WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:52 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis I: An Opera Lover!

The newly elected Pope Francis (formerly known as opera lover and Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) appears on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:38 am

Here's a quick side note to today's big news ...

Immediately after the announcement of the papal election result and the name the new pope had chosen, Brian Williams of NBC News asked New York's Cardinal Edward Egan about the new pontiff, Francis.

"Your Eminence?" Williams said.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Britain's Brass Bands: A Working-Class Tradition On The Wane

Cornetist Adam Rosbottom rehearses with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in January. The band was founded in South Yorkshire, England, in 1917.
Christopher Werth

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

The world often feels full of fading traditions, from drive-in movie theaters to the dying art of good old-fashioned letter writing.

For the British, add brass bands to that list. Traditional brass bands have played an important cultural role in working-class British communities for centuries. But some warn that without funding, they could become a thing of the past.

Take the Grimethorpe Colliery Band in South Yorkshire. The band was originally formed in 1917, and nearly 100 years later, a group of tuba, euphonium and other horn players still bears the band's name.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:22 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Marches Madness: John Philip Sousa's 'Washington Post'

Circa 1910: A program advertising John Philip Sousa and his band.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 3:25 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:03 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Benedict And Beethoven: The Outgoing Pope's Musical Life

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the audience at Milan's La Scala opera house where he heard a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Daniel Dal Zennaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:18 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:27 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Remembering Wolfgang Sawallisch, A Conductor Who Blossomed In Philadelphia

The late conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, captured in rehearsals for a recording of Wagner's Die Meistersinger.
Vivianne Purdom courtesy of EMI Classics

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:30 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Music, The Food Of 'Amour'

Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's Amour.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:31 am

Film scores are, by and large, manipulative. They do their work at the periphery of the senses, signaling danger, heralding victory, prodding us toward fear and joy in time with the unfolding story. Crucially, they are also empathic, letting us in on what the actors' words or faces may not convey. And when things get unpleasant, the score can step in as an emotional buffer — a layer of unreality between us and the action that lets us know we're safe. Sunday night at the Oscars, Hollywood will honor a film whose music manages to get all these things right.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:42 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Jonas Kaufmann On Wagner: 'It's Like A Drug Sometimes'

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
Petra Stadler courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 6:00 pm

This year is the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth. The man widely called the greatest living Wagnerian tenor is marking the occasion in style — and asking listeners who may have turned away from the German composer to give his music another chance.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:28 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Anat Cohen: Bringing The Clarinet To The World

Jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen has a new album out called Claroscuro.
Jimmy Katz Anzic Records

Clarinetist Anat Cohen is one of a handful of Israeli jazz musicians making a mark on the American jazz scene. She's been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and her most recent album, Claroscuro, showcases the range of her talents and musical influences, from New Orleans-style jazz to Israel to Latin music — particularly that of Brazil.

Cohen says that the clarinet's somewhat old-fashioned reputation may be the result of the very thing that attracts her to the instrument.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:33 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Cantus: Tiny Desk Concert

Cantus performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2012.
Ryan Smith for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Is there some kind of weird vocal vortex in Minnesota? The state turns out so many excellent choral groups — at the school, church and professional levels — that it can arguably be dubbed the choral center of the U.S.

The members of the male vocal ensemble called Cantus, who huddled around Bob Boilen's desk to sing for us, hail from that vortex — specifically Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:03 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

  • Hugely good news for all you wandering minstrels: After years of pressure from groups like the American Federation of Musicians, the FAA has just passed a bill that (finally!) allows musicians to carry their instruments as carry-on luggage or, for larger instruments, to buy an extra seat. However, the federal agency has a year to implement the new standards.
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