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      Cedille Day on WFMT

      With over 30,000 recordings in WFMT's "record" library, the staff seldom focuses on a single record label for very long. When it happens, it's usually because an artist has an exclusive agreement with a label; and the programming staff is featuring that artist. On Friday, WFMT honors a record label that has made it its mission to enhance the cultural life of Chicago. Cedille Records Day celebrates the Chicago-based record label that for 25 years, has been recording the gifted and diverse musicians and composers more...

      WFMT Gets an Upgrade

      After being off-line for two months, WFMT's Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio is open for business. With a new mixing board, new recording equipment, and a sassy blue paint job (better for shooting photographs and video), the studio re-opened last week for a recording with composer Lita Grier, followed by a live broadcast of "Folkstage" more...

      Impromptu with Saxophone Virtuoso Ashu

      Ashu returns to Chicago for a recital at Ravinia. The Northwestern graduate is logging thousands of frequent flyer miles these days, giving concerts throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. Ashu had been playing the saxophone for only a few years when he entered a contest. Taking the top prize, he was granted a solo recital at Carnegie Hall at the age of 16 more...

      Sax and the City

      From Charlie Parker to Kenny G, John Coltrane to Clarence Clemons, the sultry sounds of the saxophone have been a mainstay for American music. Many have praised the saxophone's vocalism, range of color, and expressivity. Nevertheless, it's been a tough road for classical soloists. more...

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      Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs Bartók's Violin Concerto No 2 for the Edinburgh international festival

      In this exclusive video, Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays and discusses Bartók's 2nd violin concerto as she prepares to perform it with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in her Edinburgh international festival debut.

      Produced in association with the Edinburgh Film Company and the Edinburgh international festival

      More videos in this series:
      Michael Houstoun performs Ravel
      Collegium Vocale Gent perform Bach
      The Hebrides Ensemble perform Stravinsky Continue reading...






      Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini review a finely shaped programme of Monteverdi songs

      Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
      Bold and stylish instrumental playing gave this performance its brilliant vivacity adding to its dramatic, raunchy storytelling

      There are few performers better-versed in the music of Claudio Monteverdi than Rinaldo Alessandrini and the ensemble he founded 30 years ago, Concerto Italiano. In 2007 they brought a five-part madrigals series to Edinburgh; this year their visit was all-too-brief a single concert done and dusted in less than an hour. I could have happily sat through several times that.

      The great appeal of Concerto Italiano's playing (and singing, though in this instance their instrumentalists outshone their vocalists) is how natural and unmannered it sounds. Take Alessandrini's harpsichord playing: his touch is simple, clean, spacious, full of buoyancy. He revels in Monteverdi's outlandish harmonies with a terrific sense of pacing and flux, but he limits extravagant ornamentation, which is no bad thing.

      Continue reading...






      Expect seismic shocks with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra

      Iceland Symphony Orchestra make their Proms debut tonight, in a concert called Classical Tectonics

      The Iceland Symphony Orchestra makes its debut at the Proms on Friday night; a concert called Classical Tectonics in homage to the thrillingly adventurous, all-contemporary Tectonics festivals that their chief conductor Ilan Volkov puts on with them every year, and which he has also brought to Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

      At the Proms, Volkov masterminded the magnificently chaotic, cactus-enhanced concert for John Cages centenary a couple of years ago, and last year, gave another brilliant showcase of new music from Fredric Rzewski to Morton Feldman. All of which makes this years Iceland programme look, on the face of it, much more conservative, with Schumanns Piano Concerto (the soloist is Jonathan Biss, who made his Proms debut last Friday with a scintillating performance of Bernard Rands Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, and is now making a habit of Friday nights at the Royal Albert Hall) and Beethovens Fifth Symphony. But Volkov brings a similar imagination to the core classical repertoire too, which ought to make the Fifth Symphony an unusually seismic experience.

      Continue reading...






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      travel feature

      Join Peter Van De Graaff for a trip to Montreal & Quebec City this September!

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      Join Lisa Flynn for a tour of Scotland.

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      Join Peter Van De Graaff this October for the treasures of Cuba's rich culture of music, dance, art, and history!

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      new releases

      Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

      Chandos CHSA-5145

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      Latvian Radio Choir: Sacred Love

      Ondine ODE 1226-2

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      Stanislav Khristenko: Fantasies

      Steinway & Sons 30032

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      Fifth House Ensemble: Excelsior

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      Jazz Meets Classical Song

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