Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:07 am
Poor Jules Massenet. How could the most successful French opera composer of his generation fall so far out of fashion? Perhaps the new 23-CD box set of Massenet's music, marking the 100th anniversary of his death (yesterday), holds some clues.
Extended version of our Morning Edition feature. Contains things you'll miss if you just read the transcript, including Nielsen interrupting another interview, his grandchildren interrupting his news conference, and a bit of his live performance with Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts at the exhibit's opening.
Bonus: Miles Nielsen describes some of his favorite things from his father's exhibit at Burpee Museum, plus a sample of Rick Nielsen composing "Writing on the Wall" into a tape recorder at his kitchen table.
A new exhibit opened at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford this weekend. And this time, it isn’t dinosaur bones attracting huge crowds: it’s an eccentric musician and the things he has collected during his half-century in rock.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:02 pm
All summer long, Weekend Edition has been sampling the sounds of America's street musicians. The latest to catch our ear is Alexis Dawdy, a young violinist who returned to her hometown of Lansing, Mich., to study at Michigan State University — and do a little busking on the side.
"I'm actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession," Dawdy says. "I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food."
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:34 pm
Broadway and film legend Marvin Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68. Also the pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he began studying at Juilliard at age 7 — and at the time, he was the youngest student to be accepted at there. "My big thing at Juilliard — because I hadn't taken that many piano lessons at that point — was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven, but that I could play 'Goodnight Irene' in any key," Hamlisch told NPR's Scott Simon in 1987.
Now that pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is in his 40s, he's told himself that it's time to "grow up" and immerse himself in Beethoven. This comes at the same time that he's immersing himself in the life of his daughter Sigrid, now 2.
For Andsnes, seeing the world through Beethoven's eyes is one thing, but seeing it through the eyes of a child is something else altogether.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:35 pm
Opera: the stuff of passion, fury, sorrow and ... disquisitions on jurisprudence?
Maybe, if a panel discussion at the just-finished annual meeting of the American Bar Association is to be believed. Called "Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in Opera and the Supreme Court," the session, which was created and moderated by Craig Martin of Jenner & Block LLP, featured U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Anthony Freud, general director of Chicago's Lyric Opera; and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr.
Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 11:18 am
One of the toughest tricks for a singer to pull off is putting a fresh face on each composer in a program. All too often, the Handel starts sounding like the Mozart, which in turn takes on too much of the Verdi and it all becomes indistinguishable.