WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:55 am
Sun August 24, 2014

The Private Eye Who Made Cool Jazz His Calling Card

Actor Craig Stevens as TV detective Peter Gunn in 1959.
Ralph Crane The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 10:28 pm

In the late 1950s, detective shows were all the rage. Today, the series Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens as the titular gumshoe, has faded a bit from popular memory. Its theme music, however, remains unforgettable.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:37 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Pacifica Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Pacifica Quartet performs a Tiny Desk Concert.
Olivia Merrion NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:09 pm

With this Tiny Desk Concert by the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet, we have the opportunity to explore the world of a single composer. With the arguable exception of Béla Bartók's six string quartets, it's generally accepted that the 15 by Dmitri Shostakovich are the strongest body of quartets since Beethoven.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:37 am
Fri August 22, 2014

A Perfectly Cromulent Classical Guide To 'The Simpsons' Marathon

From The Simpsons short "Music Ville."
Fox Broadcasting Company

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:24 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Met Opera Tentatively Settles With 2 Major Unions

The Metropolitan Opera has settled labor contracts with two of its largest unions.
Jonathan Ticler Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 10:55 pm

A labor crisis threatening to shut down New York's Metropolitan Opera — the largest opera house in the world — appears to have been averted. Two of the major unions announced a tentative settlement this morning. While agreements with 10 additional unions need to be reached by Tuesday night, this represents a major turning point in a bitter dispute.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:11 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

Centenarian Soprano Licia Albanese Dies

Soprano Licia Albanese in an undated photo, posing as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata.
Sedge LeBlang courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 8:59 am

Italian-American lyric soprano Licia Albanese, known for her deeply felt character portrayals, died Friday at her home in New York, her son, Joseph Gimma, told NPR Music Saturday. She was 105 years old.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:24 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

A Guitar Hero Draws His Own Sketches Of Spain

Milos Karadaglic's latest album, Aranjuez, released this July.
Lars Borges Mercury Classics

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:26 pm

If you're a classical guitarist, it may be impossible to resist the pull of one iconic piece: the Concierto de Aranjuez by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Many musicians regard it as the holy grail of guitar repertoire, including a man so big in the classical world he is known by only one name: Milos.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Beethoven's 'Eroica,' A Bizarre Revelation Of Personality

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:07 pm

As Beethoven set about composing his Third Symphony, his hearing was failing and he felt certain his life was about to get worse. That it was born in a moment of despair may help explain why the finished work, for all its grandeur, is extremely odd — employing devices that are by turns aggressive and mundane, somber and practically danceable.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Meet The Cast Of The Met Opera's Labor Drama

Members of the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federation of Musicians, two of the unions embroiled in contract negotiations with Metropolitan Opera management, rally this morning at Dante Park across from Lincoln Center.
Jeff Lunden for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 1:37 pm

Think opera plots are tough to follow? Try wading through the complicated drama playing out offstage at the Metropolitan Opera. At its most basic, it's the story of management and labor unions fighting over a supposedly dwindling pot of money.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

'As Long As They Want To Play': Newport Jazz At 60

Velma Middleton is accompanied by Louis Armstrong at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival.
Paul S;ade Getty

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 4:22 pm

This year, the Newport Jazz Festival is celebrating its 60th anniversary. For most of that time, its guiding force has been producer George Wein, who remembers all too well the first event in 1954.

It was pouring rain. Wein was being urged to call it off but refused. The audience stayed, broke out their umbrellas, and the musicians played. The scene was caught by a photographer.

"And that picture went out all over the world," Wein says, "of people sitting for five hours in the rain, listening to jazz."

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Great War At 100: Music Of Conflict And Remembrance

Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein (who later became an American citizen) lost an arm in World War I. He commissioned composers including Maurice Ravel to write pieces for the left hand alone.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:37 pm

One hundred years ago today, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. The conflict drew in country after country and grew to an unprecedented scale. An estimated 9 million combatants lost their lives and more than 21 million were wounded in what came to be known as The Great War and, eventually, World War I.

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