The KPAC Blog features classical music news and analysis. From a detailed look at Wagner's masterpiece"Parsifal," to an inside look at the Latin Grammys, the KPAC Blog features writings about some of the music played on air as well as other interviews and essays about classical music.
Mozart's The Magic Flute, the last opera he lived to complete, has some of his most sublime and sublimely comic music. Technically, it's more of a musical comedy, what in German is called a Singspiel, a play with songs and spoken dialogue. I was excited to learn that it was filmed by Kenneth Branagh, whose Shakespeare movies I really admire. Mozart's mixture of fairy tale and high morality presents a great opportunity for a filmmaker; in 1975, Ingmar Bergman released a version for Swedish television that has become a beloved classic.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?
Summer is heating up and so are dozens of classical music festivals all around the country. We couldn't possibly list them all, but here's a sampling of some of the best events, from open-air venues and seaside spots to historic concert halls. Been to a great summer festival we've missed? Feel free to pass along your own reviews in the comments section.
This week starts local performances with Lackland Air Force Base's Band of the West, led by Captain Michael Hoerber. The concerts are free and open to the public, but tickets are recommended for early seating. (For the San Antonio concerts at Sea World, admission is required to the park, but the concert is free inside.)
Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis grew up in Oklahoma. She made her debut (at age 18!) with the New York Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and has since toured worldwide, with every major orchestra. On top of her busy schedule, Yolanda heads the harp department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, and has even written a children's book about conservation (see the related story below).
The St. Mark's Choir and Youth Choir are going to Exeter Cathedral to be choir in residence from July 22-July 28. They will be responsible for singing daily services, with one day off! In total, they will perform 7 services (two on Sunday).
This weekend, Sunday at 4pm, the choirs are presenting a concert entitled, "Exeter in Texas" were they offer a preview of some of the music:
As arts seasons draw to a close in May and June, musicians and audiences look forward to summer festivals. Locally we'll enjoy the Cactus Pear Music Festival, and Mozart Festival Texas, this July and August, along with the new "Q" chamber music series.
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are receiving the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming today in St. Louis at the League of American Orchestras Conference.
The award rewards programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in contemporary music.
Troy Peters is the music director of YOSA and said new music is a vital element in their effort to give students and audiences exciting musical experiences. Next month YOSA leads their annual summer camp.
Seven years ago (2006), and with a 27 million budget, Kenneth Branagh made a film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute (read the film synopsis here.) The Peter Moores Foundation, who do amazing work translating opera into English, commissioned Stephen Fry to make this adaptation, and it remains witty, sexy, funny, passionate, and silly as the original libretto!