The Grammys are important even if they relegate most of the classical awards to the afternoon well before the television cameras begins to roll, and it's much the same at the Latin Grammys, except more intimate, according to recording editor and mastering engineer Paul Blakemore.
This country is always in motion, or as one shipping company calls it "moving at the speed of business." Before the question of slavery became a civil war, American's enjoyed their minstrel shows, and after the conflagration, touring minstrel shows were once again one of this country's favorite pastimes.
This Sunday on "The Piano," music that has many fathers, music that comes together, ferments a bit and becomes something new - different and distinctly American.
Missy Mazzoli, a 32-year-old composer from Brooklyn, says she never wanted to write an opera until she read the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss adventurer from the turn of the 20th century. Oddly enough, Mazzoli first learned about Eberhardt while listening to NPR. Years later, she stumbled upon the explorer's journals in a bookstore.
Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams’s long and fruitful collaboration continues with “Lincoln.” The prolific Williams draws upon folk styles to create an impression of America’s 16th president.
Composer Max Richter has done a brave thing for any artist in any medium: He's messed with a classic, specifically, Vivaldi's four violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. He has a new album simply titled Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons.
Richter says that as a child, he loved The Four Seasons. But as he grew older, that passion faded.
Akiko Fujimoto is the assistant director of the San Antonio Symphony and her duties include giving pre-concert talks, knowing the repertory just in case (called cover conductor), conducting educational and pops concerts, and this year leading a new series of baroque concerts with musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. All of that happens to overlap this week with performances of the Nutcracker.
Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:29 pm
In the New York Times this week, Anthony Tommasini has a series in both print and video about those microcosmic musical moments like "a fleeting passage, a short series of chords, some unexpected shift in a melodic line — when something occurs that just grabs us." What links these diverse bits from Chopin to Puccini to Mahler together?
Last week, we played Wagner's Parsifal, which is often referred to as an Opera-Oratorio. This week, for the beginning of the holiday season, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Matthew Passion; in its turn, the work is often called a Concertante Opera. If ever there was an oratorio that called out to be dramatized, the St. Matthew Passion is it. While living in New York, I met many scenographers who dreamed of the day they'd have a shot at the cosmic drama. Also termed, "The most monumental musical drama before the Ring," Bach's passion has it all.
Badu Boye was born in Senegal, but is now based in Paris, France. In the 1990's he and his brother, Pape Armand Boye introduced a new sound into the Senegalese music scene. Very different from the electronic mbalax music of the day, the brothers played acoustic guitars. Badu's style today sounds very similar, on his eponymously titled CD, the songs are uplifting and inspirational, albeit with a touch of home sickness. A cello,violin and harmonica sprinkled throughout the album are very attractive additions and add an extra texture to the acoustic sound.