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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Later this morning we will hear Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite. Initially titled "Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon," it had its first performance November 22, 1931 at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago (!) The composer, Ferde Grofe, was a master orchestrator and arranger. It was he who arranged and orchestrated another American classic which had its premiere in February of 1924 in New York. What is the name of that work? Answer >>
It’s a truth universally acknowledged by music students around the world that at any given moment in any conservatory, there’s at least one person in the practice rooms playing Bach, Beethoven, and the songs from Nintendo’s classic game Super Mario Bros. The video game, released in 1985, has some pretty memorable music: six songs composed by Koji more... more...
Vic Firth, the long time principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra who revolutionized the manufacture of percussion sticks and mallets, passed away Sunday at age 85. Seiji Ozawa, one of many illustrious conductors with whom Firth worked throughout his career, once said Firth was, “the single greatest percussionist anywhere in the world.” Firth was more... more...
Riccardo Muti, the celebrated conductor from Naples, Italy, came to Chicago in 2010 when he became the 10th music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Since, Chicagoans have enjoyed many magical moments with the maestro both in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center and beyond, as the CSO extends its reach with performances in the community. more... more...
Composer Jimmy López never could have imagined that uploading some of his music on YouTube could have landed him his first opera commission, and at Lyric Opera of Chicago, no less. Read more about the creation of this new opera before it has its world-premiere this fall in a behind-the-scenes interview with the composer during tech rehearsals. more...
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The godfather of minimal music is still performing at 79, and since few recordings exist of his work, his live performances are more essential than ever
Like many fans of minimalist-music godfather La Monte Young, I have often wished he’d put out more recordings. Long out-of-print CD copies of his multi-hour masterwork The Well-Tuned Piano occasionally fetch over $1,000 on the secondhand marketplace. A pair of other albums released by the now-defunct Gramavision label are occasionally easier to come by. (All of those albums have been widely bootlegged on the internet, though with unfortunate audio quality – and without Young’s essential essay booklets.)
Moreover, those releases only represent a small fraction of Young’s compositional and performance-based work over the last 60 years. For a legendary output that has had such an outsized influence on other artists – not just fellow minimalists like Terry Riley, but also performers of the order of Anthony Braxton and the Velvet Underground – this can seem unfortunate. (At least from the acquisitive music nerd’s standpoint.)Continue reading...
Unlike Angela Merkel, our leaders rarely flaunt their cultural tastes. It’s to the detriment of national life
Last Saturday I sat in something very close to rapture just a few feet away from Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel. But Merkel wasn’t making a speech. She wasn’t giving a press conference. And, although I live in hope, she wasn’t giving me an exclusive interview for the Guardian about Britain and the EU either.
Merkel was doing the same thing I was doing. She was at the opera house, listening to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. And not just in any old opera house. We were at the Bayreuth festival theatre, the legendary Wagner shrine in Bavaria. It was the opening night of the 2015 festival. Merkel was the guest of honour there, as she often is.Continue reading...
This is the second in a three-part series exploring Schumann’s concertos and piano trios on gut strings and a period piano, and as the slightly creepy cover photo spells out – shadows of violinist Isabelle Faust and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras flank Alexander Melnikov like lurking henchmen – it is the pianist’s turn to shine. Melnikov is a steely player with plenty of ideas and charisma, but even in the finessed company of the Freiburg Baroque and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, his bracing account of the Piano Concerto is hard to love. The first moment opens with a dry punch and hurtles ahead hell-for-leather; the second movement is breezy and borderline trite, and the finale digs in its heels with laboured earthiness and a self-conscious ping at the top of each phrase. All affectations evaporate in the Trio, though, where Faust’s sound is so silvery and expressive, so simultaneously commanding and questioning, that she risks blowing the rest of the disc out of the water.Continue reading...
Debris found on an Indian Ocean island is to be sent to France to determine if it is from the missing airliner MH370, Malaysia's PM says.
An investigation into a number of allegations of crime involving children's charity Kids Company has been launched by police, the BBC has learned.
Six people are stabbed at a Gay Pride march in Jerusalem and police arrest an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man they say attacked marchers in 2005.
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travel with wfmt
WFMT Santa Fe Opera Tour Join Carl Grapentine as we tour one of our favorite domestic opera destinations.
Discover the Best of Scandinavia this August! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive classical music journey.
Join Bill McGlaughlin for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Budapest, Vienna and Prague!
Music of Gaspard Fritz
Musiques Suisses MGBCD-6283
Eschenbach: Romantic Piano Music
Deutsche Grammophon 479 4624 (6 CDs)
Vadym Kholodenko: Concertos
Harmonia Mundi HMU-907629
I have set my hert so hy
Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow
Deutsche Grammophon 479 5059