Latest Classical from NPR Music

Deceptive Cadence
9:47 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Angst And Excellence In Forgotten Soviet Symphonies

Vadim Salmanov's four symphonies are reissued in live performances conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Melodiya

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Soviet composer Vadim Salmanov is little more than a footnote outside Russia, but his four energetic, skillfully orchestrated symphonies are making a small comeback. Russia's venerable Melodiya label has reissued them in a handsomely packaged double-disc set of live recordings made between 1957 and 1977.

Conducted with burning intensity by Yevgeny Mravinsky, Salmanov's rarely heard music soars off these albums with a sound that is thoroughly Russian yet charged with a certain Soviet-era anxiety.

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Classics in Concert
8:27 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall

Every inch of the immense Carnegie Hall was filled with musicians as music director Robert Spano leads his Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Benjamin Britten's stunning War Requiem.
Melanie Burford For NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:27 pm

The most successful polemical art succeeds first as art. Benjamin Britten proved that with his War Requiem.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:17 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Pet Sounds: The NPR Music Critter Quiz

Animals are fun to pet. They also make great guest appearances in music.
Roberto A. Sanchez iStock.com

From as far back as we can tell, music makers have been inspired by the flora and especially the fauna around us. From tooting tunes on actual animal horns and bones, to musical portraits of creatures large and small, performers and composers of all stripes have included critters in their creations. In this puzzler, you must identify the creature depicted in the music.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:34 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Denied A Stage, She Sang For A Nation

Contralto Marian Anderson sang at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, April 9, 1939, to an estimated crowd of 75,000 people.
University of Pennsylvania

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 2:08 pm

Seventy-five years ago, on April 9, 1939, as Hitler's troops advanced in Europe and the Depression took its toll in the U.S., one of the most important musical events of the 20th century took place on the National Mall in Washington. There, just two performers, a singer and a pianist, made musical — and social — history.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:54 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Fiddle In A Pickle: Jonathan Carney's Concertmaster Quiz

Jonathan Carney is the concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
James Bartolomeo Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

You're seated at the symphony. All the players but one are in place. You're ready for music. Then the first violinist enters to a round of applause and stands next to the conductor's podium while the oboist plays an A. The orchestra tunes up.

That ceremony is just one of many jobs for the concertmaster, Jonathan Carney says. He is the concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:45 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Time Capsule From A Soviet-Era Childhood

Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures
Corey Hayes Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 3:49 pm

Violinist Yevgeny Kutik was born in 1985 in the city of Minsk, in what is now Belarus. When he was 4 years old, his parents decided it was time to leave the country and come to America.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:14 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How Do You Sweep The Ivy League? Practice — The Viola. (Really.)

Was playing a much-maligned instrument — or writing about it beautifully — part of Kwasi Enin's secret? (Not that he is playing the 'Archinto' Stradivarius pictured here.)
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

By now, you may have heard about Kwasi Enin, the impressive young man from Long Island who has been accepted into the classes of 2018 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale (all eight Ivy League universities) as well as Duke and three campuses of the State University of New York.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company

Gods, monsters and Rhinemaidens populate Richard Wagner's 16-hour epic Ring cycle.
Marco Secchi Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:33 pm

(Happy April Fools 2014. See you next year.)

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First Listen
11:04 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

First Listen: Valentina Lisitsa, 'Chasing Pianos'

Valentina Lisitsa's new Chasing Pianos features Michael Nyman's music for the Oscar-winning film The Piano.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:06 am

Music is an aural medium, but the two musicians represented on this album have careers defined, at least in part, by visuals. Valentina Lisitsa, the 44-year-old Ukrainian-born pianist, revived her stalled career by uploading videos of herself playing Chopin to YouTube. After millions clicked, she landed a record deal.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:01 am
Thu March 27, 2014

The Kronos Quartet: Still Daring After All These Years

The Kronos Quartet (from left): David Harrington, John Sherba, Sunny Yang and Hank Dutt.
Jay Blakesberg Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:18 pm

Kronos Quartet is celebrating 40 years of playing music together — and to mark the occasion, they're playing a celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in New York tomorrow night. Since their founding, the San Francisco-based string quartet has become one of the most visible ensembles in classical music. The players have done it by championing new and underheard music, and by coming up with a business model that was unheard of for a chamber group four decades ago.

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