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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Giuseppe Verdi had been retired from composing for almost 16 years before he was persuaded to come out of retirement and write his last two operas--Otello and Falstaff, both based on Shakespeare. Otello had its premiere at La Scala on this date in 1887. What had been Verdiís last opera before writing the last two in his later years? 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...

      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...

      These Photoshopped Pictures of Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde Will Make You Literally LOL

      Christine Goerke has set the world on fire with what the Wall Street Journal described as her “big, blazing soprano.” Recently she’s set the internet ablaze not with her voice, but with her sense of humor. When Goerke posted a production photo from the Canadian Opera Company (COC) Siegfried, in which she plays the role more... more...

      New Opera Exposes Horrors of My Lai Massacre

      “The story of Hugh Thompson in My Lai and the opposition of the Vietnam War is what led me from high school into adulthood,” said Jonathan Berger, composer and professor at Stanford University. Over forty years later, Berger composed an operatic monodrama, "My Lai," that follows Hugh Thompson’s story in various snapshots, from the horrific day in My Lai to reflective moments throughout his life. more...

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      Patricia Kopatchinskaja: We all need madness in our worlds

      Rarely performed music by Robert Schumann, György Kurtág and Galina Ustvolskaya gets an outing at a festival exploring mental health and the arts

      In music, as in other walks of life, to keep oneself interested in what one is doing, one has to be on constant lookout for new or lesser-known material, and for new aspects in old pieces. By advertising all these “B composers” – Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Bruch – you can sell tickets and fill halls, and audiences will hear immortal works by immortal composers. Everybody knows that the B composers are the greatest ever - they really are! so there is no need for any effort – nor even to listen – to have a great experience. To repeat the same immortal pieces has become the norm today. Wouldn’t some madness be preferable to this normality?

      I am very happy to have been invited to London to play some pieces from the borders of the current repertoire, even if I think it’s madness that it takes a festival about mental health and the arts to explore interesting works in more depth.

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      Alma Deutscher: the 10-year-old who is making the music world listen

      Simon Rattle was ‘bowled over’, Stephen Fry compared her to Mozart. Deutscher is a brilliant performer, but it is her composing that has got the connoisseurs talking

      At a recital for press and music industry figures last week in London, Alma Deutscher played, and talked about, passages from her own compositions for piano and violin as well as singing a couple of arias from her opera version of Cinderella. Deutscher is in demand as both a performer and speaker, participating at last year’s Google’s Zeitgeist conference alongside Stephen Hawking, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and chancellor George Osborne. She has a polished stage presence that combines splendid playing, dry humour – “I don’t seem to have an orchestra with me at the moment so you’ll have to imagine” – and a willingness to throw in the odd party trick, such as when she picks four random notes out of a hat and then uses them to improvise a bravura finale to the evening.

      This would all be impressive from any young musician starting off in the business, but for a 10-year-old ... ? When we meet a few days before her concert, Deutscher is unfazed by the prospect of playing in public. “I never get nervous on stage, as I’m just happy that people want to come and listen to my music,” she straightforwardly announces. “When I play, I am in control, I know what I’m doing and so I don’t see what there is to be nervous about.” Quite.

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      Liberté, Égalité, Sororité CD review – graceful and impressive

      Ambache/Robb/Dilley/Juritz/Knight et al


      Pianist Diana Ambache is on a mission to give music by women a fair hearing, and this collection of French chamber works, in committed performances, can be enjoyed with no special pleading. The earliest is the 1861 Cello Sonata by Louise Farrenc, a graceful salon piece some decades behind its time; the latest, and most impressive, is the buoyant, astringent 1952 Concertino by Germaine Tailleferre, the only female member of Les Six. In between, there is the elegantly turned Sonatine for violin and piano by the former opera singer Pauline Viardot, and a haunting violin Nocturne by Lili Boulanger, sister of Nadia and the first woman to win the Prix de Rome. Scènes de la Forêt, by Debussy’s classmate Mél Bonis, combines flute, horn and piano to create a bucolic yet sensuous atmosphere; Claude Arrieu’s 1936 Reed Trio couldn’t be any more French if it were shrugging at you over a pastis.

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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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      Embark on a music-lovers cruise! Join Peter van de Graaff on an exclusive 10 day classical music lovers cruise on Oceania Cruises' Marina to Spain and Portugal.

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      new releases

      Haydn: String Quartets, Volume 9

      MDG 307 1925-2

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      2016 New Year’s Concert

      Sony Classical 88875174802 (2 CDs)

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      The Clarinotts

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 1917

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      Grigory Sokolov: Schubert & Beethoven

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 5426 (2 CDs)

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      Manhattan Intermezzo

      Naxos 8.573490

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