Arts

Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Danish String Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Starff

An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard," the group's website says.

Yet what's really important about the ensemble is how they play — and judging from this performance behind Bob Boilen's desk, these Nordic lads possess warmth, wit, a beautiful tone and technical prowess second to none.

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Arts
2:08 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

NIU Production's Message Timeless - And Timely

Stanton Davis
Credit NIU

The NIU School of Theatre & Dance calls its latest production “a bit of musical theatre insanity.”  

“The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” or, as it’s usually known, ‘Marat/Sade,’ is directed by NIU professor Stanton Davis.  Davis says he wanted emphasize the timeless nature of the play’s message.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Great Danes: Three Symphonic Albums By Danish Composers

A 1931 portrait of Danish composer Carl Nielsen by Sigurd Swane. Nielsen's symphonies are still undervalued.
Alfredo Dagli Orti The Art Arc

Denmark may be small — smaller than West Virginia — but its musical impact is disproportionately big. Since the late 19th century, some of the best symphonists have hailed from the Scandinavian country, and though they may not be household names in the U.S., their works have influence far beyond their homeland.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Opera About 1985 Achille Lauro Hijacking Draws Protests At Met

Protesters rail outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center on opening night of the opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" on Monday in New York.
Bryan Thomas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 10:29 am

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was among those who showed up at the Metropolitan Opera last night to denounce the production of The Death of Klinghoffer, which protesters say glorifies terrorism.

Chanting "Shame on the Met!" protesters, numbering about 400, said the performance of the 23-year-old opera was an affront to the memory of Leon Klinghoffer, a passenger on the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro that was hijacked by members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1985. Klinghoffer, 69, was shot in his wheelchair and dumped overboard.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:31 am
Sun October 19, 2014

After 200 Years, A Schubert Song Still Resonates

Scottish-American soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967) portrayed Goethe's character Gretchen, known as Marguerite in Charles Gounod's opera Faust.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:43 am

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Deceptive Cadence
3:31 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Postlude To A Kiss: Scriabin's Raging 'Poem Of Ecstasy'

Alexander Scriabin originally set out to write a piece called "Orgiastic Poem," centered on physical ecstasy, but later decided to alter the title to something more ambiguous.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 2:46 pm

I love composer anniversaries because they afford us opportunities to look at musicians anew, and 2015 will mark the centenary of the death of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. It's quite possible that you've never heard of Scriabin, but take comfort in the fact that even his biographer said, "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death."

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Deceptive Cadence
3:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Twenty Years Later, 'Klinghoffer' Still Draws Protests

Several hundred protesters picket the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera season at Lincoln Center, Sept. 22, 2014. "You will be made to destroy that set," Jeffrey Wiesenfeld said.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 5:26 pm

The Metropolitan Opera in New York is bracing for one of the more controversial productions in its history. Since its first performance more than 20 years ago, some critics have charged that composer John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer is anti-Israel, and even anti-Semitic. But the opera's supporters dispute that. They argue that Klinghoffer is a dramatic masterpiece that deserves to make its Met debut on Monday.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:55 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

The Case Of The Stolen Stradivarius

The Lipinski Stradivarius is worth between $5 million and $6 million. Only about 650 Strads, made by master luthier Antonio Stradivari, survive today.
Courtesy of Frank Almond

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 5:52 pm

Stradivarius violins are so important that they come with their own biographies. Several hundred of them survive today, and they're so prized, you can trace their lineages through the musicians who played them over the centuries.

The instruments have been valued at prices ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million. That kind of money attracts a lot of nonmusicians, like investors — and thieves.

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Music News
5:08 am
Sun October 12, 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company Releases Music From Its Archive

The Royal Shakespeare Company is releasing albums of the music commissioned for its productions of many of the plays in this first collected edition of William Shakespeare's works.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 12:14 pm

For more than a century, the Royal Shakespeare Company in England has hired composers to write original music for its productions. That sheet music has sat in a vault for decades — until now.

The company has started releasing albums that combine music from its contemporary productions with much older works.

Bruce O'Neill, head of music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, describes the archive as "a bit like a bank vault."

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Deceptive Cadence
5:17 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

A Ferguson Protest Brings New Meaning To Brahms' Requiem In St. Louis

Rebecca Rivas, a reporter for the St. Louis American newspaper, captured video of the Ferguson protest at the St. Louis Symphony concert Saturday night.
St. Louis American/YouTube

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 5:30 pm

At the St. Louis Symphony concert Saturday night, the intermission may have been the most memorable part of the performance. Demonstrators in the audience sang a "Requiem for Mike Brown," referencing the 18-year-old African-American shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in August.

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