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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Today is the 155th anniversary of the birth of Gustav Mahler. Mahler lived only to the age of 50, leaving his 9th Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde as yet unperformed at his death. Better known as a conductor during his lifetime, Mahler was sure that his compositions would eventually achieve fame. What young associate of Mahler conducted the premieres of his last two major works? Answer >>

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      6 Sidesplitting Caricatures of Mahler Conducting

      Gustav Mahler, like many composers, wore many hats in order to make a living. Conducting was one of Mahler’s primary sources of income early in his career, and he quickly became known for his autocratic and often idiosyncratic style. For anyone who has performed Mahler’s music, his close attention to detail is apparent in the more... more...

      Quiz: How Hipster is Your Taste in Classical Music?

      Admit it, liking classical music is a little bit hipster. But, how hipster is your taste in classical music? Do you love the classics, or prefer more obscure repertoire? Do you like listening to familiar masterworks, or do you constantly crave new sounds? Take this quiz and find out how hipster your tastes are! more...

      Why the American National Anthem isn’t even American

      Yup. You read that correctly. The American National Anthem isn’t American. Well, it has become American. But ironically, the tune to the “Star Spangled Banner” is actually a British pub ballad. How did a drinking song that originated in the country from which America sought its independence travel across the pond and become our National more... more...

      How One Man Built the Great American Orchestra

        The names inscribed on the façade of Chicago’s Orchestra Hall – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Wagner – are familiar to every concertgoer. But another name that is proudly displayed not once, but twice alongside this pantheon of musical masters may be less familiar to you: Theodore Thomas. Theodore Thomas founded what would later more... more...

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      Minions easily overpower Terminator at the UK box office

      Yellow fever hits the UK, while Amy delivers the biggest ever homegrown documentary debut as it tops the half-million mark

      Easily resisting the challenge of the latest Terminator and Magic Mike films, Minions held on to the top spot with second-frame takings of £6.24m, a 46% decline on the opening weekend. After 10 days, the yellow urchins have amassed an impressive £20.97m in the UK, with a continuing clear run at family audiences until Pixar’s Inside Out arrives on 24 July.

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      Entanglement/That Man Stephen Ward review – notorious deaths retold

      Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham

      Nova Music Opera’s double bill dealing with real-life crime and punishment made for a challenging, thoughtful and well-sung evening

      Each opera in Nova Music Opera’s double bill, directed by Richard Williams and part of the Cheltenham festival, dealt with a notorious legal case, both of which had grim outcomes. No easy evening, then.

      In Entanglement, receiving its premiere, composer Charlotte Bray and librettist Amy Rosenthal conjure Ruth Ellis, who murdered her racing-driver lover David Blakely, and is remembered as the last woman to be hanged in Britain, almost exactly 60 years ago. Pleading not guilty but admitting she’d shot him, Ellis was resigned to dying, imagining it as a reunion with the man she loved. A metallic-edged, chill aura of sound sets the tone of the 40-minute piece, its very compression mirroring the short weeks between the shooting and the death penalty.

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      Orquesta Filarmónica de México UNAM/Latham-Koenig review – lacking in substance

      Corn Exchange, Cambridge

      A programme of showpieces, designed to include plenty of local colour, felt insubstantial with not enough flair or rhythmic precision

      Founded in 1936, relaunched in the 1970s and based at the National University of Mexico, the Orquesta Filarmónica de México UNAM, is the longest established orchestra in Mexico City. Jan Latham-Koenig has been its artistic director since 2011, and he is conducting the orchestra on its first visit to the UK.

      The touring programme is certainly designed to include plenty of local colour. Four of the nine items are homegrown, while two more are by Spanish-speaking composers – a suite from Manuel de Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat and a positively glutinous arrangement of Piazzolla’s Adiós Nonino. The rest is pretty pictorial, too – Jorge Federico Osorio is the soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, while Tasmin Little chips in with Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and a Gustav Holst rarity A Song of the Night, which turns out to be a curious mix of an Elgar salon piece and the Bruch concerto.

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      new releases

      Beck: Symphonies, Op 2

      Naxos 8.573323

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      Abbado Conducts Schubert

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4652

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      Nordic Affect: Clockworking

      Sono Luminus SLE-70001

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      Music of Orlande de Lassus

      Hyperion CDA-68064

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      Garrick Ohlsson: Etudes

      Hyperion CDA-68080

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