I have recently been reading about the post World War II international attempts to restore Europe, both materially and spiritually.
This struggle for renewal after suffering and oppression is given a musical shape in Francis Poulenc's, "Dialogues des Carmélites." Though premiered in 1956, its origins are in the period directly after the war in 1947-49.
"I got used to notoriety early," said Carla Bruni in an interview with the British newspaper, The Telegraph. So there's nothing holding her back as she sings little songs about her former life, and romantic entanglement with a very famous pop star of the sixties.
“Bella Italia” will feature music to be performed by the San Antonio Mastersingers and the University of Texas at San Antonio Concert Choir in Italy, May 12–21. The program begins with Giovanni Palestrina’s "Ave Maria", "composed for St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, where we've been invited to sing a Mass during this tour," says John Silantien, conductor of the groups.
There is a lot of attention being paid to Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." The ballet caused a riot at its premiere back in May 1913, and 100 years later is still gathering audiences. San Antonio audiences saw the Joffrey Ballet perform it on tour with pre-recorded music back in March.
Not many composers under 30 years old can say they have had a Carnegie Hall premiere - or several recordings of their music. Mohammed Fairouz laughed when I mentioned that by the age of 26 he had accomplished this and more: "No, I'm only 27!" he said.
The latest from the Arab-American composer is called "Native Informant," out on the Naxos label, which features violinist Rachel Barton Pine in the title track.