Arts and culture

Parabéns, Heitor Villa-Lobos!

Mar 5, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: March 2, 2012

Mar 2, 2012
  • The Detroit Symphony Orchestra booked an unexpected guest artist, and his name is: Kid Rock. They're doing a benefit concert together May 12 to raise $1 million for the struggling symphony, with tickets from $100 to $1500. Says the singer: "As a musician, and of course a Detroiter, I am proud to be supporting this longstanding cultural institution.

Kickstarting Classical Musicians, One Pledge At A Time

Mar 2, 2012

One of the founders of the website Kickstarter, Yancey Strickler, made a startling statement recently: His company, which allows individuals and groups to post ideas for new creative projects and then solicit donations, will distribute $150 million in 2012.

The Vienna Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall

Mar 2, 2012

Many conductors lead concert programs featuring the standard orchestral excerpts from Wagner's Ring cycle, but Lorin Maazel went much further with his symphonic synthesis "The Ring Without Words."

As opera left its toddler years behind, it grew more restrictive and extravagant at the same time. Around 1700, a new style called opera seria began to dominate. It was, as the name implies, "serious opera," and was driven by two main forces: formulaic librettos and flamboyant singers.

Maurice André, who elevated the status of the solo trumpet, has died at age 78. Celebrated for his clarion tones, especially from his piccolo trumpet, André touched off a resurgence of interest in the trumpet and music from the Baroque era.

Several years after he wrote his massive and existentially searching Second Symphony, Gustav Mahler withdrew the three separate sets of notes he had issued about it, on the grounds that the music should be able to stand on its own, its meaning instantly clear. And the poetry Mahler assigned to the chorus and vocal soloists in this sprawling work is incisive and illuminating. As Mahler wrote in his text for the concluding movement, "Sterben werd' ich, um zu leben!" (I will die, that I might live!).

Around The Classical Internet: February 24, 2012

Feb 25, 2012
  • Stephen Colbert had Plácido Domingo on as his guest last night. (Question: "What's the longest it's taken you to die on stage?" Answer: Simon Boccanegra — get poisoned in the second act, don't die until the third.) Also, they sang "La donna è mobile" together.

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.