Arts

Arts and culture

On this week's show, we're coming up to the Oscars, so it seemed like a great time to sit down with the delightful Bob Mondello, film critic for All Things Considered.

We talk about The Artist — which we all agree is the likely Best Picture winner on Sunday night — and how its limitations of silence and black and white operate to perhaps make it stronger. We discuss how it might look different to those who see it on home video, and it's safe to say we all think you're better off seeing it in a theater.

(Talk Like An Opera Geek attempts to decode the intriguing and intimidating lexicon of the opera house.)

New York Polyphony: A Vocal Quartet Takes On Death

Feb 22, 2012

It's been about three decades since pre-Baroque music began to be revived in a big way. A whole constellation of big-name vocal superstars has evolved, with Anonymous 4, The Tallis Scholars and the late Montserrat Figueras among the firmament.

For his third symphony, the 26-year-old American composer Mohammed Fairouz decided to incorporate text in three languages. Poems and Prayers, which had its debut Thursday in New York, features passages in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.

The symphony was commissioned by Northeastern University, where Fairouz teaches. The idea was to write something exploring the conflicts in the Middle East, so for inspiration, Fairouz delved into the region's poetry — both ancient and modern.

Around The Classical Internet: February 17, 2012

Feb 17, 2012

Beloit International Film Festival

Feb 17, 2012

The Beloit International Film Festival is underway.  The event, which runs through February 19th, is holding some events on the Illinois side this year. 

So what's wrong with rap and opera? Not much, really. Except that last week when we asked readers to name their musical blind spots (genres or bands they ignored, either by choice or neglect) a distinct refrain emerged within the responses. Two examples:

"Oh, and by the way, rap is not music. It is mostly a bunch of meaningless drivel by people with no real talent and who certainly should not get paid."

An all-star cast, including guitarist Pepe Romero and the legendary I Solisti di Zagreb, heads up these performances of three concertos by Ernesto Cordero. Born in New York in 1946, Cordero was raised in Puerto Rico where he teaches guitar and composition at the University of Puerto Rico. Each of these works is an appealing musical paella with Caribbean seasoning.

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