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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: American composer Bernard Herrmann was born in NY on this date in 1911. Earlier this morning we heard Bernard Herrmann's score for Orson Welles' classic film, Citizen Kane. But he wrote many film scores for another prominent director, including Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. Name the director. Answer >>

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      Our Country, ‘Tis of Thee: How Marian Anderson Broke Boundaries for Singers of Color

      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. Contralto Marian Anderson (1897 – 1993) broke many boundaries for more... more...

      15 Queer Composers You Should Know

      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...

      Live from the Martin Theatre

      The Juilliard String Quartet plays Haydn’s Quartet in G (H III:41); Berg’s Quartet Op 3; Schubert’s Quartet #14 in D Minor, D 810, “Death and the Maiden.” more...

      Signifyin’ in Song: How the Sounds of Slavery Changed Music Forever

      African-American spirituals are not just a cornerstone of the American choral tradition, they have impacted countless genres of music heard everywhere from saloons to symphony halls. Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World," borrows heavily from African-American musical traditions, and spirituals in particular. more...

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      William Tell: nudity and rape scene greeted with boos at Royal Opera House

      Audience uproar at opening night for London staging of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, in which female performer is stripped and molested by army officers

      A Royal Opera House production of Guillaume Tell (William Tell) that opened in London’s Covent Garden on Monday night was heckled and booed for incorporating a scene in which a young woman is stripped naked and molested by army officers.

      Rossini’s work of 1829 tells the story of the Swiss patriot who shoots an arrow that splits an apple atop his son’s head, and is famed for its overture with the galloping horse theme used in the Lone Ranger TV series.

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      Mark Simpson: death in D flat major

      He is a visceral and wildly idealistic composer – but even Simpson was surprised by the scale of his new work about the afterlife, premiered at the Manchester international festival on 4 July

      Mark Simpson is showing me the score of his new piece, The Immortal. “I felt like I was in a trance when I was writing it,” says the 26-year-old composer, clarinettist, and Liverpudlian musical polymath. “There was a period when I didn’t leave the house for 10 days. When I finished it, after seven solid months – and even now when I look at it – I just thought, ‘What the fuck’s that? It’s so big!’ This scale and scope, it’s on a different level from anything I’ve done before.”

      Related: Q&A: composer Mark Simpson

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      Borodin Quartet review – they make music flow as naturally as speech

      Wigmore Hall, London
      The Borodins can take Shostakovich’s notes and make them sound more right than almost any other ensemble

      There is a story that when the Borodin Quartet was formed, in 1945, its original members signed an oath of allegiance in their own blood. The lineup has undergone many changes in the 70 years since, but the current quartet still plays as if the same stuff is running through all their veins. There is next to no visible communication between players – something that can reinforce the impression of a certain coolness in the performance. But generally, no sooner is that impression formed than it is blown apart: the Borodins can be fiery even while looking efficient.

      Each concert in this anniversary series is devoted to Beethoven and Shostakovich. Here they opened with Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet, Op 74, and after a tender start brought out a dense, rich tone that flourished in the inner lines in the slow movement, and that made the middle section of the third movement, a Bach-like fugue, sound as if it were being played on a huge, clangorous organ. They finished with Op 18, No 1: crisp and springy in the fast movements, and with an old-school weightiness in the slow movement, and lots of variety of colour, even if they almost never play truly softly.

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      Sugarloaf Mountain

      Avie AV-2329

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      Glass: Piano Music

      Decca 478 8079 (2 CDs)

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      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4817

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      ECM B0022987-02

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