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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Check back soon for another quiz question.


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      QUIZ – What Fairy Tale Opera Are You?

      Everyone loves a fairy tale, and one of the most magical ways to experience one is at the opera house! Some of the most beloved operas of all time are inspired by fairy tales and other enchanting stories. What fairy tale opera are you? more...

      10 Facts About Bach’s Coffee Opera You Need to Know

      Yup, that's right, J.S. Bach wrote a chamber opera about coffee. And not just coffee, coffee addiction! Here's some facts about Bach's "Coffee Cantata" and how the piece came to be about. more...

      With 3 operas on 1 night, which do you pick?

      When three opera companies in one city all open their seasons on the same night, which opera do you attend? On Saturday, September 26, 2015, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and Chicago Fringe Opera opened their seasons, performing The Marriage of Figaro, Lucio Silla, and The Turn of the Screw respectively. With two more... more...

      Your Soundtrack for the Supermoon Eclipse

      Tonight we'll experience a serendipitous celestial spectacle: a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse! As you're watching the skies, you need a little night music for the perfect soundtrack. Check out this list of moon music: some are well known classics, others are almost as rare as a supermoon eclipse! more...

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      Facing the music: Elizabeth Watts

      Kleiber’s Traviata, Rattle’s Beethoven, and confessions about cheesy rock and Kylie & Jason... the soprano shares her musical inspirations

      How do you listen to music most often?

      On the radio. I like the serendipity.

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      BBCNOW/Søndergård review – intimacy and lyricism in season opener

      St David’s Hall, Cardiff
      The BBC National Orchestra of Wales tipped their hats to Huw Watkins in a performance that showed just how assured their new composer-in-association is

      Under principal conductor Thomas Søndergård, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales opened their new season with a showcase affair, beginning with a glittering display of Stravinsky’s Fireworks. Because this was the work in which the young Igor was flexing his wings for his early masterpiece The Firebird, it also read as an introductory compliment to the orchestra’s new composer-in-association, Huw Watkins, whose first big successes came in his 20s.

      Watkins’s London Concerto was written 10 years ago when he was 29, and was commissioned for the centenary of the London Symphony Orchestra as a vehicle for three of that orchestra’s brilliant principals. It is testimony to the remarkable assurance and fluency of Watkins’s writing from the outset of his career. His use of three solo instruments, violin, bassoon and harp invokes the concerto grosso and the sinfonia concertante, and, with the second and fourth of the work’s five movements set for orchestra alone, there is a definite sense of Watkins playing deftly with form. It was the balance of chamber-music intimacy and lyricism – in the solo instruments, played with flair by Malin Broman, Rachel Gough and Hannah Stone, respectively, and in their interaction with the orchestral soloists – with a larger-scale overall momentum that was striking here. The ending, a gentle fizzling out, allowed it to avoid the obvious.

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      Total Immersion: Henryk Górecki review – from merely histrionic to magical

      St Giles’ Gripplegate, London
      The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s evening concert, under Antoni Wit, highlighted the best of and worst of the Polish composer

      In 1992, a recording of Henryk Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs saw him achieve an unprecedented level of popularity for a contemporary classical composer. The CD went on to sell more than 1m copies. The BBC’s day-long Total Immersion event, however, left out the Polish artist’s most famous piece while exploring other aspects of his output.

      Given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the authoritative baton of Antoni Wit, the evening concert featured the UK premiere of one of the relatively few works Górecki composed after finding worldwide fame: a Kyrie left incomplete on his death in 2010, its final touches added by his son, Mikołaj. The result represents the best and worst of an uneven creative figure. With its rampant percussion, the orchestral opening aims for drama, but ends up being merely histrionic; however, some of the choral writing – flawlessly executed by the BBC Symphony Chorus – proved magical.

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      travel feature

      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!

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      new releases

      Dvorak: New World Symphony

      DSO Live

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      A Festival of Julius Fucik

      Chandos CHSA-5158

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      Chopin: Preludes

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 1910

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      The Franchomme Project

      Delos DE-3469

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      Parry: Choral Music

      Hyperion CDA-68089

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