Arts

Deceptive Cadence
9:49 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Watch A Late Composer's Parting Statement, Through The Eyes Of A Child

A still from the video for New York Polyphony's performance of Richard Rodney Bennett's "A Colloquy with God."
Courtesy of Mark DeChiazza

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 9:20 am

The vocal quartet New York Polyphony delights in surprises — whether it's a matter of singing some rather raunchy Italian madrigals or making a video to introduce their album Times Go By Turns (released on BIS Aug. 27).

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Deceptive Cadence
9:49 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Why Aren't Composers Writing More Symphonies Today?

Composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:34 am

At 8 years old, I scrawled my first and last Symphonies — nos. 1, 2, and 3 — on ruled notebook paper. They were short duets for clarinet and trumpet for myself and my brother to play. Why did I call them symphonies? I can't remember, but I suspect that it was a desire to tie these efforts — and me, by extension — to a grand and venerable tradition.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Tue September 3, 2013

10 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Music Practice

To kick off the new school year, we have 10 ways to make practicing more effective and a happier experience.
iStock

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:27 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

The Academy Of St. Martin In The Red

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, on Twitter @nprclassical or on Facebook at NPR Classical.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri August 30, 2013

When Symphony Boards Get Desperate

Pablo Helguera for NPR

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
11:04 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Finding Nature, Rage And Humor In Modern American Symphonies

The AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at the Washington Monument in October 1992. The AIDS crisis is the subject of John Corigliano's Symphony No. 1, "Of Rage And Remembrance."
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The symphony after World War II appeared to be headed for extinction as composers took divergent paths to experiment with musical language and forms. But the evidence of recent decades shows that the genre was never really on the verge of disappearing.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:12 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Singing And Sandwiches For A Tenor's Centennial

New York native Richard Tucker in the title role of Offenbach's The Tales Of Hoffmann.
Sedge LeBlang Metopolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:21 am

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Deceptive Cadence
9:03 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Slimmed-Down Gramophone Awards Honor Home Team

The album cover for Dutilleux' Correspondances and other works, which won the Contemporary prize at the 2013 Gramophone Awards.
courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon

The British classical magazine Gramophone announced today the latest round of winners of its annual awards, now in their 90th year. With an expansive roll call of noteworthy albums ranging from early music to opera, the Gramophone Award honorees represent a tantalizing range of musical achievement — but it's a smaller array than in years past.

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Ecstatic Voices
12:03 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Atheists Take Old Hymns Out Of The Chapel And Into The Streets

The Renaissance Street Singers give a performance at the Winterdale Arch, near the West 81st Street gate in Central Park.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:16 am

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri August 23, 2013

His Voice? Muzak To Her Ears

Pablo Helguera for NPR

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
7:23 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Behind The Latest Round Of Bruised Feelings At The Minnesota Orchestra

The chairs are still empty in Minneapolis, but all sides in the Minnesota Orchestra dispute have been busy trying to snap up web domain names.
iStock

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm

In Minneapolis right now, even small matters have the potential to escalate — fast. Take the latest flashpoint in the Minnesota Orchestra's ongoing tribulations, which in about 24 hours has flared up a lot of ire in the classical community.

About a week ago, a semi-professional musician, blogger and longtime fan of the Minnesota Orchestra named Emily Hogstad was talking with some fellow Minnesota fans about the possibility of organizing a dedicated group of music lovers who want to see an end to the longstanding labor disputes at the Minneapolis-based ensemble.

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Field Recordings
9:05 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Daniel Hope's Earth And Sky Expedition

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:33 am

When Daniel Hope was a boy, the only thing he loved as much as his violin was his telescope. Gazing into the night sky, he pondered the vastness of space. Now a grown man, Hope still has a penchant for wonder and discovery — especially when it comes to music.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:15 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Symphonic For The People: The Mid-Century American Symphony

Composer Marc Blitzstein (left) with Leonard Bernstein studying the score of a Blitzstein work during a 1947 recording session.
W. Eugene Smith Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 7:28 am

Over the course of the 20th century, the symphony as a genre — originally an inheritance from Europe — increasingly became a transnational tradition, flowing across the Atlantic and back again.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Get High In Aspen

Pablo Helguera for NPR

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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Music Reviews
1:50 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Forgotten Quartet, Reissued And Reevaluated

A new collection of Brahms and Mozart recordings by the Stuyvesant Quartet from 1947 conveys a kind of inward grace.
Jay Shulman Courtesy of the artist

A movie last year called A Late Quartet told the traumatic story of what happens when a famous string quartet has to change personnel. But, in fact, most string quartets — like symphony orchestras, only more conspicuously — continually change players, because players retire, or die, or get more lucrative offers.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:54 am
Thu August 15, 2013

An American Maverick Turns The Symphony On Its Head

Charles Ives, better known as an insurance executive in his time, wrote innovative symphonies incorporating American folk and hymn tunes.
Corbis

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:22 pm

  • Jan Swafford Tells The Story of Composer Charles Ives And His Wife, Harmony

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Deceptive Cadence
5:07 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Why Is One Of The World's Top Violinists Judging Miss America?

