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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Today is the 155th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Mahler. Mahler lived only to the age of 50, leaving his 9th Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde as yet unperformed at his death. Better known as a conductor during his lifetime, Mahler was sure that his compositions would eventually achieve fame. What young associate of Mahler conducted the premieres of his last two major works? Answer >>
Gustav Mahler, like many composers, wore many hats in order to make a living. Conducting was one of Mahler’s primary sources of income early in his career, and he quickly became known for his autocratic and often idiosyncratic style. For anyone who has performed Mahler’s music, his close attention to detail is apparent in the more... more...
Admit it, liking classical music is a little bit hipster. But, how hipster is your taste in classical music? Do you love the classics, or prefer more obscure repertoire? Do you like listening to familiar masterworks, or do you constantly crave new sounds? Take this quiz and find out how hipster your tastes are! more...
Yup. You read that correctly. The American National Anthem isn’t American. Well, it has become American. But ironically, the tune to the “Star Spangled Banner” is actually a British pub ballad. How did a drinking song that originated in the country from which America sought its independence travel across the pond and become our National more... more...
The names inscribed on the façade of Chicago’s Orchestra Hall – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner – are familiar to every concertgoer. But another name that is proudly displayed not once, but twice alongside this pantheon of musical masters may be less familiar to you: Theodore Thomas. Theodore Thomas founded what would later more... more...
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Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham
Nova Music Opera’s double bill dealing with real-life crime and punishment made for a challenging, thoughtful and well-sung evening
Each opera in Nova Music Opera’s double bill, directed by Richard Williams and part of the Cheltenham festival, dealt with a notorious legal case, both of which had grim outcomes. No easy evening, then.
In Entanglement, receiving its premiere, composer Charlotte Bray and librettist Amy Rosenthal conjure Ruth Ellis, who murdered her racing-driver lover David Blakely, and is remembered as the last woman to be hanged in Britain, almost exactly 60 years ago. Pleading not guilty but admitting she’d shot him, Ellis was resigned to dying, imagining it as a reunion with the man she loved. A metallic-edged, chill aura of sound sets the tone of the 40-minute piece, its very compression mirroring the short weeks between the shooting and the death penalty.Continue reading...
Corn Exchange, Cambridge
A programme of showpieces, designed to include plenty of local colour, felt insubstantial with not enough flair or rhythmic precision
Founded in 1936, relaunched in the 1970s and based at the National University of Mexico, the Orquesta Filarmónica de México UNAM, is the longest established orchestra in Mexico City. Jan Latham-Koenig has been its artistic director since 2011, and he is conducting the orchestra on its first visit to the UK.
The touring programme is certainly designed to include plenty of local colour. Four of the nine items are homegrown, while two more are by Spanish-speaking composers – a suite from Manuel de Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat and a positively glutinous arrangement of Piazzolla’s Adiós Nonino. The rest is pretty pictorial, too – Jorge Federico Osorio is the soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, while Tasmin Little chips in with Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and a Gustav Holst rarity A Song of the Night, which turns out to be a curious mix of an Elgar salon piece and the Bruch concerto.
The fuss over Damiano Michieletto’s Guillaume Tell at the Royal Opera House must not lead to caution in all live performance
Context can be all in live performance. Where and when a show is happening can be as much a contributory factor to the way it’s received as the script, director and design. A piece that works well in one space may falter when moved to another space – or indeed to another culture or country. Think of the lack of success of The Pitmen Painters in Dublin when it had been widely praised in the UK. What we know or are told about a performance in advance can also influence our reaction to it, and that’s particularly true when sex and violence are concerned.
Prince William attends a service in Hyde Park as events are held in memory of the 52 people killed in the 2005 London bombings.
Greece has submitted "no concrete proposals" for a new bailout, at a key meeting of eurozone finance ministers, Malta's PM says.
A migrant dies on a freight train heading for Britain, resulting in delays for cross-channel passengers and freight services.
The famed frenzy of open outcry trading, which involves shouting and the use of handle...
The state has been operating without a budget for six days. On Tuesday Comptroller...
Vice President Joe Biden has run for president of the United States twice, most...
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WFMT Santa Fe Opera Tour Join Carl Grapentine as we tour one of our favorite domestic opera destinations.
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