Arts

Deceptive Cadence
3:31 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Super Bass: Can You Hit This Note?

Composer Paul Mealor is searching for a voice that can hit a low E --circled in this fragment from his latest piece, De Profundis.
Paul Mealor

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 1:13 pm

Calling all basses: Decca Records is on the hunt for someone who can sing a low E, nearly three octaves below middle C. The note is featured in a new piece called De Profundis (Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord — Psalm) by the Welsh composer Paul Mealor.

I'm really attracted to the depths of the human spectrum," Mealor tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "We're seeking to find the person that can sing the lowest note ever written in choral music — and not just that note, but the solo in this piece for bass solo and choir. So we're looking for someone very special."

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Books
8:13 am
Mon February 6, 2012

A Tale Of Two Centuries: Charles Dickens Turns 200

English novelist Charles Dickens was born on Feb. 7, 1812. He was the second of eight children, and had little formal education.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 5, 2012 5:04 am

Charles Dickens — one of the most beloved storytellers in the English language — was born 200 years ago Tuesday. He was a comic genius and a social reformer whose novels made him famous in his own time, and continue as classics in ours.

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The Picture Show
8:11 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Vintage View: 1920s Pacific Northwest In Color

Mt. Saint Helens from Spirit Lake
Asahel Curtis Washington State Archives

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:03 am

When Johnson and Ellen Sheriff Curtis moved their family from Minnesota to Seattle in 1887, two of their teenage sons developed a burgeoning interest in photography.

One of them, Edward Curtis, would go on to become famous for his photographs of Native Americans. But his brother, Asahel Curtis, who worked to less acclaim as a commercial photographer in Seattle, also left behind a remarkable body of work.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:44 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: February 3, 2012

Gustavo en 'Sésamo' con Elmo.
courtesy of Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 2:54 pm

  • Set your DVRs: Hot off a Mahler cycle in LA, Gustavo Dudamel will be on the Sesame Street episode airing this coming Monday. (Different audiences, I suppose.)
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Deceptive Cadence
9:57 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Prokofiev And The 'Fourth Orange'

The animated short 'Fourth Orange' by director Julia Titova.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 8:25 am

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Deceptive Cadence
8:52 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Joy In Repetition: Philip Glass Turns 75

At age 75, composer Philip Glass is as busy as ever.
Stewart Cohen

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 9:34 am

Philip Glass turns 75 tomorrow. Impossible, you say? Given his two dozen operas, reams of orchestral music, virtually uncountable film scores and scads of projects in every discipline, isn't he like 90 or 100 or 110? Or, judging by his kaleidoscopic connections and collaborators, isn't he somewhere between 20 and 50, hunkered down among hipsters and plotting his next move toward musical world domination?

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Deceptive Cadence
3:56 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: January 27, 2012

An unmussed conductor Long Yu in a 2008 file photo taken in Vatican City.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:27 pm

  • New York's Columbus Avenue isn't exactly the mean streets – but Chinese conductor Long Yu might not think so anymore. On the eve of making his New York Philharmonic debut last Tuesday, Yu was walking after dinner with a friend when a man approached to bum a cigarette. When Yu waved him off, the man lashed out and struck the conductor in the eye.
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Deceptive Cadence
3:53 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Talk Like An Opera Geek: Arias, Odds And Ends

Soprano Patricia Ciofi sings an aria from Verdi's Rigoletto.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 12:37 pm

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

It happens every day. You're at the opera and the know-it-all next to you starts analyzing arias, cataloging cabalettas and generally running on about recitatives. You gulp your champagne with equal measures of disgust and shame.

If you only knew what the oaf was pontificating about, you could call his bluff on buzzwords from da capo arias to ariosos. For such occasions, a little operatic ammunition — in the form of jargon-busting — is necessary.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:55 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

A Quarter-Century Of Banging, And Still As Fresh As Ever

Members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars playing in Shanghai in 2009.
Christine Southworth courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:00 am

Here at Deceptive Cadence, we hope the music we share most Tuesdays — what's piqued our interest and pricked up our ears — will urge you towards discovering new sounds in a flash. But today's review has even more of a time-stamp than usual.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:53 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Musical Dim Sum: Five Chinese Composers In America

Celebrating Chinese New Year, last year, in New York's Chinatown.
Matej Krajcovic iStock

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 1:32 pm

Happy New Year — Chinese New Year, that is. Today marks the first day in the Year of the Dragon and, according to the Chinese calendar, the end of the winter season. The Chinese think of it as their spring festival.

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