Arts

Deceptive Cadence
3:17 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Kinshasa Symphony': An Ode To Musical Joy In Central Africa

A member of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste plays outdoors in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 1:34 pm

An amazing new documentary film is a must-see not just for music lovers, but for anyone who needs to see the nourishing power of the arts and human connections.

Kinshasa Symphony takes us into the everyday lives of the members of a most unlikely ensemble: the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, located in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place ravaged by war, endemic poverty and corruption.

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Theater
4:03 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

The Theatrical Curtain Call: More Than Just Bows

The cast of the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line.
Donald Bowers Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 11:32 am

My first grown-up show: Oliver! Mom and me way up high in the upper balcony, watching all those kids down below.

One older character, Nancy, who looked a little like my mom, died in the second act — a development that I found pretty shocking — and by the time for the curtain calls, it still hadn't occurred to me yet that the actress hadn't died.

So everybody else comes out for applause, reprising the songs they'd sung earlier, which was the custom in musicals back then, including little Oliver, who sang a verse of a song that Nancy had taught him earlier.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:02 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Witold Lutoslawski: Always Searching For A New Sound

Pioneering Polish composer Witold Lutosławski struggled to find his musical voice.
L. Kowalski Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 11:01 am

It wasn't always easy for Polish composer Witold Lutosławski to find his musical voice.

His Symphonic Variations, which opens this third disc in a series of Lutosławski's music, was shunned by a Warsaw Conservatory professor in the late 1930s. Not understanding the young student's score, the teacher, Witold Maliszewski, said, "For me your work is ugly."

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Deceptive Cadence
1:13 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Parabéns, Heitor Villa-Lobos!

An undated picture taken in Paris of composer and conductor Heitor Villa Lobos.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 12:55 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
3:44 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: March 2, 2012

Detroit native Kid Rock (photographed here in Royal Oak, Mich. at a Mitt Romney campaign rally) will for perform a benefit concert for the struggling Detroit Symphony.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 1:28 pm

  • The Detroit Symphony Orchestra booked an unexpected guest artist, and his name is: Kid Rock. They're doing a benefit concert together May 12 to raise $1 million for the struggling symphony, with tickets from $100 to $1500. Says the singer: "As a musician, and of course a Detroiter, I am proud to be supporting this longstanding cultural institution.
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Deceptive Cadence
8:46 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Kickstarting Classical Musicians, One Pledge At A Time

Brooklyn Rider funded their newest album nearly twice over by using Kickstarter.
Sarah Small

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:05 pm

One of the founders of the website Kickstarter, Yancey Strickler, made a startling statement recently: His company, which allows individuals and groups to post ideas for new creative projects and then solicit donations, will distribute $150 million in 2012.

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Classics in Concert
8:45 am
Fri March 2, 2012

The Vienna Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall

Lorin Maazel conducting Mozart's Symphony No. 40 — with no score — live at Carnegie Hall on March 3, 2012.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:30 am

Many conductors lead concert programs featuring the standard orchestral excerpts from Wagner's Ring cycle, but Lorin Maazel went much further with his symphonic synthesis "The Ring Without Words."

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Deceptive Cadence
3:03 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Talk Like An Opera Geek: The Age Of 'Serious Opera'

Baritone William Shimell sings the title role in Handel's opera Hercules in Aix-en-Provence in 2004.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 12:44 pm

As opera left its toddler years behind, it grew more restrictive and extravagant at the same time. Around 1700, a new style called opera seria began to dominate. It was, as the name implies, "serious opera," and was driven by two main forces: formulaic librettos and flamboyant singers.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:14 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Virtuoso Trumpeter Maurice André Dies At 78

Trumpeter Maurice André (photographed here in Paris in 1980) was acclaimed for his sparkling high notes on the piccolo trumpet.
Pierre Guillaud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 10:29 am

Maurice André, who elevated the status of the solo trumpet, has died at age 78. Celebrated for his clarion tones, especially from his piccolo trumpet, André touched off a resurgence of interest in the trumpet and music from the Baroque era.

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Classics in Concert
3:28 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Live Saturday: The Berlin Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall

Simon Rattle conducts Mahler and Wolf at Carnegie Hall Saturday, February 25, 2012.
Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:01 pm

Several years after he wrote his massive and existentially searching Second Symphony, Gustav Mahler withdrew the three separate sets of notes he had issued about it, on the grounds that the music should be able to stand on its own, its meaning instantly clear. And the poetry Mahler assigned to the chorus and vocal soloists in this sprawling work is incisive and illuminating. As Mahler wrote in his text for the concluding movement, "Sterben werd' ich, um zu leben!" (I will die, that I might live!).

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