Does this mean Josh Bell will start using "There She Is, Miss America" as an encore?
Louie Aguinaldo iStock

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The Record
3:04 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Why Steinway Is Likely To Be Sold To A Hedge Fund Manager

The Steinway Musical Instruments factory in Queens, N.Y.
Ilya Marritz

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 11:16 am

Steinway & Sons, the 160-year-old musical instrument maker, is set to change hands.

Last month, a private equity firm emerged as the company's likely buyer. But a mystery bidder — rumored to be hedge fund manager John Paulson — has swooped in at the last minute, and now looks likely to take control of one of the oldest manufacturers in the United States. Paulson made billions betting against the housing market at a time when many thought housing prices could only go up. His reported offer for the company is $458 million.

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Ecstatic Voices
4:06 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Life As Prayer: The Singing Nuns Of Ann Arbor

Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz (right), vicaress general and music director for Dominican Sisters of Mary. On the group's new album, she plays organ and composed three selections.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 6:31 pm

In the cloistered world of classical music recordings, there is great interest in choral music by Catholic nuns these days. In the past year, two separate albums by a group of monastic nuns shot to the top of the classical charts.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:09 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Why Are American Orchestras Afraid Of New Symphonies?

David Robertson, a passionate champion of new music, conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour in Berlin.
Dilip Vishwanat St. Louis Symphony

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:22 pm

  • The American Symphony: Music And Ideas With David Robertson

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Deceptive Cadence
5:19 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Chris Thile Looks Back To Bach

Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 2:09 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
7:41 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The American Symphonic Legacy: Not Just For White Guys

George Walker is considered the elder statesman of today's African-American composers.
Gregory Walker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:23 pm

This summer, NPR Classical has been looking for the great American symphony — or at least some idea of what it might sound like.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:55 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Versatile Opera Star, Director, Teacher Regina Resnik Dies at 90

Regina Resnik as Ellen Orford in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in 1948.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:11 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
11:51 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Throwing A Fit In F-Sharp

Pablo Helguera for NPR

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
8:18 am
Tue August 6, 2013

And in This Corner: A Baritone Fights For Opera On The BBC

Baritone Thomas Hampson takes his punches for opera on a BBC talk show.
Dario Acosta

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:32 pm

With an interview show named HARDtalk I suppose the host might be expected to come out swinging. And recently the BBC's Sarah Montague did not disappoint.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A Pulitzer Winner Asks: Why Write Symphonies?

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts is still inspired by the age-old symphonic form.
Andrew Shapter

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 5:32 pm

In 2007, I was interviewed by a journalist over lunch a day before the premiere of my Violin Concerto. One of his first questions was, "So why do you write in these old forms, the symphony, the concerto ... ?" I told him that these were simply titles which imply nothing about the form, which was another thing entirely. But it led me to ask myself: What is a symphony these days? If it no longer comprises a four-movement structure with an energetic first movement, a slow movement, a scherzo, and some kind of quick rondo, then what exactly characterizes it?

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Ecstatic Voices
2:03 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Songs Of Africa: Beautiful Music With A Violent History

Fred Onovwerosuoke founded the St. Louis African Chorus 20 years ago.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 10:00 am

For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.

The founder of the choral group Sounds of Africa is Fred Onovwerosuoke. He was born in Ghana and brought up in Nigeria, and his choir in the heart of the U.S. — St. Louis, Mo., to be exact — has recorded his arrangements of African sacred music by a composer named Ikoli Harcourt Whyte.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:59 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Heifetz Up With Piatigorsky On Third

Pablo Helguera for NPR

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
12:53 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

5 American Symphonies You Should Know

Robert Spano, music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, conducts the Aspen Chamber Symphony. He is a fan of the Third Symphony by Aaron Copland.
Alex Irvin

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:01 pm

It's not quite the quest for the Holy Grail, but we're in pursuit this summer of the "Great American Symphony." And in many respects, our journey is just as important as our destination.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:00 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Creating American Symphonies To Tell 'Distinctly American' Stories

New York-based composer Mohammed Fairouz.
Samantha West Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:48 am

To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.

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