Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 3:00 pm
There was nothing ordinary about Czech composer Leos Janáček. He set one opera in a barnyard and another on the moon. He fell for a married woman more than 30 years his junior, proceeding to write more than 700 love letters. And in his mid-60s, he churned out piece after amazing piece in one of classical music's most impressive late surges.
Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 2:04 pm
Paypal has confirmed a story that seemed at first to be too wild to be true: They told a customer to destroy a violin after a contentious eBay transaction. The instrument's provenance was disputed (though incorrect labels aren't exactly uncommon in the violin world).
Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:53 pm
For string quartet lovers, a new release by the Takács Quartet is always reason to celebrate. In recent years, their vividly intense recordings of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, not to mention Bartok and Beethoven, have continued to garner the huge acclaim that has become the nearly default critical response over some three decades.
Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:00 am
David Lehman is a poet and the series editor for The Best American Poetry series.
Three of my favorite poems of 2011 share a sense of mystery and the uncanny – a spooky but also exhilarating glimpse of a spiritual world beyond our own. All favor plain speech, an unadorned directness, eschewing the glamour of rhyme or traditional form.