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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Later in this hour we will hear pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy play a Beethoven Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A 2-part question today: how many Beethoven piano concertos are there? And what is the nickname of the last one? Answer >>

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      Quiz: How Hipster is Your Taste in Classical Music?

      Admit it, liking classical music is a little bit hipster. But, how hipster is your taste in classical music? Do love the classics, or prefer more obscure repertoire? Do like listening to familiar masterworks, or do you constantly crave new sounds? Take this quiz and find out how hipster your tastes are! more...

      Why the American National Anthem isn’t even American

      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...

      How One Man Built the Great American Orchestra

        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...

      Countertenor David Daniels on Finding His Voice, Finding Himself, and Being Married by Justice Ginsburg

      David Daniels is “the most acclaimed countertenor of the day, perhaps the best ever,” to use the words of the New York Times. Though many know him best for portraying some of opera’s greatest heroes from Julius Caesar to Orpheus, he is also passionate about civil rights. more...

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      Orpheus in the Underworld review – cast and audience enjoy the romp

      Iford Manor, Bradford-on-Avon

      This is a piece that needs a nicely outrageous take, and in Jeff Clarke’s clever and cheeky production, it gets just that

      Iford is a tiny operatic heaven, so it feels like a contradiction in terms to make it the setting for the hell of Offenbach’s operetta. But Orpheus in the Underworld also embraces the Greek gods’ Olympian heights, so no worries, as the Australian soprano singing Eurydice might have said.

      In second empire France, philandering Napoleon III was the original target, poking fun, too, at Gluck’s opera Orpheus ed Eurydice. This is a piece that needs a nicely outrageous take and, in Jeff Clarke’s new Opera della Luna production for Iford Arts, it gets it. His translation takes the liberties satire demands: contemporary, clever, cheeky. And for the character who wrongfoots the audience at the outset, introducing herself as “Public Opinion” – David Pountney’s ENO production styled her as Margaret Thatcher, and Scottish Opera had a Melanie Phillips – Clarke is more mischievous again, making her an arts council assessor, box-ticking with a vengeance, dictating that composer Orpheus abandon his violin concerto for opera. John Styx, Savile Row slimeball butler to Pluto, explains that he was consigned to hell for taking Greece into the euro.

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      Facing the music: Nicholas Collon

      From Lipatti and Ligeti to Beyoncé and Bohemian Rhapsody – the Aurora Orchestra’s conductor shares his musical passions

      How do you mostly listen to music?

      On an iPhone with headphones, taking a walk.

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      Eyewitness: Oberammergau, Bavaria

      Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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      new releases

      Beck: Symphonies, Op 2

      Naxos 8.573323

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      Abbado Conducts Schubert

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4652

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      Nordic Affect: Clockworking

      Sono Luminus SLE-70001

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      Music of Orlande de Lassus

      Hyperion CDA-68064

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      Garrick Ohlsson: Etudes

      Hyperion CDA-68080

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