Arts

Deceptive Cadence
9:03 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Anne Akiko Meyers, holding the "Vieuxtemps" Guarneri del Gesu violin, which reportedly sold for a record price. She says the anonymous buyer has offered her use of the instrument for life.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 3:20 pm

  • Anne Akiko Meyers — the violinist who made news a year ago for an album recorded on her two Stradivarius instruments, including the then record price-breaking "Molitor" Strad, which she purchased for $3.6 million — announced yesterday that she's been given lifetime use of the 1741 "Vieuxtemps" Guarne
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Deceptive Cadence
3:11 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Back Off The Bach To Drive Safely

A new study claims that listening to classical music makes for unsafe driving.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:54 pm

Researchers in London claim that listening to classical music makes for unsafe driving — in fact, that it caused more erratic driving than hip-hop, heavy metal or not listening to music at all.

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Classics in Concert
1:04 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Reneé Fleming And Susan Graham At Carnegie Hall

Reneé Fleming (right) and Susan Graham — two "cheerful Americans" often mistaken for each other — are planning an intimate evening of French song.
Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:37 am

No one would mistake Carnegie Hall's grand 2,800-seat Isaac Stern Auditorium for a cozy Parisian salon. But soprano Reneé Fleming and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will do their best to conjure such an intimate space Sunday at 8 p.m. ET as they present an evening of French songs, webcast live on this page and at WQXR.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:45 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Musical Google Earth: Composer Paul Moravec's Sense of Place

The mountainside Montserrat monastery, north of Barcelona, inspired Paul Moravec to write a cello concerto.
Luis Davilla Cover/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:10 pm

"Location, location, location" is the mantra of real estate, but for centuries geographical locales have also been a boon to the imagination of many a composer. Think of Tchaikovsky, who mimicked the bugle calls he heard each morning while visiting Rome in the opening brass fanfare of his Capriccio Italien.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Obama's 'Hope And Virtue' Distilled In A Song

Martin Luther King Jr. waves to supporters during the 1963 March on Washington and President Barack Obama speaks at his first inauguration in 2009.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:51 pm

On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States. And Monday, President Obama will be sworn in again — this time on a most auspicious day, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

In King's most famous speech, he said, "In spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."

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Deceptive Cadence
10:28 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada, who has just been named as the next music director of the Houston Symphony.
Martin Sigmund courtesy of the artist
  • After a five-year search that encompassed some 50 contenders, the Houston Symphony has announced its new music director: Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The 35-year-old Colombian trained in Vienna and will take over from the retiring Hans Graf, who is departing at the end of this season.
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Deceptive Cadence
11:34 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Who Needs Drugs When You've Got Music?

"Music modulates levels of dopamine in the brain which is a chemical responsible for reward and pleasure," says author Daniel Levitin.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 9:09 pm

It happened again last Saturday. And boy, when it hit me it felt great — though it left me a little shaken.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:45 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Andras Schiff's 'Well-Tempered' Guide To Bach

Andras Schiff plays Bach for about an hour every morning. "There is something very pure about it," the pianist says.
Nadia F. Romanini ECM records

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:54 pm

When he was a boy, Andras Schiff labored over the tedious, repetitive finger studies that are universally loathed by aspiring pianists. He thought they were like spinach: yucky, but good for you if you want to grow up to be big and strong ... on the piano keyboard.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:38 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Classical Lost and Found: The Lighter Side Of Vissarion Shebalin

Vissarion Shebalin's music, like that of his compatriots Shostakovich and Prokoviev, was denounced by Soviet officials.
Toccata Classics

Except perhaps for dedicated Russophiles, composer Vissarion Shebalin will most likely be a welcome new discovery. He was a student of Nikolay Myaskovsky, highly respected by Prokofiev and a close friend of Shostakovich.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:23 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Join Us In NYC For Members Of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra And Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the ensemble made up of exciting young musicians from Israel, Palestine and across the Arab world.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:01 am

We're very excited and pleased to announce a special live event taking place Tuesday, Jan. 29: a rare and intimate evening with Daniel Barenboim and members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

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Classics in Concert
1:19 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Daniel Barenboim And Members Of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim (center) brought members of his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (including his son Michael Barenboim, left, and Kinan Azmeh) to the intimate spaces of Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge.
Ryan Muir for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:27 pm

PROGRAM:

KINAN AZMEH: Prayer – A Tribute to Edward Said (Kinan Azmeh, solo clarinet)

PIERRE BOULEZ: Anthemes I (Michael Barenboim, solo violin)

BELA BARTOK: Contrasts (2nd movement: "Relaxation") (Michael Barenboim, violin; Kinan Azmeh, clarinet; Daniel Barenboim, piano)

FELIX MENDELSSOHN: Octet (complete)

How often do you get a chance to experience an evening of music with one of the world's greatest classical musicians and his proteges in the intimate and relaxed setting of a small New York club?

