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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Deceptive Cadence
10:34 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Who Needs Drugs When You've Got Music?

"Music modulates levels of dopamine in the brain which is a chemical responsible for reward and pleasure," says author Daniel Levitin.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 8:09 pm

It happened again last Saturday. And boy, when it hit me it felt great — though it left me a little shaken.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:45 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Andras Schiff's 'Well-Tempered' Guide To Bach

Andras Schiff plays Bach for about an hour every morning. "There is something very pure about it," the pianist says.
Nadia F. Romanini ECM records

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:54 am

When he was a boy, Andras Schiff labored over the tedious, repetitive finger studies that are universally loathed by aspiring pianists. He thought they were like spinach: yucky, but good for you if you want to grow up to be big and strong ... on the piano keyboard.

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KPAC Blog: Itinerarios
5:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Eduardo Mata: A Documentary Film

Wikipedia

 Last year (2012) was a Mexico-wide -- and even international -- year of reflection upon the life and career of the Mexican composer and conductor Eduardo Mata. He would have been 70 years old, if not for his tragic death, much too young, in 1995.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:38 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Classical Lost and Found: The Lighter Side Of Vissarion Shebalin

Vissarion Shebalin's music, like that of his compatriots Shostakovich and Prokoviev, was denounced by Soviet officials.
Toccata Classics

Except perhaps for dedicated Russophiles, composer Vissarion Shebalin will most likely be a welcome new discovery. He was a student of Nikolay Myaskovsky, highly respected by Prokofiev and a close friend of Shostakovich.

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Classical Spotlight
3:53 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Award Winning Pianist Joyce Yang Returns To San Antonio

Pianist Joyce Yang
Oh Seok Hoon

Tuesday, January 22, Joyce Yang will return to San Antonio for a piano recital. She has played with the San Antonio Symphony, collaborated with violinist Augustin Haedlich, but this time will be solo at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church. Her program has music by Beethoven, Chopin, Bartok, and Rachmaninoff.

"The Second Sonata is a great example of that passion on the verge of hysteria. It is unusual Rachmaninoff in many ways - it was edited several times, and can seem schizophrenic!"

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Deceptive Cadence
12:08 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Join Us In NYC For Members Of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra And Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the ensemble made up of exciting young musicians from Israel, Palestine and across the Arab world.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:01 am

We're very excited and pleased to announce a special live event taking place Tuesday, Jan. 29: a rare and intimate evening with Daniel Barenboim and members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

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Music News
8:59 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Naxos: The Little Record Label That Could (And Did)

Over a quarter century, Naxos Records has evolved from an industry joke to a leading force in classical music.
Naxos

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:22 am

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

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KPAC blog: The Piano
2:03 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Genius Times Three: The Music Of Nicolai Medtner

He knows what he wants from music
Wikipedia

Russian composer Nicolai Medtner had it all; he was a brilliant pianist who was a musical intellectual, and while he could have made a comfortable living playing the classics, he was devoted to his composition.

On The Piano this Sunday, three aspects of Medtner.

I first present the lyrical genius of the composer, then his love of structure and complexity with his theme and variations, and the program concludes with his grand expression of lyricism in the Ballade Concerto in e minor.

Deceptive Cadence
10:54 am
Fri January 11, 2013

One Way To Solve The Classical Music Labor Crisis

Pablo Helguera

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 is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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KPAC blog: Metropolitan Opera
10:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Giuseppi Verdi’s 'Il Trovatore' - The Vindication Of Opera

Scene from the Met's performance of "Il Trovatore," the Anvil Chorus.
Ken Howard

One of opera's most comical and telling facts was that Giuseppe Verdi was poised at the height of his middle period -- between "Rigoletto" and "La Traviata"  -- to first tackle nothing less than "King Lear," until finally deciding on "Il Trovatore" (The Troubadour).

Could any two themes be less alike?

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