Arts

Deceptive Cadence
12:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

A Surge Of Scarlatti Sonatas

Each of Domenico Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas has its own personality.
Wikimedia

Three centuries ago a man named Domenico Scarlatti churned out an enormous number of keyboard sonatas — more than 550. Pianists, harpsichordists and even accordionists still can't get enough these inventive, bite-sized pieces.

A clutch of Scarlatti albums have appeared this year and more are on the way. Albums from pianists Orion Weiss and Igor Kamez are due in the coming weeks. Here we offer a sampling of five recent releases.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:37 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Enigmatic Endings: A Farewell To Summer Quiz

Music can be like a fleeting summer. You get to the end wondering, "How did we get here already?"
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:40 pm

Well, it's happened again. Vacations are over. Kids are returning to school. "And where," you're wondering, "did my summer go?"

You can get the same feeling in music sometimes. No matter how long a piece is, its end might sneak up on you. Try this mysterious little quiz filled with fantastical finales and enigmatic endings. Score high and take an extra week off from work. Score low and get back to the grind.

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Music Interviews
5:14 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Bruce Hornsby's Modern Classical Moment

Known for writing pop hits, Bruce Hornsby ventures into classical and jazz piano forms on the new album Solo Concerts.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Bruce Hornsby cracked the music world three decades ago, making smooth, contemplative piano-pop with his band The Range. But if "The Way It Is" is how you remember him today, you've missed a lot.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:21 am
Thu August 21, 2014

A Perfectly Cromulent Classical Guide To 'The Simpsons' Marathon

From The Simpsons short "Music Ville."
Fox Broadcasting Company

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:24 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
4:36 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Masters And Disasters: The Met Opera Quiz

Hojotoho! How much Metropolitan Opera trivia do you know?
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Now that the embattled Metropolitan Opera has surmounted most of its labor squabbles, it's time to take a break from reading about the rancorous negotiations. See how many of these nerdworthy Met questions you can answer. Score high and bellow out your best Wagnerian "Hojotoho!" Score low and start learning the "Simpleton's aria" from Boris Godunov.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions

The Metropolitan Opera has settled labor contracts with two of its largest unions.
Jonathan Ticler Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:32 pm

A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:09 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Pacifica Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Pacifica Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Olivia Merrion NPR

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

First Listen: Cameron Carpenter, 'If You Could Read My Mind'

Cameron Carpenter's new album, If You Could Read My Mind, comes out Aug. 26.
Thomas Grube Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 3:01 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
8:11 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Centenarian Soprano Licia Albanese Dies

Soprano Licia Albanese in an undated photo, posing as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata.
Sedge LeBlang courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 8:59 am

Italian-American lyric soprano Licia Albanese, known for her deeply felt character portrayals, died Friday at her home in New York, her son, Joseph Gimma, told NPR Music Saturday. She was 105 years old.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:36 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Soul-Searching Music From A Serene Desert Monastery

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert in northern New Mexico inspired Robert Kyr to compose the music on his new album of choral works.
Karen Kuehn for NPR

Inspiration can come from unlikely places. For composer Robert Kyr, the silence of a desert monastery is key to the radiant music on his new disc of recent choral works performed by the vocal ensemble Conspirare and its director Craig Hella Johnson.

Kyr travels frequently to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, in northern New Mexico, from his home in Eugene, Ore., where he teaches composition at the University of Oregon. Living among the monastery's Benedictine monks, Kyr hikes along the winding Chama River by day and composes music in a bare-walled room at night.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:44 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Read These While They're Still Free

Pianist Helene Grimaud, the subject of a 2011 New Yorker profile.
Mat Hennek Courtesy of the artist

Last month, The New Yorker announced that it was teasing a new "freemium" version of its website (which launches this fall) with an alluring proposition. All of its most recent pieces, plus the full archives back to 2007 and some even older selections, are free for the rest of the summer.

So we took this opportunity to dig up some delicious classical music-minded pieces from the magazine's archives. They're perfect long reads for a lazy August afternoon.

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Arts
1:11 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

DPR to air local concert series in September

Staring Saturday, September 6th, Delmarva Public Radio will be airing a series of locally recorded and produced concerts.

The first two concerts come from the 2013-2014 Coastal Concerts series. The next two come to us from the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition.

The programs will be broadcast at Noon, beginning Saturday, Sept. 6th.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Classical Headbanging Edition

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin at the Los Angeles-area Inglewood Forum in 1973.
Jeffrey Mayer WireImage

Sooner or later it had to happen — an all-classical Drum Fill Friday. This week's puzzler proves that the world of Beethoven, Stravinsky and Bartók can serve up beats as thunderous as any double drummer metal band.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:50 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Ask Us Anything About Beethoven

Portrait of Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler, ca. 1818.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 9:47 am

What do you know about Beethoven? He wrote the Fifth Symphony (da da da dummmm ...) and he became deaf.

