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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: American soprano Leontyne Price was born on this date--February 10, 1927--in Laurel, Mississippi. She is 89 years old today. Among the many highlights of her long and distinguished career: she opened the new Metropolitan Opera House in September of 1966, singing a role written for her by a leading American composer. Name the opera and the composer. Answer >>

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      QUIZ: Match the Film to the Score

      How well do you know movie music? Listen to the excerpts from the following famous film scores, and see if you can match the music to the correct movie. more...

      12 Polish Composers You Should Know (Who Aren’t Chopin)

      Everyone loves the music of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland’s most well-known composer. But, how many other Polish composers do you know? Learn more about Poland’s best composers from one of Poland’s best composers: Marta Ptaszyńska more...

      QUIZ: Can you tell the difference between Chinese foods and instruments?

      Can you tell the difference between traditional Chinese instruments and food based upon their names? Take this quiz and find out. more...

      Classical Music’s Most Memorable Moments on Sesame Street

      Whether teaching the ABCs or addressing decidedly more grown-up topics, Sesame Street has expanded children's minds and hearts since its debut nearly fifty years ago. Many musicians have visited Sesame Street, introducing people of all ages to great music. There have been many inspiring musical moments on Sesame Street, but here are some of WFMT's favorites! more...

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      The Guardian view on English National Opera: join the chorus of disapproval | Editorial

      Opera houses rely on singers the way hospitals rely on doctors. Managements are putting core purposes at risk

      Just as hospitals will always struggle to do their job without doctors, so opera companies are unlikely to do theirs without singers. Infinitely more people are of course affected by the latest junior doctors’ strike due on Wednesday than by the prospect of a strike by the chorus at the English National Opera. Yet the issue in both disputes is similar. In the doctors’ case, ministers want to introduce a new contract involving more work by doctors for less pay, while at the ENO, management wants the singers to sing the same performances for a 25% pay cut. In hospitals, as in opera houses, there are normally few people more ready to roll up their sleeves for the cause and the calling than doctors when people need care or singers when people want music. Yet, in both the NHS and the ENO, those in charge are making the same mistake. The goodwill of those who make the NHS and the ENO the institutions they are is being put at risk by picking on the people who provide the service. To restore harmony we need a chorus of disapproval against such mismanagement.

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      Karg/Gerhaher/Huber review – compelling vocal interplay

      Wigmore Hall, London
      Soprano Christiane Karg and baritone Christian Gerhaher brought directness and depth of feeling to an all-Schumann recital

      Christian Gerhaher, the Wigmore Hall’s current singer-in-residence, was joined by Christiane Karg and pianist Gerold Huber for the latest concert in his recital series, a programme of Schumann song collections for soprano and baritone, frequently excerpted but rarely performed complete. It was a compelling evening, for the most part revealing a strong sense of dramatic interplay between the pair, but just occasionally exposing disparities in approach that generated underlying tensions.

      They opened with the stark Lieder aus Wilhelm Meister. Karg sounded edgy in Kennst du das Land, and we had to wait a few minutes to hear the warm tone that makes her singing so special. Gerhaher’s Ballade des Harfners was a thing of tremendous effects, the dynamic range carefully calibrated, the text fastidiously pointed. Thereafter, Karg’s lyricism threw Gerhaher’s declamation into sharp relief, making him sound momentarily calculating, though at the same time one wished she would do more with the words. The Op 64 Romanzen und Balladen, which followed, brought them into greater accord: Gerhaher’s Tragödie II, all veiled pianissimos, startled with its grieving eloquence, their voices blended beautifully in the final duet.

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      Sofia Coppola's La Traviata to set Opera of Rome back on song

      In a major coup for the venue, the American film director, along with costumes by Valentino will add allegria to a new production of Verdi’s classic

      The American film director Sofia Coppola is to make her opera debut this year with a production of La Traviata, at the Opera of Rome – a star-studded coup for the beleaguered venue, which has long been overshadowed by La Scala in Milan.

      Coppola, the director of Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides, will team up with the fashion designer Valentino for the production of Verdi’s masterpiece. He asked Coppola to join the project after he watched her 2006 film Marie Antoinette.

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      travel feature

      Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!

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      Cruise along the Rhine River thru Germany and The Netherlands next September! Join Kerry Frumkin and fellow WFMT listeners "River Cruising along the Rhine" in the heart of Germany and The Netherlands on YMT Vacations' 14-day Rhine River Cruise and Tour next September.

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      new releases

      Brahms: Piano Trio & Quartet

      Harmonia Mundi HMC-902222

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      Beethoven: Overtures & Triple Concerto

      Sony Classical 88883763622

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      Images from the South

      Naxos 8.573442

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      John Rutter: The Gift of Life

      Collegium COLCD-138

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      Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection

      Decca B0024411-02

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