Arts

Deceptive Cadence
1:57 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Yuja Wang: Rooted In Diligence, Inspired By Improvisation

Yuja Wang at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 9:56 am

Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 — "Rach 3," as fans fondly call it — is one of the most famously difficult pieces of music there is. The sheet music goes on and on, with notes so dense the pages start to look like modern art. The piece is so challenging that some noted pianists have declined to perform it — but Yuja Wang has recorded it for her newest album.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:20 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Da Vinci's String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed

Pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki presents the "viola organista" on Oct. 18 in Krakow, Poland. Zubrzycki spent almost four years building the instrument, which is based on a late 15th-century design by Leonardo da Vinci.
Tomasz Wiech AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:41 am

The man who painted the Mona Lisa, and was the first to sketch out the helicopter and the submarine, also dabbled in music. So here's the question: What musical instrument did Leonardo da Vinci design?

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Deceptive Cadence
9:08 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Confronting The Ghosts Of Classical Christmas Albums Past

Ah, the holidays: time to enjoy some great seasonal music.
Cagri Ozgur iStock

With the holidays upon us, our friends at member station WQXR invited me along with Washington Post chief classical critic Anne Midgette and Sony Masterworks producer Steven Epstein, the winner of 17 Grammy Awards, to sit down with host Naomi Lewin for a Conducting Business podcast on the topic.

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Arts
6:15 am
Wed November 27, 2013

For The 68th Year, It's "Messiah" Time in Rockford

Credit Rockford Choral Union

The Rockford Choral Union presents its 68th annual performances of Handel’s oratorio “The Messiah” Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, at Rockford’s Trinity Lutheran Church.  Nat Bauer has led the performances for the last 12 years. Bauer says the Choral Union was begun back in 1945, as members of the armed forces were returning home from fighting in World War 2.

“The Lutheran churches got together and said we need to do something to welcome everybody back, so they got together and said let’s do Messiah.”

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Music Reviews
10:16 am
Tue November 26, 2013

After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback

Conductor James Levine in rehearsal with Russian virtuoso Evgeny Kissin.
Cory Weaver Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 3:15 pm

An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Tue November 26, 2013

As JFK Died In Dallas, Music Was Born In Boston

Composer William Jay Sydeman, whose first major orchestral premiere was with the Boston Symphony Orchestra on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 6:30 pm

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it's still shocking to hear Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Erich Leinsdorf announce the horrific news to a stunned audience.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:03 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Kronos Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Kronos
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:26 pm

Sunny Yang joined Kronos Quartet in June 2013. Now, just five months later, the cellist she says she's learned quite a few new works — not just a handful, but about 70 pieces.

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Rockford Arts
5:58 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Rockford's Next Artists Thriving Outside The Mainstream

Jesus Correa at Kortman Gallery in Rockford
Susan Stephens WNIJ

Art is a tough way to make a living. Ask any musician, writer, sculptor, or actor. Following your passion often means spending more time than you’d like doing something else to pay the bills. Today, we wrap up our series on arts adapting in Rockford with a look at some of the people creating their art just outside the mainstream. 

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Arts
9:06 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Winter Book Series Returns

Who's writing the best literature in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin?

That's a question WNIJ's Dan Klefstad tries to answer twice a year. This December, his Winter Book Series will feature works by five authors which, he says, convey a strong sense of place:

"We handle snakes at a Pentecostal gathering in southern Illinois," Klefstad says. "We reconnect with nature at a Michigan cabin. In another, we meet Troilus and Criseyde of ancient Troy, but this time their tragedy plays out in Wisconsin."

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Deceptive Cadence
5:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

A Sound Of Fear, Forged In The Shadow Of War

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining strikes its terrifying tone with help from the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music underscores several of its tensest scenes.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:09 am

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki turned 80 on Saturday. You may think you've never heard Penderecki's music, but I'm guessing you have — because I'm guessing you've seen The Shining.

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