WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

War Of Words At Met Opera May Signal Shutdown

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Met's production of Wagner's Ring cycle, one of the productions that has been criticized by some as too costly.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:32 pm

When an opera company is in the midst of contentious labor negotiations, the results can be dramatic. This week, the war of words between unions and management at New York's Metropolitan Opera, the world's largest opera company, escalated. An Aug. 1 shut down now seems likely.

At the center of the debate is the ballooning Met budget, which stood at $200 million in 2006 but has since climbed to more than $325 million. Met General Manager Peter Gelb asserts that union salaries and benefits are his biggest costs, accounting for two-thirds of the operating budget.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:03 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:58 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Sax Trio Taps Tradition While Thriving In The Present

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio released its self-titled debut album in June.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Melissa Aldana, who became the first female instrumentalist and first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition last fall, is not the average talent-contest winner.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:07 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Remembering Jazz Legend Charlie Haden, Who Crafted His Voice In Bass

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:39 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:51 am
Tue July 15, 2014

A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90

Tenor Carlo Bergonzi as Radames in Verdi's Aida in 1956, the year of his Metropolitan Opera debut.
Metropolitan Opera Archives

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:03 am

Carlo Bergonzi endures. Not only is the Italian tenor approaching his 90th birthday (on July 13) but for decades he sang with tireless warmth and precision, representing a certain old school approach to carefully cultivating one's vocal resources.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
2:01 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Conductor Lorin Maazel, Who Brought America To The Podium, Dies

Lorin Maazel conducing the Vienna Philharmonic in March 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:58 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
9:52 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Richard Reed Parry Turns Musicians Into Metronomes

Richard Reed Parry is best known as a core member of Arcade Fire. His classical solo album, Music For Heart And Breath, comes out July 15.
Guillaume Simoneau Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:35 am

Richard Reed Parry is famous for making music sound big. As a core member of Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning indie rock group from Montreal, he wields multiple instruments to help create deep, layered textures in which strings and synthesizers, slow ballads and disco dance tracks are all at home.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
11:53 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Julius Rudel, Longtime Director Of New York City Opera, Dies At 93

Julius Rudel, photographed (ca. 1970) in rehearsal with the orchestra of the New York City Opera, spent more than three decades with the company.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:12 pm

Conductor Julius Rudel, a defining figure in 20th-century opera production, died early Thursday morning. He was 93, and died at his New York home of natural causes, according to his son Anthony Rudel, station manager of Boston classical music broadcaster WCRB. WCRB is part of WGBH and an NPR member station.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:38 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Gertrude Stein Opera Finds Beauty In The Mundane

Stephanie Blythe (left) as Gertrude Stein and Elizabeth Futral as Alice B. Toklas in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' 2014 production of 27.
Ken Howard Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 11:52 am

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:19 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Bobby Hutcherson's Good Vibes For Fiery Times

Bobby Hutcherson's new album on Blue Note Records is Enjoy The View.
Scott Chernis Courtesy of the artist

The vibraphone is a special instrument. That spooky, smoky, sparkling sound — there's nothing like it. And there's nothing like hearing the vibes played by Bobby Hutcherson.

Hutcherson has covered a lot of ground on his instrument. In the 1950s he was already playing professional gigs, as a teenager. In the '60s, he was a leading light of jazz's avant garde, breaking new ground on some of the most revered LPs issued by Blue Note Records.

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