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Review
2:00 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

'A Late Quartet': A Film With A Pounding Musical Heart

Mark Ivanir, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener as the Fugue String Quartet.
courtesy of Entertainment One Films

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:23 pm

After a quarter century together as one of the world's top chamber music ensembles, the Fugue String Quartet is falling apart at the seams. A generation older than his colleagues, cellist Peter (Christopher Walken) is experiencing the early symptoms of Parkinson's, and with his sudden retirement, a morass of long-buried resentments and pain come spewing out of his three younger partners: first violinist Daniel (Mark Ivanir), second violinist Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and violist Juliette (Catherine Keener).

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12:34 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Samuel Yirga Ushers In A Golden Age Of Ethiopian Music

Samuel Yirga plays Ethiopian standards with a voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:09 pm

Ethiopia enjoys a rich tradition of enticing music, filled with asymmetric rhythms set to a haunting, five-note scale and sly double-entendre lyrics in the Amharic language. It's a shame that, for Western listeners, a full, clear picture of Ethiopian music has been elusive.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:50 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter, Giant Of American Music, Dies At 103

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:08 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
10:41 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Storm Scores: Finding Poignant Reminders In Water-Damaged Music

A window-screen view toward conductor Marin Alsop's studio, badly damaged during the hurricane.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

This past week has been filled with some truly tragic stories of loss and devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. There are also a few stories of near misses and disasters averted. Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, fortunately has one of the latter.

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6:25 am
Mon November 5, 2012

How Is The White House Like The Opera House?

With the presidential election set for Tuesday, we take a look at operas that tackle today's toughest political issues.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 11:37 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:06 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

A Brief History Of Jazz Education, Pt. 1

Bassist Percy Heath demonstrates a technique to a student at the summer jazz workshop in Lenox, Mass. in 1959.
Alfred Eisenstaedt Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:21 pm

One year ago, when I began graduate study in ethnomusicology at UCLA, I found myself undergoing what has become a familiar ritual. As I played my trombone in a near-empty classroom accompanied by a play-a-long recording, it occurred to me that I was in the midst of my sixth college big band audition. A professor — in this special case, guitar legend Kenny Burrell — led the proceedings. When he engulfed my hand in his massive grip, I learned that I was in.

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1:11 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Michel Petrucciani: The 'Mischievous Elf' Of The Piano

Michel Petrucciani on the concert stage in February 1993.
Frederic Reglain Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:06 pm

Michel Petrucciani was the first important jazz pianist I ever saw live. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that he would make it to Guéret, my tiny hometown in the middle of France. But in 1992, on a tour called "Like father like son" ("Tel père tel fils"), Petrucciani came to perform with his father, guitar player Tony Petrucciani.

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8:55 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Gidon Kremer's Bach Makeover

For violinist Gidon Kremer's new album, he commissioned 11 composers to rework and build on keyboard music by J.S. Bach.
Courtesy of ECM records

Perhaps no other composer's music has been dressed up (and down) in a wider variety of outfits than Johann Sebastian Bach's.

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3:02 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Composer Hans Werner Henze Remembered

Late composer and conductor Hans Werner Henze, circa 1965.
Erich Auerbach/Hulton Archive Getty Images

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8:56 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra violists Evelina Chao and Maiya Papach wage battle in happier times.
courtesy of the Musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 7:03 am

  • Uff da: Along with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has also locked out its musicians, leaving the Twin Cities bereft for now. "Players at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra did not vote on an offer from management, and the board of directors shut the doors and canceled concerts through Nov. 4 ... So for the first time since the SPCO launched in 1959, neither orchestra will be playing for at least the next two weeks."
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