KPAC Blog

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.

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KPAC Blog
11:32 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Soothing Sounds From Pine's New Violin Lullabies

Newest release from Rachel Barton Pine
courtesy of the artist

London saw the printing of "Mother Goose-Melody" around 1765 - you might remember it from childhood, and perhaps even sung it to your child. Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has been singing to her daughter Sylvia, and decided to make an entire album of lullabies.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:58 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Moms In Opera: Women On The Edge

Mozart's Queen of the Night (portrayed here by soprano Diana Damrau), in his The Magic Flute, is one of opera's more intense mothers.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:40 pm

We love mothers for all the Hallmark reasons: for their compassion and patience, not to mention giving birth. But some moms aren't exactly greeting card friendly — and none less so than those who live in the opera house.

This is opera, after all, so we expect the outrageous. But operatic moms seem to be disproportionately portrayed as murderers, harpies or generally women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Your Normas, Medeas, Butterflies, Queens of the Night and Clytemnestras.

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KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:23 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Wagner's Anniversary And The End Of The World In 'Gotterdammerung'

Siegfried is dead!
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

The 2012-13 opera season has come and almost gone. For whatever wonders summer may hold, the Met Opera season of broadcasts closes this weekend with the living end, Richard Wagner's "Götterdämmerung."

In a staggering marathon of recapitulations, developments, plot changes and reversals, and a grand procession of leitmotivs that ignite a conflagration that ends the opera, the gods and the world are reborn in the cleansing fires of the overflowing Rhine.

But how does it all happen?

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Deceptive Cadence
11:59 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Do You Have To Nearly Kill Yourself To Become A Classical Musician?

Pianist James Rhodes.
Dave Brown courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:49 pm

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Classical Spotlight
12:02 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

St. Luke's Episcopal Choir Premieres Phillips Canticles

St. Luke's Choir
courtesy of the artist

The Choir of St. Luke's Episcopal Church will present their last "Choral Evensong" this season Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm. The concert will feature the world premiere of the St. Luke's Canticles by Craig Phillips. It was commissioned by the parish and the Friends of Music for the Parish Choir for this concert, and later tour of the United Kingdom. Dr. Phillips will be present for the premiere, and more choral works of Phillips will be presented in the Service as well.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
1:54 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Nicola Benedetti: Tiny Desk Concert

Nicola Benedetti performs a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2013.
Marie McGrory Marie McGrory/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:33 pm

You might never tell by her youth or her warm and approachable demeanor, but 26-year-old Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has already had an extraordinary career. Mentored by Yehudi Menuhin starting at age 10, Benedetti won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award a decade ago — and, really, that was just a warm-up.

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KPAC Blog
12:03 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Slatkin On Recording, Revitalization, And Rachmaninoff

Conductor Leonard Slatkin
Steve J. Sherman

This week the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs two different programs at Carnegie Hall. Leonard Slatkin, their music director, is happy to be part of the Spring For Music festival. "More than any composer I can think of, you span not only his musical growth, but literally the coming of age of American music with these four [Ives] symphonies."

KPAC will air Detroit's Spring For Music concerts on Saturday & Sunday, May 18th and 19th at 7pm on KPAC & KTXI.

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KPAC Blog
9:59 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Maria Schneider: Classical, Jazz, Or Does It Matter?

Winter Morning Walks
Artist Led

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the remarkable composer and band leader Maria Schneider.

Her latest work as a composer is still the buzz around both classical and jazz crowds. The disc, consisting of two song cycles written for Dawn Upshaw, is called "Winter Morning Walks."

Deceptive Cadence
7:16 am
Fri May 3, 2013

What Do You Get Valery Gergiev For His 60th Birthday?

Conductor Valery Gergiev, who turns 60 today.
Marco Borggreve courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:03 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
9:10 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Coaxing The Baby To Sleep: A Violinist's Hand-Picked Lullabies

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine says she had her infant daughter in mind when she decided to record an album of lullabies.
Andrew Eccles Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

In German, it's wiegenlied; in French, berceuse; in Norwegian, vuggevise. In any language, the universal effect of what we know as the lullaby is, of course, to coax a baby to sleep.

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine had her own baby in mind when she decided to record a collection of lullabies. Her infant daughter appears on the cover of the new album Violin Lullabies — all folded up, fast asleep, so tiny she just about fits in her dad's hands.

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