This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 6:23 pm
You hear some music you hate. That's fair. We all do on occasion. But can you learn to love — or at least not loathe — that music? Can you intentionally transform the visceral response you have to certain pieces and styles, or does that happen at some more incalculable, subtle level?
Researchers at Australia's University of Melbourne say that the more dissonance (which they describe as "perceived roughness, harshness, unpleasantness, or difficulty in listening to the sound") that we hear in music, the less we enjoy said music. Seems obvious enough, right?
Over the years of listening to the San Antonio International Piano Competition, I've noticed that nerves play an important part. Just enough, and a performance can be charged with excitement, too much, and disaster awaits.
With the competitors narrowed from 11 to eight, the stakes are higher, and that could help the judges separate the best as the competition continues.
Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.
Lasting works that are so much a part of our lives and the general culture have often had the most improbable origins; it is one of music's greatest ironies.
The arduous birth of Wagner’s "The Ring" is the stuff of legends, and decades of work, sacrifice and immense debt. Berlioz' "Les Troyens" was a desperate, singular throw of the dice urged on by his correspondence with Liszt's mistress and his lifelong love of Virgil. But what about Verdi’s overwhelmingly popular "Rigoletto"? What happened there?
Visitors to the Alamo were greeted by some mid-day busking (street performing) yesterday morning. Dotan Negrin has been hauling his upright piano all across the country for more than two years, performing on streets from New York to here in San Antonio.
Parked illegally next to the Alamo, Negrin unloaded his Baldwin piano from a fire-engine red van.
The compact upright piano has a laminated map velcroed to one side showing all the places Negrin has gone on his travels.
Running through this weekend, the Overtime Theater presents the final performances of Sophie Bolles’ stage adaptation of one of the creepiest movies of all time, the silent classic, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It may not be traditional Valentine’s Day Weekend fare, but you can experience an exquisite production that effectively recreates the feel of a silent film live.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 10:52 am
From Christopher Purves' bottomless bass voice and the soaring Sibelius Fifth to a violist's new take on the Baroque, it's this week's list of albums we can't stop listening to. Got a favorite album you've had on repeat lately? Let us know about it the comments section.