composers ate to live, others lived to eat. Can you match the composer to his favorite food? more...
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Ermonela Jaho was brilliant in the title role, part of a staging that redeemed Leoncavallo’s underappreciated opera about a singer in a French music hall
Ruggero Leoncavallo thought Zazà, first performed in Milan in 1900, a finer work than Pagliacci, the only one of his operas to maintain a place in the regular repertory. History has generally disagreed with him – until last Friday night, with Opera Rara’s concert performance. It was an absolute stunner.
Warm-hearted Zazà, a singer in a French provincial music hall, falls for Parisian businessman Milio, initially unaware that he is married. She only gives him up when she encounters his daughter, Toto, and realises that wrecking the marriage will blight the girl’s childhood, as her own was ruined by her father’s desertion. There’s one flaw: Milio, whose ghastly nature is only revealed at the end, is too enigmatic a figure early on for us to fully understand the initial attraction. We wonder why Zazà is still not involved with her worldly ex Cascart, who is now her stage partner and best friend. But there is a superb exposition, worthy of Émile Zola, in which the protagonists gradually detach themselves from a beautifully observed depiction of theatrical life. And the second half trawls Zazà’s anguish with an emotional force that tears you in two.Continue reading...
Britten theatre; St John’s Smith Square, London; Assembly Rooms, Bath
With John Copley directing tomorrow’s stars, RCM’s Strauss was a class act. But András Schiff was out of this world
Die Fledermaus, done well, which it rarely is, can offer a brief, brittle distraction from dark days. Exquisitely awful puns and farcical disguise – the enraged wife who turns herself into a mystery “Hungarian”, the prison governor who pretends to be a French chevalier but can only muster the words “la plume de ma tante” and “prêt à manger” – are whisked into a featherlight Viennese froth of a score by “the waltz king” Johann Strauss II. From the moment the Royal College of Music’s opera orchestra struck up the opening notes of the overture, supple and brisk with a quicksilver scurry of strings, there was cause for optimism. The conductor, Michael Rosewell, whose career started at the Vienna State Opera, is no mean waltzer himself and twirled his players along with him in style.Continue reading...
Bruckner was a man of faith, Brahms was a humanist but still turned to the Lutheran Bible and liturgy for texts. Both wrote devotional motets informed by an interest in plainchant and early Renaissance polyphony. The choices here include an Ave Maria by each, illuminating to compare: the Brahms, for women’s voices, has a soaring simplicity while the Bruckner setting (one of three he wrote), for seven-part mixed choir, is richly expressive. Other featured works include Brahms’s a cappella Three Motets Op 110 and Bruckner’s Tota pulchra es, Locus iste and Virga Jesse floruit. The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly. Were any extra reason needed, a portion of the proceeds of the disc go to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of, among others, Tenebrae’s co-founder Barbara Pollock.Continue reading...
The defence secretary says there is not yet a Commons majority for air strikes in Syria, as Labour's leader says he is deciding whether to give his MPs a free vote.
Global leaders are to gather for a UN global warming summit in Paris, with the shadow cast by the recent attacks expected to boost chances of a deal.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insists he is "not going anywhere", despite reports of potential coup plots against him by Labour MPs.
There are calls today for renewed scrutiny of the Chicago Police Department and the...
Since yesterday's announcement that a Chicago Police officer would face charges in the...
Aldermen in City Council’s Black Caucus want to hold Chicago police Superintendent...
travel with wfmt
Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!
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!
Cruise to Alaska and explore the "Frontier State" next July! Join fellow WFMT listeners and discover Alaska's unspoiled beauty and wildlife in its natural habitat on YMT Vacations' 12-day Grand Alaskan Cruise and Tour next July!
1615: Gabrieli in Venice
Choir of King’s College KGS-0012
Saint-Saens: Violin Concertos
Analekta AN 2 8770
Julia Lezhneva Sings Handel
Decca 478 6766
Offenbach: Overtures & Ballets