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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Check back next week for another round of quiz questions.
Though the ‘regular’ performance season has ended, you don’t have to stop enjoying live performances. Summer festivals across the globe allow you to experience great performances with the artists you love all year long. Here are 15 festivals you should check out this summer. Can’t hop on a plane to Provence? Don’t worry. WFMT is taking you to more... more...
Today is International Friendship Day! Click to read more about some of the most famous friendships among composers in music history. Whether bosom buddies like Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, or something more complicated like Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, there’s no doubt that these composers enjoyed genuine friendships that would influence their personal and professional lives. more...
Tonight, July 31, is the second full moon of the month, or what we call a blue moon. Of course, a blue moon doesn’t really appear blue; rather, it’s their rarity that makes them special. According to numbers crunched by Western Michigan University, blue moons happen about 8 months out of 228, meaning there’s a 3.5% more... more...
The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) is currently presenting its 25th festival celebrating American tap and contemporary percussive arts, Rhythm World. I sat down with Lane Alexander, CHRP’s artistic director and co-founder, as well as several Rhythm World instructors and guest artists, to learn more about this unique festival, which honors tap’s past while helping it step into the future. more...
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Royal Albert Hall, London
James MacMillan’s dense and complex Fourth Symphony was conducted with affection and dignity; Mahler’s Fifth felt like being locked into someone else’s nervous breakdown
Donald Runnicles’s second Prom with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra opened with the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Fourth Symphony, written to celebrate Runnicles’s 60th birthday, which fell late last year. MacMillan describes the symphony as “essentially abstract” rather than programmatic, though it also anchors itself within traditions of Scottish sacred music by paying tribute to the Renaissance polyphonist Robert Carver, whose 10-part Missa Dum Sacrum Mysterium – MacMillan sang it while a student – is liberally quoted in the score.
Lasting around 40 minutes, the symphony is effectively a single-movement variant on traditional sonata form built round a cluster of ideas heard in succession at the outset: ritualistic timpani throbs; a fanfare-like chorale; thickening string dissonances; and spiky, aggressive rhythmic figurations from woodwind and piano. Carver’s Mass is then introduced by low solo strings, and the development weaves its way through and over it, the textures alternately clotting and clearing, the mood turning increasingly tense.Continue reading...
A few days at Aix, which has the densest and most varied programme, may be followed by a few at Avignon, from which Orange makes an easy day excursion
Aix-en-Provence, August 3
“Le touriste qui, venant du Nord, pénètre dans les lumineuses plaines Provençales, subit une véritable exaltation devant ce pays que Mistral a défini comme l’Empire du soleil.”
The author of the Introduction au Voyage in the Michelin Guide to Provence was envisaging a tourist travelling by car, preferably on Michelin tyres, with all the windows wide open, kept cool by the strong breeze of his own 100 kilometres an hour. The tourist who arrives by train, boiling in his non-porous nylon shirt, may have to wait for the exaltation until he has bathed and dined, and is out again under the cloudless open sky, now in the cool moonlight, watching his first festival performance.Continue reading...
Monteverdi might be surprised to find himself hailed as the inventor of the opera, and he disclaimed the role of revolutionary, but his Orfeo is a radical, innovative and extraordinary work
The Orpheus legend is utterly central to how opera emerged at the close of the Italian Renaissance and to the way its first pioneers tried to justify its existence as a revival of ancient Greek sung drama (a slightly spurious claim). Orpheus, its first definitive hero, is present at every intersection in opera’s 400-year story as it continued to evolve and then, after a few wrong turnings, attempted to reform itself thanks largely to Gluck.
When Claudio Monteverdi came to compose L’Orfeo in 1607 he seems to have had a particular empathy with Orpheus. As a court musician working in claustrophobic, mosquito-ridden Mantua, Monteverdi was in effect a feudal vassal of the Gonzaga dukes. There his moods seesawed between elation and dejection: intense bouts of audacious creativity were followed by moments of self-doubt - very much like the Orpheus of Greek mythology (as transmitted by Ovid and Virgil), who suffers, loves, exults, mourns, goes on a heroic rescue mission, stumbles at the last hurdle and finally reaches a new and deeper understanding of himself.Continue reading...
Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath is being investigated by three police forces as part of their inquiries into allegations of historical child abuse.
The government begins its sell-off of shares in part-nationalised lender Royal Bank of Scotland, raising £2.1bn, a third below the price it paid.
The RAF Tornado mission against Islamic State militants in Iraq is to be extended until at least 2017, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says.
There is growing concern over the safety of train cars carrying shipments of guns in...
Watch the video: New CPS CEO Forrest Claypool, and Janice Jackson, the new chief...
President Obama on Monday unveiled his ambitious Clean Power Plan. ...
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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!