Arts

Deceptive Cadence
2:27 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

The Takacs Quartet's Haydn: Brilliant, But With A Bite

The Takacs Quartet, continuing to conquer the music of "Papa" Haydn.
Ellen Appel courtesy of the artists

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.

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Opinion
3:51 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Poetic Perfection: Three Favorite Poems Of 2011

istockphoto.com

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.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:15 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Around The Classical Internet: December 30, 2011

Learning the conductorly art of shaping music with your body.
Andrei Tchernov iStock

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 3:09 pm

  • How exactly does a conductor conduct? New York magazine critic Justin Davidson steps on the podium to find out after an intensive fall of coaching by Alan Gilbert and James Ross who co-lead Juilliard's conducting program. "Lifting the baton feels a little like getting ready to push off from the top of a ski slope, in that I'll move in the right direction whatever I do, and also because fear will cause disaster. Neither fact is comforting."
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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:55 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Maria Volonte: Tiny Desk Concert

Deceptive Cadence
1:54 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Classical Lost And Found: The Art Of The Concerto In Azerbaijan

A view of the 16th-century Shirvanshakhs palace in Azerbaijan's capital city, Baku.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:24 am

The folk music of Azerbaijan pervades the very rarely heard symphonic works on this album. A winning synthesis of East and West, these pieces — mostly for piano — feature five of the country's most celebrated composers, including Farhad Badalbeyli, who's also the principal piano soloist.

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Music News
1:38 pm
Mon December 26, 2011

'Messiah': A Holiday Tradition Transcending Time

A statue of George Frideric Handel, posing with his Messiah transcript, at London's Westminster Abbey.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 25, 2011 4:46 am

This Christmas season, musicians around the country are continuing a centuries-old holiday tradition: performing George Frideric Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah.

In Washington, D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra has finished its 58th annual performance of the work. This year, guest conductor Matthew Halls led the orchestra, which was accompanied by four soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir.

Though the performance marked Halls' debut with the NSO, he is not a newcomer to Messiah.

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NPR's Holiday Favorites
12:50 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

Tinsel Tales 2011: NPR Christmas Stories

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 8:55 pm

  • Hear the full hour of stories

Christmas is a time of traditions, and over the years, NPR has created a few traditions of its own. In this hourlong special, wistfulness, joy, doubt, hope — all the emotions we feel at this time of year — are summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives.

NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Perhaps you remember these tales fondly. Or maybe you'll fall in love with them for the first time.


Santa Claus, Private Eye
by the Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco

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Deceptive Cadence
12:48 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

Heavenly Music From Hildegard Of Bingen, A Soon-To-Be Actual Saint

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 3:43 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
4:49 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Five Tastes Of Classical Holiday Cheer

Organist Cameron Carpenter: not your typical holiday celebrant.
Michael Hart courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:11 pm

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Book Reviews
7:37 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Alan Cheuse Picks The Best Books To Give As Gifts

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 1:04 pm

He's made his list and checked it twice: Critic Alan Cheuse recommends the best books to give as gifts in 2011. This year, it's mostly fiction — books that will light up dark winter nights with warm stories, large characters and beautiful language.

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