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      Top Stories

      Carlos Kleiber, A Reclusive Genius

      "Carlos has a genius for conducting, but he doesn't enjoy doing it. He tells me, 'I conduct only when I'm hungry'. And it's true. He has a deep-freeze. He fills it up and cooks for himself and when it gets down to a certain level, then he thinks 'Now I might do a concert'." That more...

      Christopher Maltman Tweets and Sings Beethoven, John Adams

      It is well established that opera singers can sing like canaries. Now we're finding they tweet like them, too. Baritone Christopher Maltman used Twitter to share something of the on-stage and off-stage energy during his concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony earlier this year more...

      Pianist Amy Briggs on What’s New in Music

      Pianist Amy Briggs has a passion for pristine and rugged terrains, be it a trek in the Spanish Pyrenees or a virtuosic piano score that no one's ever performed before. As a working pianist and Director of Chamber Music and Lecturer in Music at the University of Chicago, Ms. Briggs knows her way around the standard repertoire of Brahms and Beethoven. But it is the music of our own time that finds its way more...

      Champion Plays Ravinia

      He calls Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin "a big friend of mine." His heroes are Vladimir Horowitz and star hockey center Sergei Fedorov. Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who has "epic technique" according to the Boston Globe, is not shy about talking sports. In a 2009 Impromptu, he told WFMT that as a youth in Siberia, he could hardly be kept indoors. He played either soccer or ice hockey "about seven hours a day. Music was second." Speaking with a gentle Russian growl, he laughs more...

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      Proms matinee 3: London Sinfonietta/Edwards review visceral and dazzling

      Cadogan Hall, London
      A programme marking the 80th birthday of Peter Maxwell Davies captured the composer's trademark fluency and invention

      The last two Saturday matinees at the Proms this summer each mark the 80th birthday of one of this country's greatest living composers. Next weekend, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group will pay tribute to Harrison Birtwistle. TOn Saturday, their capital counterparts, the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Sian Edwards, celebrated Peter Maxwell Davies's anniversary.

      The composer had devised the programme himself, bringing together three works from different decades of his 60-year career. The most recent was the plainchant-haunted Linguae Ignis, for cello and ensemble, from 2002. The soloist was the Sinfonietta's principal cellist, Tim Gill, who epitomised the fluency of Davies's later style, evident here in a main climax that reveals the hard-edged fierceness that has never deserted the composer's music. The other two pieces rank among Davies's finest achievements, and therefore among the greatest works written in England in the past 50 years.

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      Prom 58: Salome review intense, unsparing and magnificent

      Royal Albert Hall, London
      Nina Stemme's radiant Salome stole the show as Donald Runnicles treated Strauss lovers to a delicious rarity

      It was Strauss weekend at the Proms, with performances on consecutive days of the composer's two most intense operas, both involving a crazed soprano and an orchestra at the limits. First came Salome, with the forces of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles. If any diehard Strauss lovers had been disappointed that the Proms was celebrating the composer's 150th anniversary with the best-known operas rather than with resuscitated rarities, they won't be feeling let down after this.

      At the centre of it all was Nina Stemme, whose magnificent performance reinforced her reputation as the finest Salome of today. Owning the platform, she gave us all the character's Wildean complexity obsessed, insecure, worldly, petulant, terrified, triumphant and never sounded less than radiant. There were no props in what was basically a choreographed concert rather than any kind of staging, so no severed head for her to caress in the final scene. But as she kissed the air, and her voice blossomed into one last magnificent crescendo, you could almost believe the head was there, dripping blood on to the front row.

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      Neil Young said to be prepping orchestral album entitled Storytone

      Fans discover a clue on the website of composer Chris Walden, who notes arrangements for an upcoming Young album, out in November

      Neil Young is reportedly prepping a new, orchestral album for release in November. Said to be titled Storytone, the singers second release of 2014 comes as he negotiates a divorce from Pegi, his wife of 36 years.

      Although Young has yet to officially announce this 35th long-player, fans observed a big clue on the official website of Chris Walden, a German-born composer and arranger: among Waldens recent projects, he notes arrangements for an upcoming Neil Young album, Storytone (out Nov 4). Since then, ABC News Radio has drawn attention to the Facebook page of music contractor Gina Zimmitti, who posted photos of Walden and Youngs recent recording sessions.

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      new releases

      Uchida Plays Mozart

      Decca 478 6763

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      Monteverdi: Vespers of Saint Mark

      Naïve OP-30557

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      Fasch: Quartets & Concertos

      Linn CKD-467

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      Bach: Keyboard Partitas

      Sony Classical 88843076302

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      Summer Night Concert 2014

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