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Author Interviews
9:22 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Beethoven's 'Eroica,' A Bizarre Revelation Of Personality

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:07 pm

As Beethoven set about composing his Third Symphony, his hearing was failing and he felt certain his life was about to get worse. That it was born in a moment of despair may help explain why the finished work, for all its grandeur, is extremely odd — employing devices that are by turns aggressive and mundane, somber and practically danceable.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Meet The Cast Of The Met Opera's Labor Drama

Members of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federation of Musicians, two of the unions embroiled in contract negotiations with Metropolitan Opera management, rally this morning at Dante Park across from Lincoln Center.
Jeff Lunden for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:37 pm

Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated drama playing out offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. At its most basic, it's the story of management and labor unions fighting over a supposedly dwindling pot of money.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:07 am
Thu July 31, 2014

On The Eve Of A Possible Lockout, Met Opera Talks Remain Contentious

A worker unveils posters Tuesday for the coming season of New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Met's fall schedule could be in jeopardy if failed labor negotiations result in a lockout Friday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:12 am

At the Metropolitan Opera, drama is usually onstage. But for the past several months, it's been in the newspapers.

Contract deadlines for 15 of the 16 unions at the Met in New York are set to expire at midnight tonight, and negotiations will likely go down to the wire. A lockout shutting down the world's largest opera house seems imminent.

Management wants concessions from the unions to offset dwindling ticket sales. Union employees think they're being asked to pay for unchecked spending.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:02 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

A Breath Of Inspiration: John Luther Adams' New 'Sila'

An overhead shot of the performance of John Luther Adams' Sila at New York's Lincoln Center Friday evening.
Kevin Yatarola Courtesy of Lincoln Center

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Composer John Luther Adams has been enjoying enormous success.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Great War At 100: Music Of Conflict And Remembrance

Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein (who later became an American citizen) lost an arm in World War I. He commissioned composers including Maurice Ravel to write pieces for the left hand alone.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:37 pm

One hundred years ago today, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. The conflict drew in country after country and grew to an unprecedented scale. An estimated 9 million combatants lost their lives and more than 21 million were wounded in what came to be known as The Great War and, eventually, World War I.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

War Of Words At Met Opera May Signal Shutdown

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Met's production of Wagner's Ring cycle, one of the productions that has been criticized by some as too costly.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:32 pm

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:25 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Labor Conflict May Lock Out Met Opera Workers

Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has warned union workers of a lockout if a contract deal isn't settled by July 31.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:22 pm

The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.

For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:57 am
Tue July 22, 2014

America's Youth Orchestra Hits The Road — This Time, Playing For U.S.

The French horns of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA — a yearly summer project organized by Carnegie Hall — rehearsed Saturday in Purchase, N.Y., in advance of their tour around the country.
Chris Lee Courtesy of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:23 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
5:04 am
Sun July 20, 2014

A Guitar Hero Draws His Own Sketches Of Spain

Milos Karadaglic's latest album, Aranjuez, released this July.
Lars Borges Mercury Classics

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:26 pm

If you're a classical guitarist, it may be impossible to resist the pull of one iconic piece: the Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Many musicians regard it as the holy grail of guitar repertoire, including a man so big in the classical world he is known by only one name: Milos.

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World Cafe
3:31 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Olafur Arnalds On World Cafe

Olafur Arnalds.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is a busy man. Composer and musician Ólafur Arnalds creates beautiful, sweeping neoclassical music, perfect for the soundtracks that have won him high praise. He's been in especially high demand since winning a BAFTA award for his musical contributions to the British TV series Broadchurch.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:29 am
Wed July 16, 2014

How The 3 Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game

Placido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, with conductor Zubin Mehta.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:56 am

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

'La Marseillaise' Unmasked: A Bastille Day Puzzler

Citizens of Paris, headed by the National Guards, storm the Bastille prison in an event which has come to be seen as the start of the French Revolution, 14th July 1789.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:52 am

"The Star Spangled Banner" turns 200 this year, and the attention it's been getting is again a reminder of how difficult it is for many Americans to sing our national anthem.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:41 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Conductor Lorin Maazel, Who Brought America To The Podium, Dies

Lorin Maazel conducing the Vienna Philharmonic in March 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:58 am

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Deceptive Cadence
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Richard Reed Parry Turns Musicians Into Metronomes

Richard Reed Parry is best known as a core member of Arcade Fire. His classical solo album, Music For Heart And Breath, comes out July 15.
Guillaume Simoneau Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:35 am

Richard Reed Parry is famous for making music sound big. As a core member of Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning indie rock group from Montreal, he wields multiple instruments to help create deep, layered textures in which strings and synthesizers, slow ballads and disco dance tracks are all at home.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri July 11, 2014

A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90

Tenor Carlo Bergonzi as Radames in Verdi's Aida in 1956, the year of his Metropolitan Opera debut.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Carlo Bergonzi endures. Not only is the Italian tenor approaching his 90th birthday (on July 13) but for decades he sang with tireless warmth and precision, representing a certain old school approach to carefully cultivating one's vocal resources.

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