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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: "Play, you gypsy fiddler!" Gypsy music shows up quite often in classical music. Songs, operatic choruses, and instrumental musi--many composers have written music with a gypsy flavor. Who wrote a composition for violin and orchestra titled "Gypsy Airs" or "Zigeunerweisen?" Answer >>

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      Spanish Fever at Grant Park

      February-March 1875, Paris – Within the span of one month, the Parisians saw the premieres of Lalo's Symphonie espagnole and Bizet's Carmen. For the audience, there was something different, something exotic about those pieces – eventually people would be whistling them in the streets. more...

      Ongoing Debate: Does Music Have Meaning or Not?

      Do you think music has meaning? Music can move you; music can make you want to move. For most listeners, it's a simple transaction. There are those who look deeper into our relationship to music, however, and wonder why it affects us so. Igor Stravinsky was one of them. Not always inclined to subtlety more...

      David Robertson Puts Youth in Spotlight

      On Monday evening, David Robertson returns to the Chicago stage, this time with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. There is the notion that some conductors work with youth orchestras while hoping to move on to professional orchestras – not so with David Robertson. He has the big career more...

      Summer Migration, Payoff for Chicago

      If you've ever seen a nature documentary about the Serengeti, you might have some sense of the migratory patterns of classical musicians. There are music centers, like watering holes, to which players journey in order to refresh, commune with others, and nurture the young. The Aspen Music Festival is one of those places. One only has to read the biographies of Chicago's top musicians more...

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      Prom 13: CBeebies Prom - review

      The first prom pitched at the under-fives keeps its young audience entertained with its mix of CBeebies favourites and rousing tunes.

      Royal Albert Hall, London

      Towards the end of the CBeebies Prom, Bernard Cribbins famous to his young audience as the eponymous hero of Old Jacks Boat announces that his on-screen dog Salty will go down in history: it is the first time in its 120 years that an animal has taken part in the Proms. It is probably also the first time an audience member has invaded the stage almost making it to the string section before being wrestled down by his mother - but then this is the first Prom pitched at the under-fives.

      CBeebies favourites, including Mr Bloom and Swashbucklers Gem, pop up among the crowd at the Royal Albert Hall, eliciting excited gasps and waves from surrounding toddlers. Then the BBC Philharmonic kicks off with an Overture on Cbeebies Themes and the children, for the most part, fall surprisingly quiet.

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      Musical rarities - the hidden sides of the great composers

      From scatalogical Mozart to possibly the worst music Wagner ever wrote, Tom Service unearths five pieces that rarely appear on concert programmes - perhaps for good reasons.

      Thursdays Prom of really rarely-heard Richard Strauss (as well as the Four Last Songs, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the BBC Singers and Vasily Petrenko are playing Strausss Festival Prelude and his Deutsche Motette) makes me think about the hidden sides of great composers which are all too seldom heard on concert programmes. Heres a five-part primer of pieces we hardly ever encounter, the other dimensions of composers that posterity has decided arent worth the candle - but which I think we ought to hear to be truly aware that the Great Composers didnt just write the masterpieces that centuries of canon-formation and music-historical image-making have decided are the best. Everyone has a musical twilight zone of pieces that history has forgotten, but which we shouldnt...

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      Readers recommend: songs about the coast | Peter Kimpton

      Crashing surf, rocky cliffs or serene sands, suggest songs in those fertile or mysterious places where land meets sea

      This week lets take a trip to the coast, and together walk along the shoreline for some musical beachcombing. All manner of stuff might wash up, from a beautiful shell or fossil to an old bottle stuffed with a rescue note, strangely sculptured driftwood, a giant jellyfish, oil pollution, a shipwreck, a mysterious person, but hopefully nothing as disturbing as an exploding whale. But above all let us search for songs that make mention of the place where land and sea meet. But in geological terms, where exactly is this? The difficulty in measuring it is called the coastline paradox. And the edge of the land, in prehistoric times, was probably perceived as the precarious edge of the world.

      This is fertile brief, for the coast is both the land and sea either side of the shoreline. And perhaps thats one of many reasons why mention of ports, beaches and cliffs inspire the imagination of explorers, storytellers, and songwriters. They represent a lookout and launch into the unknown, the border to a better life, an escape, an adventure in to either death, glory or riches. Britains jagged coastline is estimated at 11,000 miles in length. Has this shored up its independence, or made it more vulnerable? Britain also has some odd coastal places. The Broomway in Essex, for example, on a flatland almost indistinguishable between sea, land and sky, has claimed dozens of lives because of how easy it is to lose your way and be caught by the tides rushing in.

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      new releases

      Godard: Piano Concertos

      Hyperion CDA-68043

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      Prokofiev: Violin Music

      Hyperion CDA-67514

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      Beethoven: Missa Solemnis

      LPO 0077

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      Beethoven: Symphony No 9

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 0591

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      Myung-Whun Chung: Piano Encores

      ECM New Series 2342

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