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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: American composer Richard Rodgers was born June 28, 1902. After collaborating with Oscar Hammerstein II on the musical, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and The King and I, he collaborated with Robert Russell Bennett on the score for a documentary television series aired on NBC in 1952-53. The series won Emmy and Peabody Awards. And a recording of music from the series became a best-seller on LP. What was the name of the series? Answer >>
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...
Take this quiz to find out which dean of American music you're most like! Are you sparse and minimal like Philip Glass? Or do you prefer the sis-boom-bah John Philip Sousa? Do you prefer Samuel Barber's sonic landscapes of America, or Scott Joplin's Ragtime portraits of American life? more...
Younger generations of Americans take it for granted that the United States has been legally desegregated. But, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, segregation was the norm, including in concert halls across America. more...
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. We celebrate the music of LGBTQ composers all year long since it’s hard to escape a concert season without hearing works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, Britten, and others. But we wanted to recognize a few notable figures, past and present, who do did not or do not identify as heterosexual. Some more... more...
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Paul Dukas was the most ruthlessly self-critical of great 20th-century French composers. He allowed just 15 of his works to be published in his lifetime. While a host of early pieces did come to light after his death in 1935, among the mature scores that he is thought to have destroyed were four operas, two ballets, a symphony (which would have been his second) and a symphonic poem. What Dukas did leave for posterity, then, is precious, and reveals one of the most fascinating musical minds of his time. He was a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel who hovered around the edges of modernism in the first decades of the 20th century, without ever quite making that final commitment, but who nevertheless did produce a series of wonderfully crafted and often ravishingly beautiful scores. Yet he is known now almost exclusively for one relatively early, and in some ways atypical orchestral showpiece, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Almost half of the pieces that Dukas did acknowledge were composed for piano. Hervé Billaut’s well-filled disc omits three of the smaller-scale ones, but does include the two major works, both composed around the turn of the 20th century – the huge, imposing and rather Beethovenian Piano Sonata in E flat minor, and the Variations, Interlude and Finale on a theme of Rameau. He plays them both with just the right combination of rigour and flair, bringing out every colour in the more virtuosic Rameau variations. These are just as dazzling as anything in Ravel, and he lays out the huge form of the sonata – the longest surviving piece that Dukas wrote, apart from his opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, which was composed at much the same time – with total authority and clarity.Continue reading...
The controversy-torn Wagner festival has appointed Christian Thielemann as its first independent music director. Unusually, this news emerged in the car park
Christian Thielemann has been officially appointed as music director of the Bayreuth festival, according to the German broadcaster Deutschlandradio. His formal duties will be announced when the festival opens with Katharina Wagner’s new production of Tristan und Isolde on 25 July.
A car-parking space sign saying “Reserved for music director C Thielemann” and erected outside the Festival theatre earlier this week gave a premature clue to the appointment. A Bayreuth spokesperson confirmed the rumours on Monday.Continue reading...
Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No 1 might be a pop classic, but there’s much, much more to the fascinating and eccentric French composer
Film-makers have missed a trick with the life of Erik Satie. A biopic would have pretty much everything: the heart-warming story of a talented but strange man whose early failure and obscurity led to late-in-life celebrity; some acrobatic sex (literally – his one-and-only girlfriend had previously run away to the circus); strong language, violence, scandal and litigation (he was famously irascible, and was imprisoned over a spat with a music critic); the glamour of Paris, 1885-1925; more than walk-on roles for people like Stravinsky, Picasso and Diaghilev; the decadent Montmartre cabaret scene; oh, and a fabulous, ready-made score by the main man and his friends Debussy, Ravel and Poulenc.
MPs should consider allowing Britain to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.
Twelve suspects have been arrested in connection with Friday's deadly attack on a Tunisian resort by Islamic State, an official says.
Irish singer and TV entertainer Val Doonican dies aged 88.
A total of 1,400 layoff notices are going out today as Chicago Public Schools announces...
Fiscal year 2016 started at midnight Wednesday without a budget in place. State...
Facing a budget crunch, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is proposing a 1...
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WFMT Santa Fe Opera Tour Join Carl Grapentine and other fellow opera lovers this August as we tour one of our favorite domestic opera destinations in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Discover the Best of Scandinavia this August! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive classical music journey to Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Discover the incomparable beauty of Italy's history, culture and art! Join Suzanne Nance for an incredible journey to Italy.
Join Bill McGlaughlin for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Budapest, Vienna and Prague!
New Orleans and Western Caribbean Your vacation begins in fabulous New Orleans!