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Music News
2:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Naxos: The Little Record Label That Could (And Did)

Over a quarter century, Naxos Records has evolved from an industry joke to a leading force in classical music.
Naxos

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:22 pm

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:54 am
Fri January 11, 2013

One Way To Solve The Classical Music Labor Crisis

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:55 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Conductor Simon Rattle, who has reportedly told the Berlin Philharmonic he will leave his post there in 2018.
Thomas Rabsch courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:56 am

  • Simon Rattle announced yesterday to the Berlin Philharmonic that he will be leaving his position there as artistic director and chief conductor in the summer of 2018. Said Rattle, "In 2018 I will have been with the orchestra for 16 years. Before this I was chief conductor in Birmingham for 18 years. In 2018 I will be nearly 64 years old. As a Liverpool boy, it is impossible not to think of the Beatles' question, 'Will you still need me ...
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Classics in Concert
5:31 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra At Carnegie Hall

Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra, in concert at Carnegie Hall.
Torsten Kjellstrand NPR

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:27 pm

New Year, New Conductor in Philadelphia

When Yannick Nézet-Séguin began his tenure as the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in October, his first concerts, in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall, featured Verdi's Requiem.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:49 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Symphonic Resolutions: What's On Your Classical Music Wish List?

Tell us your hopes for classical music in 2013.
Lalito iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:13 am

Are you the type to make New Year's resolutions? They're easy to make, but tough to keep — at least when it comes to your own. So how about brainstorming a few resolutions that are a little less personal?

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Deceptive Cadence
4:19 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Echoes Of 2012: A Classical Music Quiz

Gustavo Dudamel conducts Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall.
Ramin Talaie NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:50 am

While the new year is still fresh, let's take a look in the rearview mirror at some of the noteworthy happenings in the classical music world. Were you listening last year? See if you remember the big, and not-so-big, stories from 2012 in our quiz.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Deceptive Cadence
3:28 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Leonidas Kavakos: Letting Beethoven Shine

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:15 pm

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is something of a musician's musician in the classical world. He's a favorite among his collaborators: He's the artist in residence this season at the Berlin Philharmonic, and as a soloist/conductor, he's worked with ensembles ranging from the Boston Symphony to the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:09 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Seismic Change At 'Downton Abbey,' As Heard In 'The Waltz'

The cast of Season 3 of the worldwide smash series Downton Abbey.
Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri January 4, 2013

And RuPaul Is From Poulenc

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 9:55 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
10:12 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Not mainstream enough to mark? A portrait of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau taken circa 1965.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:25 pm

  • In its annual December feature called "The Music They Made" commemorating artists who have died in the preceding year, the New York Times Magazine once again neglected to include a single classical musician.
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Deceptive Cadence
4:57 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

In January's Drought, Three Albums Worth Waiting For

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.
Sony Classical

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:17 am

In high season, as many as two dozen albums appear in my mail bin each week. But in the first weeks of any new year, new releases are a rarity. That means patiently waiting for 2013's first intriguing albums to arrive. As a sort of appetizer, we offer three tracks from albums I'm really looking forward to. These artists (and their record companies) have generously allowed us these tantalizing tastes of what's to come.

Any releases you're impatiently awaiting? Let us know in the comments section.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 9:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:20 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Fond Farewells: Classical Musicians We Lost in 2012

Classical music lost many fine artists in 2012.
Dragan Trifunovic iStock.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:47 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

O Fortuna, Why So Negative?

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The real Joyce Hatto, pre-scandal, with condutor Martin Fogel and composer Walter Gaze Cooper at the piano in 1954.
Fred Ramage Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:33 pm

  • This week, BBC One premiered a made-for-TV treatment of the Joyce Hatto scandal called "Loving Miss Hatto," with Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina as the leads. Remember her?
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Arts & Life
10:19 am
Tue December 25, 2012

No Sugar Plums Here: The Dark, Romantic Roots Of 'The Nutcracker'

E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, "Nutcracker and Mouse King," is darker and spookier than the ballet version most people know.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 4:20 pm

This is the time of year when one man's work is widely — if indirectly — celebrated. His name used to be hugely famous, but nowadays, it draws blank stares, even from people who know that work. We're speaking about E.T.A. Hoffmann, original author of The Nutcracker.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:56 am
Sat December 22, 2012

Marin Alsop: A Utopian Musical Dream From South America

Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.
Desiree Furoni

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Discovering Brazil has been a series of wonderful revelations for me. As principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra for the past year, I have been deeply moved and even changed by my exposure to this culture of passion and positivity.

Brazil's inherent societal belief that music improves quality of life, contributes to improved social behavior, and is an important vehicle to establish a peaceful society filled with tolerance and respect is a philosophy I once thought existed only in my utopian dreams.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:59 am
Fri December 21, 2012

The 12 Tones Of Christmas

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
10:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images
  • Tenor Rolando Villazon let loose during a recent Q&A with The Arts Desk: "One thing that I haven't achieved is longevity. This will come — if it comes. That said, I don't think that longevity is a necessary part of a great career." And regarding his own health problems: "[My doctor] would have told [critics] the problem was biology. I would have got it if I had sung Mozart. It had nothing to do with repertoire or technique or how much I sang.
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