Arts

Deceptive Cadence
11:06 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Whatever Happened To The Classical Christmas Album?

A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:38 pm

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Music Interviews
5:14 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Andre Rieu On The Allure Of The Waltz

Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 7:33 pm

On a list of the world's highest-grossing tours of last year, you'll find a lot of familiar names: U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga. And then, at No. 9, is an outlier: Andre Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sat December 15, 2012

A Civil Rights Figure's Long Road — To Carnegie Hall

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

You know the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." Myrlie Evers-Williams took a different route.

Her late husband, Medgar Evers, was the Mississippi head of the NAACP; he was assassinated for his work in 1963. Evers-Williams wound up moving to Southern California, where she became an educational, corporate and political leader and, in the 1990s, chairwoman of the NAACP.

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Music News
5:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Every Time Quasthoff Sings An Angel Gets His Wings

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 2:30 pm

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. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Deceptive Cadence
10:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The late sitar master and Indian cultural legend Ravi Shankar performing in Bangalore in February 2012.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:46 am

There's no way around what a sad week it's been in music.

  • Charles Rosen, prodigious pianist, scholar and polymath, died Sunday in New York at age 85.
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Classical Chat
12:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Martin Berkofsky - Piano Virtuoso

An internationally renowned pianist performing since the age of 8, who performed with the London & Berlin Symphonies, Martin Berkofsky’s recording of Beethoven’s Fantasie for piano, orch & chorus has been a big favorite with our audience.  Knowing this, and passing through Salisbury while traveling, he sent an email to Kara Dahl Russell and really wanted to “make it work” for us to have an interview together to be able to thank you, our audience for your enthusiastic support. 

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Deceptive Cadence
3:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Outspoken Russian Diva And Muse Galina Vishnevskaya Dies At 86

Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations.
Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

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Deceptive Cadence
11:21 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Musicians Remember Elliott Carter

Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:39 am

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Deceptive Cadence
11:12 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Soprano Lisa Della Casa, Strauss And Mozart Specialist, Dies At 93

Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa's sweet and silvery voice was perfect for the music of Richard Strauss.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 8:51 am

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Music Interviews
4:23 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

A Classical Musician's Game Theory

The epic strings and chanting monks of the Halo series are just some of the video-game sounds reinterpreted by Angèle Dubeau on her new album, Game Music.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 pm

Though it may not be on any singles charts, the theme from Angry Birds is likely one of the most widely heard pieces of music ever. For Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau, that's just one reason to take it seriously — even though it originated in a video game.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:23 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Remembering Charles Rosen, A Prodigious Pianist And Polymath

President Barack Obama and the late pianist and scholar Charles Rosen, after Rosen was presented with a 2011 National Humanities Medal on February 13.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:04 pm

Pianist, classical music scholar and thinker Charles Rosen died in New York yesterday at age 85 following a battle with cancer. A prolific author, essayist and Guggenheim Award winner, Rosen published two staple books on classical music, 1971's The Classical Style and 1995's The Romantic Generation, and was a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:04 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

A Bald Mezzo And Three Shades Of Violin: Classical Favorites From 2012

On Silfra, violinist Hilary Hahn improvises with prepared pianist Hauschka.
DG

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 7:09 pm

From mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's ambitious revival of the early Baroque composer Agostino Stefani (and yes, she's got another outrageous album cover) to three very different roles for the violin, here's a clutch of classical albums I returned to again and again this year for sheer delight and aural inspiration. Bartoli lavishes extravagant attention on the music of a fascinating but forgotten link in the history of opera.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Contracts Roasting On An Open Fire

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. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Deceptive Cadence
11:35 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, whose recording of music by John Adams made our Top 10 of 2012.
Bill Swerbenski courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 2:50 pm

  • We've made a list, checked it way more than twice — and now it's your turn. Take a look at our list of top 10 classical releases of 2012.
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Best Music Of 2012
9:28 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2012

Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012.
Michael Wilson courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 12:36 pm

  • Discussion: Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2012

At first glance, our top picks for 2012 may seem to range far and wide, from a fresh take on an epic late Beethoven string quartet to cellist Maya Beiser playing spaciously layered new music by Michael Harrison. What unites this diverse bunch is a spirit of discovery — not just in new music that we'll return to again and again but in the artistic energy that animates each of these projects.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:29 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Anonymous 4 Marks A Milestone Year, Together And Alone

To mark the group's 25th anniversary, Anonymous 4 commissioned the new piece love fail from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
Chris Carroll Brooklyn Academy of Music

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:05 am

As of this year, the vocal group Anonymous 4 has been introducing modern audiences to medieval music for a quarter century. When the all-female quartet asked David Lang to help mark the occasion by writing them some music, he didn't need any convincing. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was already a big fan.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:19 am
Wed December 5, 2012

A Choral Christmas With Stile Antico

The London-based a cappella choir Stile Antico brings a program of Christmas music to Cambridge, Mass.
Marco Borggreve

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:55 pm

Stile Antico is a 13-member a cappella choir based in London. Most of these fresh-faced singers are still in their 20s, but they've already racked up some impressive awards for their recordings — mainly of intricately woven music from the Renaissance.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:49 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar: Exploring Music With An Intense Past

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Jamie Jung Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:26 am

British composer Edward Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919 — soon after the end of World War I — and it's suffused with the dark weight of that war.

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Classical Chat
1:46 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

SSO Concert Master, Sachi Murasugi

Just before the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra’s Dec. 8th, 2012 Holiday Concert, Kara Dahl Russell sits down with the SSO Concert Master, Sachi Murasugi to discuss what the position of leader or Concert Master is all about.  They talk about the differences in the position within an orchestra, a chamber group, with a guest soloist and when her own students are part of her violin sections.


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Deceptive Cadence
9:11 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Classical Lost And Found: Hubert Parry's Glorious England

A 1910 portrait of King George V in procession. A new album of choral works by Hubert Parry features music he wrote for the king's coronation one year later.
Chandos Records

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:53 am

Composers Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and Edward Elgar dominated the British musical scene in the latter half of the Victorian age through the Edwardian era. Albums of Parry's music have been rare lately, so this new recording by Neeme Järvi and BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is most welcome. Except for Parry's ever-popular Jerusalem, all the selections here are world premiere recordings.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:45 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Bach, Beatboxed

From The Top

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 9:14 am

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Classics in Concert
11:08 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Live Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. ET: Gustavo Dudamel Leads The Simon Bolivar Symphony

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

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:56 pm

When conductor Gustavo Dudamel brings the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) to Carnegie Hall as the culmination of a two-week, five-city tour, many of its 200 musicians will have traveled a long way from desperate poverty and crime.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Please Approach The (Piano) Bench

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. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Deceptive Cadence
10:31 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The New York Philharmonic performing at the current incarnation of Avery Fisher Hall in January 2011.
Chris Lee courtesy of the New York Philharmonic

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:08 pm

  • Lincoln Center and the New York Phil have confirmed plans for a (long, long overdue) major overhaul of 50-year-old Avery Fisher Hall that "aims to redefine what it means to be a concert hall at a time of challenging orchestra economics and changing audience habits." This will be the third attempt at addressing the venue's acoustical challenges.
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Deceptive Cadence
4:03 am
Fri November 30, 2012

The Peony Pavilion: A Vivid Dream In A Garden

A garden serves as the stage in the opera.
Zhang Yi

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 9:43 pm

The Peony Pavilion is one of China's most famous operas, but uncut performances of this romantic 16th century work can take more than 22 hours. Chinese composer Tan Dun, who's best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has adapted the work into a compact 75 minutes.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:30 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Deceptive Cadence
9:29 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 12:24 pm

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

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