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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Today is the birthday of American composer Scott Joplin, perhaps born on this date in Linden, Texas in 1868. His music enjoyed a revival in the 1970s when it was used prominently in the film "The Sting." Who won the 1974 Academy Award for the music in "The Sting," mainly just for arranging Joplin's tunes? Answer >>
Some composers ate to live, others lived to eat. Can you match the composer to his favorite food? more...
WFMT is celebrating great piano concertos, and we need your help! Vote for your favorites. Then middays starting December 7th, Lisa Flynn will play your 10 favorite piano concertos based on your votes, paired with a piano concerto you might not know. more...
Did you know that some of your favorite composers composed recipes as well? Here are a few culinary masterpieces composed by Rossini, Verdi, Ned Rorem, Puccini, and Janáček. more...
This weekend, The Merry Widow waltzes onto the stage of the Civic Opera House. The production has a star-studded cast that includes soprano Renée Fleming and baritone Thomas Hampson. But one of the most exciting aspects of The Merry Widow is the opportunity to marry grand singing with grand spectacle, particularly through dance. more...
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He’s the father of modern opera but nowhere near as celebrated as he should be. Soprano Elizabeth Watts decided it was time to change that, and embarked on a five-year quest to discover and record Scarlatti’s finest arias
So you’ve heard of Alessandro Scarlatti? Vaguely perhaps. Didn’t he write some rather good keyboard sonatas? Well, actually no: that was his son, Domenico. There are two Scarlattis, and given not many people have heard of even one of them, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this composer is off the beaten track because it’s not really worth the effort. So it falls to me to convince you that Alessandro Scarlatti is not only worth the effort but actually rather good.
Like many singers, I first came across Scarlatti as a student. A teacher recommended I try one of his more florid arias (Ergiti, amor) as something a bit different from the usual competition fare. I really liked it, and thought then that there must be more to this composer.Continue reading...
2 October 1938: in a classic interview from our archive, The Observer meets Proms founder Sir Henry Wood as he celebrates 50 years as a conductor
Sir Henry Wood, busiest and most versatile of Britain’s musicians, is happily and busily celebrating his musical jubilee. It is a far cry back to 1888, when young Henry Joseph Wood first publicly ruled by his baton and, as he told me, earned “the enormous sum” of two guineas for conducting at a church choral society concert.
He has conducted nearly 3,000 Promenade Concerts - he is now in his forty-fourth season at the Queen’s Hall - nearly 1,000 Sunday concerts and 600 symphony concerts. So punctilious in other matters, he has failed to keep an exact log, but it is no exaggeration to say that in half a century he has 5,000 concerts to his credit.Continue reading...
Huddersfield contemporary music festival
Lewis’s opera was heavy-handed, badly crafted and unbearable. The Bozzini Quartet redeemed matters with a beautiful performance of two of Jürg Frey’s quartets
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) has a noble history – founded in 1965 as a black artists’ collective in south Chicago; pioneering force in American avant garde culture and racial politics – but that history has yet to make the subject of a noble opera. Afterword is an abysmally misconceived lecture-meets-musical by trombonist and longtime AACM member George Lewis, with a libretto based on his own essays about the organisation and semantic arguments over words such as “original” and “music”.
Its UK premiere at the Huddersfield contemporary music festival was alarming. How did a work so self-important, so heavy-handed and plain badly-crafted, ever reach the stage? Hints of Lewis’s spark as an improviser occasionally gurgle through the frenetic instrumental score (stoic playing from the International Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by David Fulmer) but the vocal writing is unbearable: drab, inflated and nonsensical, no rhyme or reason to how words and music fit together.
Sean Griffin’s torpid staging was equally dismal. It would have worked better if singers Joelle Lamarre, Gwendolyn Brown and Julian Terrell Otis had stood and spoken their lines.Continue reading...
A Russian marine is killed on a mission to rescue from rebels the crew of a jet downed by Turkey near the Syrian border, as Nato states join ranks.
Paris's chief prosecutor says the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was near the Bataclan theatre while a siege was taking place.
US officials release dashboard camera video showing a white policeman shooting a black teenager last year in Chicago as a murder charge is brought.
The city is bracing for the release of a potentially damning video that is purported to...
The city of Chicago has been ordered to release by Wednesday the police dash cam video...
travel with wfmt
Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!
Discover WFMT's Classical Italy next May! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive twelve-day classical music lover's journey to "Bella Italia" next May. Imagine staying in the heart of Venice in a restored old abbey and experiencing Donizetti' opera La favorite at the historic La Fenice Opera House!
Cruise to Alaska and explore the "Frontier State" next July! Join fellow WFMT listeners and discover Alaska's unspoiled beauty and wildlife in its natural habitat on YMT Vacations' 12-day Grand Alaskan Cruise and Tour next July!