Latest Classical from NPR Music

First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

First Listen: Augustin Hadelich, 'Sibelius, Adès: Violin Concertos'

Violinist Augustin Hadelich pairs a classic concerto with a contemporary one on this new album.
Rosalie O'Connor

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:54 am

Looking for a new violinist to fall in love with? Meet Augustin Hadelich, the 29-year-old Italian-born son of German parents. On his new album, to be released March 11, he pairs two searching, seemingly disparate violin concertos — one classic and one contemporary.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:12 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

Philippe Jaroussky And The Impossibly High Male Voice

Philippe Jaroussky's new album is Farinelli: Porpora Arias.
Marc Ribes Erato/Warner Classics

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 7:09 pm

Philippe Jaroussky cuts a masculine figure on the cover of his new album, Farinelli: Porpora Arias, but you might do a double take upon hearing the music. The arias the French opera singer performs on this release were written in the 18th century for a castrato — a boy singer castrated to retain his high singing voice through adulthood.

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Field Recordings
8:28 am
Wed February 19, 2014

On A Chilly Factory Floor, Yuja Wang's Piano Sizzles

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:16 am

Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang isn't one to do anything in half measures. So when we invited her to record a performance in a room at the Steinway & Sons piano factory, she showed up in Queens that frigid morning with her A game.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:25 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Sex, Drugs And Wandering Batons: Classical Musicians (Finally) Get Some Screen Time

Gael Garcia Bernal stars in the pilot of Mozart in the Jungle as a hyper-charming young conductor on the rise.
Courtesy of Amazon

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:08 pm

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Music News
10:26 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Collecting Money For Songwriters, A 100-Year Tug Of War

ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento, member Katy Perry and president Paul Williams at the 2012 Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood, Calif.
Frank Micelotta PictureGroup

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 6:06 pm

A hundred years ago, the Italian operatic composer Giacomo Puccini was having lunch in New York with Victor Herbert, the leading composer of operettas in this country. Then, the band in the restaurant began playing music from Herbert's current hit, Sweethearts. Puccini became outraged, according to songwriter Paul Williams, the current president of the performing-rights organization ASCAP.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Monastic Life At The Top Of The Charts

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren't hard at work on the monastery grounds, they're topping the charts with albums of sacred music.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:32 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Seen The 'Brokeback Mountain' Movie? Now Watch The Opera

Tom Randle (left) and Daniel Okulitch star in the opera Brokeback Mountain.
Javier del Real Teatro Real

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:24 am

In 2006, at the 78th Academy Awards, the film Brokeback Mountain captured three Oscars and the attention of movie fans everywhere. That two handsome stars — Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal — played the lead roles helped propel the film's popularity.

But the tale of star-crossed sheepherders who fall in love on a rugged Wyoming mountain originated long before the film, as a tightly focused short story by Annie Proulx that was published in the New Yorker in 1997.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:32 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Update: 'I Have Begun To Hear A Little Again'

Takashi Niigaki stepped forward today in Japan as the ghostwriter for popular composer Mamoru Samuragochi — and added another twist to the breaking story.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:50 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

A Holocaust Tale Unfolds On Two Levels

Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera The Passenger tells the story of an Auschwitz prisoner and a Nazi guard, whose lives continue to interweave after the the war.
Lynn Lane Houston Grand Opera

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich called it a perfect masterpiece without ever having seen it performed. The Passenger, an opera about the Holocaust, was written nearly half a century ago, but was only given its first full performance just three years ago.

Now it's getting its U.S. premiere at the Houston Grand Opera. The opera is based on a story by a Holocaust survivor, with music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a composer who lost his entire family in the Nazi death camps.

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