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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Today is the birthday of the legendary former principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Adolph "Bud" Herseth--born in 1921; he passed away last year. Bud played 1st trumpet from 1948-2001, spanning the tenures of six CSO Music Directors. Which Music Director hired Bud Herseth? Answer >>

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      Chicago’s Joan Harris to Receive National Medal of Arts

      On Monday, July 28th, the President and First Lady will recognize Joan Harris for her tireless support of the arts. It was announced on Tuesday that she would be a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The visage of Joan Harris is a familiar one around the lobbies of the Civic Opera House and Symphony more...

      From Soviet Refugee to iTunes Favorite

      When Yevgeny Kutik was a boy, his mother declared, "Enough." She packed up her family and left the Soviet Union. There wasn't any one reason. It was a series of reasons: Yevgeny was bullied in Kindergarten; she was laid off because her employers exceeded their "quota of Jews"; her older son had picked up racial slurs at school more...

      Zukerman Chamber Players Recorded Live at Ravinia

      Monday at 8:00 pm South African-born cellist Amanda Forsyth grew up in Canada. Together with her husband, Pinchas Zukerman, Forsyth co-founded the Zukerman Chamber Players. They played the popular Archduke Trio and the Dumky Trio at Ravinia’s Martin Theatre in June. That recital airs on Monday evening at 8:00 pm on WFMT. Beethoven and Dvořák more... more...

      Lyric’s New Opera (Just a Peek)

      Getting beyond “The book was better” - Last week, when Lyric Opera presented a sneak peek at the opera based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel "Bel Canto," general director Anthony Freud quickly closed the door on comparisons to the book. Addressing a gathering of patrons and members of the media, Mr. Freud shared some of more...

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      Julian Lloyd Webber: classical music competitions are rife with corruption

      Acclaimed cellist claims jurors pick their own pupils to win and says Moscow's Tchaikovsky contest is the worst offender

      Classical music competitions are rife with corruption and bribery, Julian Lloyd Webber has claimed.

      The distinguished cellist and conductor, and brother of musicals impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, told the Times that the winners of internationally esteemed music competitions were chosen by jurors selecting their own pupils.

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      Prom 9: LSO/Gergiev review Barry Douglas compels in Brahms

      Royal Albert Hall, London
      Janáek's Glagolitic Mass lacked subtlety, but Douglas's account of Brahms's First Piano Concerto was compelling

      Amid the compulsive hyping that affects classical music, Barry Douglas remains defiantly and admirably grounded. But Douglas's powerful playing always compels and rewards attention, and this Prom performance of Brahms's First Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev was much more satisfying than the flashier performances one sometimes encounters.

      Aided by an attentive Gergiev, Douglas gave an expansive, almost Claudio Arrau-like account of the work. He never rushed, though he always had momentum. He played each phrase with due and even deliberate emphasis, displaying an instinctive feel for Brahms's punctuation. And his playing had a proper range of weight and colour across the keyboard, bringing out the texture of the concerto's endlessly original writing. Perhaps the final rondo could have used a bit more bite, but Douglas always seems a pianist who has thought things out. He has his reasons, and they were cumulatively immensely persuasive.

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      Readers recommend: songs about prostitution | Peter Kimpton

      Strumpets to courtesans, molls to midnight gigolos, escorts to extras, suggest your song pleasures for this week's potent topic

      "Suppress prostitution, and capricious lusts will overthrow society," remarked St Augustine, eyeing a flagon of mead, and somewhat surprising the merry company with his fifth-century mixed morality. But then, with a Martini in her elegant hand, a distinctly less saintly Marlene Dietrich added: "Indeed darling, a country without bordellos is like a house without bathrooms." Playwright Brendan Behan chipped in with an toothy Irish grin, having dished out a big round of whiskies: "Well, y'see, the big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less." Fellow author Angela Carter wasn't going to be left out. "What is marriage but prostitution to one man instead of many?" she asked, sipping a sherry. "The whore is despised by the hypocritical world because she has made a realistic assessment of her assets and does not have to rely on fraud to make a living."

      Such is the lively debate we can have here at the Readers Recommend tavern, as the four then broke out into laughter and song around the table. And this week can all do the same with nominations on what is indeed a potent subject. For, on this oldest of professions, much has been expressed in music and other genres. The sex worker must have a multitude of skills, many of which must come into play before, after, above and beyond the act itself, especially in dealing with difficult customers. The tough, complex and clever of the profession are, for example, portrayed with particular brilliance in the HBO goldrush-era series Deadwood. But, in reality, the law, and those who use and abuse it, can also be a capricious dominatrix, interpreted with as much flux as any carnal desires.

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      new releases

      Brahms Beloved II

      Telarc TEL-34659-02 (2 CDs)

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      Schumann: Piano Music

      Naïve V-5364

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      Per Monsieur Pisendel 2

      Avie AV-2308

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      Music for Heart and Breath

      Deutsche Grammophon B0021058-02

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      Robert Kyr: Choral Music

      Harmonia Mundi HMU-807577

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