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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Sigmund Romberg was born on this date in 1887. The Austro-Hungarian composer came to America at the age of 22. After a brief stint working in a pencil factory, he got a job playing piano in a café. He later arranged and composed music for the Schubert brothers theaters--including several shows starring Al Jolson. He is best remembered for his operettas The Student Prince, Desert Song, and New Moon. In 1954 a film was made of Romberg's life in which he was played by Jose Ferrer. What is the name of that film? Answer >>

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      Does Music Have Meaning or Not?

      Do you think music has meaning? Music can move you; music can make you want to move. For most listeners, it's a simple transaction. There are those who look deeper into our relationship to music, however, and wonder why it affects us so. Igor Stravinsky was one of them. Not always inclined to subtlety more...

      David Robertson Puts Youth in Spotlight

      On Monday evening, David Robertson returns to the Chicago stage, this time with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. There is the notion that some conductors work with youth orchestras while hoping to move on to professional orchestras – not so with David Robertson. He has the big career more...

      Summer Migration, Payoff for Chicago

      If you've ever seen a nature documentary about the Serengeti, you might have some sense of the migratory patterns of classical musicians. There are music centers, like watering holes, to which players journey in order to refresh, commune with others, and nurture the young. The Aspen Music Festival is one of those places. One only has to read the biographies of Chicago's top musicians more...

      Chicago’s Joan Harris to Receive National Medal of Arts

      On Monday, July 28th, the President and First Lady will recognize Joan Harris for her tireless support of the arts. It was announced on Tuesday that she would be a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The visage of Joan Harris is a familiar one around the lobbies of the Civic Opera House and Symphony more...

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      Three Choirs festival: Dvoák's Stabat Mater surging crescendoes resonated through the cathedral

      Worcester Cathedral
      Geraint Bowen handled the tricky pacing of Dvoák's sombre, yet hopeful masterpiece with discipline and grace

      The Three Choirs festival had already been going strong for almost a century and three quarters when Dvoák came to Worcester Cathedral in 1884 to conduct his choral work, the Stabat Mater. A mere 130 years on, Hereford's artistic director, Geraint Bowen, conducted the present Festival Chorus in a performance commemorating Dvoák's visit.

      A substantial work, the Stabat Mater contains wonderfully expressive music that is too rarely performed. The text of Jacopone da Todi's Latin sequence, telling of Mary at her son's crucifixion, is sombre yet ultimately full of hope, and it was for consolation that Dvoák grieving for an infant daughter began to set the words. He would return to the sketch when two more children also died, less than a month apart.

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      Prom 15 BBCSO/Pons review harmonic and orchestral sophistication

      Royal Albert Hall, London
      The BBC Symphony Orchestra perform Jonathan Dove's new work confidently, but it often comes across as background music needing a voiceover

      Jonathan Dove's new work takes on the daunting challenge of celebrating the ideas of scientist James Lovelock within a 20-minute orchestral piece. The three movements of Gaia Theory - marked "lively", "very spacious" and "dancing" attempt to convey some of Lovelock's highly influential concepts in purely musical form. "Evolution," the scientist is quoted as saying in Dove's own programme note, "is a tightly coupled dance, with life and the material environment as partners. From the dance emerges the entity Gaia".

      Appropriately, the resulting score possesses considerable ongoing rhythmic vitality as well as a good deal of harmonic and orchestral sophistication. A plentiful use of tuned percussion brings splashes of vital colour to music that has a consistently high energy level in the outer movements.

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      Google Glass to be used for one-off staging of Puccini's Turandot

      'We want to communicate the art of opera hoping that it will engage and interest people who normally dont go to see performances,' says opera company's manager

      An Italian opera company will don Google Glass for an upcoming staging of Puccini's Turandot. Singers, orchestral musicians and stagehands from the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, in Sardinia, will wear the futuristic headsets at shows starting 30 July, allowing internet users to watch the opera from each unique point of view.

      "We want to communicate the art of opera hoping that it will engage and interest people who normally dont go to see performances," Mauro Meli, the opera company's general manager, told the New York Times. Watching an opera from the perspective of a soprano can be compared to the thrill of watching a football game through the eyes of a midfielder: "If a soccer player wore Google Glass, youd see the ball coming," Meli said.

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      Godard: Piano Concertos

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      Beethoven: Missa Solemnis

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