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      Carl Grapentine

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      QUIZ: Match the Film to the Score

      How well do you know movie music? Listen to the excerpts from the following famous film scores, and see if you can match the music to the correct movie. more...

      Classical Music’s Most Memorable Moments on Sesame Street

      Whether teaching the ABCs or addressing decidedly more grown-up topics, Sesame Street has expanded children's minds and hearts since its debut nearly fifty years ago. Many musicians have visited Sesame Street, introducing people of all ages to great music. There have been many inspiring musical moments on Sesame Street, but here are some of WFMT's favorites! more...

      These Photoshopped Pictures of Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde Will Make You Literally LOL

      Christine Goerke has set the world on fire with what the Wall Street Journal described as her “big, blazing soprano.” Recently she’s set the internet ablaze not with her voice, but with her sense of humor. When Goerke posted a production photo from the Canadian Opera Company (COC) Siegfried, in which she plays the role more... more...

      New Opera Exposes Horrors of My Lai Massacre

      “The story of Hugh Thompson in My Lai and the opposition of the Vietnam War is what led me from high school into adulthood,” said Jonathan Berger, composer and professor at Stanford University. Over forty years later, Berger composed an operatic monodrama, "My Lai," that follows Hugh Thompson’s story in various snapshots, from the horrific day in My Lai to reflective moments throughout his life. more...

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      Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3, 10 Songs CD review – delightfully seductive

      London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowski

      Related: Symphony guide: Rachmaninov's 3rd

      The quintessentially Russian melancholy of Rachmaninov’s third symphony was first heard in Britain in November 1937 when Sir Thomas Beecham conducted it with his new London Philharmonic. Today’s LPO plays the exiled composer’s 1939 revision in this live recording made at the Royal Festival Hall last year, Vladimir Jurowski drawing some delightfully seductive playing from the strings and woodwind. He adds an intriguing, though occasionally cloying, curio: his grandfather’s orchestral arrangement of 10 Rachmaninov songs, sung with crystal clarity by Vsevolod Grivnov, a comrade of Jurowski’s from the days of the conductor’s debut at Wexford in 1995.

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      Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 21 CD review – strangely disappointing

      Rudolf Buchbinder (piano), Staatskapelle Dresden

      Two of Mozart’s great mature piano concertos, a veteran pianist of the classical repertory, and a skilled German orchestra – what could go wrong? Rudolf Buchbinder offers dynamic and powerful playing, sometimes a bit aggressive, plus some good insights in the booklet: “D minor is the key with which Mozart wanted to revolutionise the world.” But although this seems to be a studio recording rather than a live performance, there are just too many flaws: a piano note that doesn’t sound in the first statement of the No K.466 Romanza, an inaudible end to the piano line of the sublime Andante in K.467, and smudged cadences in the orchestra. Strangely disappointing.

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      Haydn: String Quartets Op 50 CD review – pure joy

      London Haydn Quartet

      The British viola player James Boyd, versatile in all repertoire, founded the London Haydn Quartet in 2001 out of a passion for Haydn’s quartet masterpieces and a desire to play them in historically informed style. The freshness of sound, achieved using gut strings and classical bows, is evident from the outset. The result is light-footed, witty and intelligent. Now progressing through the canon for Hyperion, this volume contains the six works of Op 50, the “Prussian”. The variety is formidable, from the economy of No 1 to the zany invention of No 5 to the restless exuberance of the well-known “Frog” (No 6). Pure joy.

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      Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!

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      new releases

      Haydn: String Quartets, Volume 9

      MDG 307 1925-2

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      2016 New Year’s Concert

      Sony Classical 88875174802 (2 CDs)

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      The Clarinotts

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 1917

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      Grigory Sokolov: Schubert & Beethoven

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 5426 (2 CDs)

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      Manhattan Intermezzo

      Naxos 8.573490

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