WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:23 am
Wed June 18, 2014

A Rhythm That Has Waltzed Away With Hearts

Debutantes in the opening waltz of the 2011 Vienna Opera Ball. The head of the Vienna Institute for Strauss Research calls the waltz "Austria's premier cultural export."
JOE KLAMAR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 3:11 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:35 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:34 pm

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:41 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Simone Dinnerstein: Tiny Desk Concert

Simone Dinnerstein performs a Tiny Desk Concert in April 2014.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:32 pm

Almost any pianist, from a budding beginner to a pro like Simone Dinnerstein, will tell you that one of the basic techniques of keyboard playing is also the toughest to master: making your hands to do separate things simultaneously.

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WRTI picks from NPR Music
6:52 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Betty Carter: Fiercely Individual

Tom Copi Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:06 pm

For nearly 50 years, Betty Carter was an irrepressible and incomparable practitioner of the jazz vocal tradition, with an intense, adventurous style and a booming voice. The fiercely dedicated and demanding vocalist was a pioneer in the music business, paving the route for scores of younger musicians.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Eliot Fisk And Paco Peña: Tiny Desk Concert

Paco Pena performs at the Tiny Desk in April 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:07 am

Eliot Fisk looks like the happiest man on the planet. Watch that face as he plays guitar. Between performing music by J.S. Bach and partnering with the world's best flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña, Fisk can barely control his joy. I find his exuberance and their performance undeniably brilliant, inspiring and so completely universal.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:36 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Take 75: Great Solos In Blue Note Records History

Clifford Brown turned in a number of fine solos playing with bandleader Art Blakey in 1954.
Francis Wolff Courtesy of Blue Note Records

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:55 pm

Blue Note Records has been many things over the course of its 75 years: a label responsible for blinding jazz innovations, a home for the titans of hard bop and soul jazz, a place for smart, sly, jazz-inflected pop creations.

One constant running throughout its history is improvisation. Its records have showcased jazz soloing in every possible mood and temperament. Its artists, both the jazz legends and those journeymen who are little regarded today, have helped shape the ever-evolving notion of what a solo is and what it can be.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:06 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Cause For Celebration: The Iconic Blue Note Records At 75

Drummer Art Blakey, who recorded for Blue Note from 1954 to 1965, in the studio.
Francis Wolff Blue Note Records

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:48 pm

Blue Note Records is the kind of record label that people like to call "storied" — so celebrated and impactful that no one narrative can capture its essence. From swing to bebop and hard bop, through fusion and the avant-garde, Blue Note has been telling the story of jazz in the grooves of its records since 1939 — and for its 75th anniversary, it's releasing remastered vinyl editions of some gems from its catalog. But the real legacy of the label is too big to capture on disc.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

State Of The Art: New York Philharmonic's Biennial

Music collective Bang on a Can All-Stars is one of the musical partners sharing a bill with the New York Philharmonic during the Biennial.
Konstantin Sergeyev Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:22 pm

Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, isn't scared of new music — and he doesn't think audiences should be, either.

"Frankly, the reason I do new music is I like a lot of it," Gilbert says.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:58 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

A Few Words With Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone became a fixture of global culture with his film music — but as a young composer, he was a radical.
Courtesy of Armonia AC

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 2:10 pm

Today at the Cannes Film Festival, attendees marked the 50th anniversary of the spaghetti western at a special screening of A Fistful of Dollars, the Sergio Leone classic that kick-started the genre. Leone's vision of the American West remains singular — and it's impossible to imagine without the iconic music of Ennio Morricone.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:27 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Asleep In Dress Blues: Music For Memorial Day

A lone bugler plays "Taps" during a burial service at Arlington National Cemetery.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 8:52 am

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