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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" had its first performance 165 years ago today in Weimar, conducted by Franz Liszt. Act III of the opera opens with two of the most recognizable passages in all of classical music. What are they? Answer >>
As everyone is poised for the corpse plant at the Chicago Botanic Garden to bloom, why not enjoy some music about poisonous and medicinal plants? Operas would be a lot less interesting if poison didn’t seep its way into their plots. Check out this list of 10 operas about poisonous and medicinal plants, taken largely from the research more... more...
The 9th Chicago Dancing Festival presented its first ever Modern Women program, highlighting the important contributions of women in dance both past and present: Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Kate Weare, and Pam Tanowitz, Crystal Pite. I spoke with women from each of the five companies on the program about women’s roles in dance, both as dancers and as choreographers. more...
Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said Thursday, drawing angry protests from Israel. Barenboim, 72, who is general music director of the German capital's flagship opera house, the State Opera, "is in talks with Iran about a possible concert in Tehran by the Staatskapelle Berlin," the house said in an emailed statement. more...
It's National Dog Day! Have you ever heard the saying, "Behind every great composer is a cuddly canine?" No? Well these photos prove that every composer from Bernstein to Busoni had a four-legged friend as a constant companion. more...
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Royal Albert Hall, London
The Bergen’s departing chief conductor, Andrew Litton, showed his mettle throughout a programme featuring The Rite of Spring and new works by Ørjan Matre and Alissa Firsova
There were not one but two new works in this Prom by the Bergen Philharmonic under its departing chief conductor Andrew Litton, given as part of the orchestra’s 250th anniversary season – though in fact the first of them, Ørjan Matre’s preSage, was being premiered only in its revised version.
Commissioned to celebrate the centenary in 2013 of The Rite of Spring – which happens to be something of a signature piece for this ensemble – the Norwegian Matre’s work takes a couple of minute elements from the tiny section of Stravinsky’s ballet labelled The Sage and whips them up into a 12-minute conflation notable for its hyper-refined use of colour and ambiguous harmony. It made an intriguing opener.Continue reading...
Boris Tishchenko was a Soviet composer of dark and exuberantly offbeat music. He wrote a lot, and what he wrote was generally not shy. He charted the struggle of Soviet artists in his vehement orchestral song-cycle Requiem; he was a devotee of Shostakovich, and it shows in the prickly wit and grotesque pastiches of his music. That he was a superb pianist underpins the expansive, gnarly language of his 11 piano sonatas.
On this recording, French pianist Nicolas Stavy tackles the Seventh, longest and formally weirdest of them all, with its clanging tubular bells and acid glockenspiel (played by Jean-Claude Gengembre) adding to the absurd melodrama of the mix. The Eighth is more taut – a tightly-sprung riot of tough counterpoint, mordant send-ups and suddenly bare, solemn chorales. Stavy’s playing is fearless throughout. He unleashes outrageous whirlwinds then finds penetrating space and contemplation in slow passages.Continue reading...
Israeli-Argentinian conductor’s planned September concert postponed as organisers look for a new date in wake of protests from Israeli officials
Daniel Barenboim, one of the world’s foremost music conductors, is planning to take a Berlin orchestra to Iran for a concert and a possible collaboration with Tehran’s reborn symphony orchestra, despite angry protests from Israel.
A performance by Barenboim, the 72-year-old Israeli-Argentinian, in Iran will be a significant moment in the rapprochement between Iran and the west in the wake of the landmark nuclear deal struck in July. The cultural exchanges with the outside world are expanding with the director of the Louvre museum, Jean-Luc Martinez, going to Tehran in the near future.Continue reading...
The UN says "much more is required" to prevent fatalities among migrants fleeing to Europe, after hundreds are reported dead in recent days.
Ministers must provide more funding to protect injured war veterans from spending compensation on social care costs, local authority leaders say.
A team of Nasa recruits begins a year-long isolation in a dome near a barren volcano in Hawaii, to simulate life on Mars.
On this edition of Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review with Joel Weisman, our panel of...
The Chicago Public Schools budget that is short half a billion dollars is officially...
Chicago Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with two storm...
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Discover the Best of Scandinavia this August! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive classical music journey.
Join Bill McGlaughlin for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Budapest, Vienna and Prague!
Collage: Works for Cello & Piano
Deutsche Grammophon 479 4970
Joyce & Tony: Live at Wigmore Hall
Faure & Strauss: Violin Sonatas
Deutsche Grammophon 481 1774