WUIS Classic

Deceptive Cadence
4:00 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 1:37 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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Deceptive Cadence
7:35 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 12:32 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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Deceptive Cadence
3:25 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Labor Conflict May Lock Out Met Opera Workers

Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb has warned union workers of a lockout if a contract deal isn't settled by July 31.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The world's largest opera company may be headed for a shutdown. Most of the union contracts for the Met expire in a week. Yesterday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb sent a letter to the unions, warning them to prepare for a lockout if they don't come to terms.

For months now, the company and its unions have been at an impasse. Management has proposed cutting 16 percent of union members' compensation. Otherwise, Gelb contends, the company could go bankrupt in two to three years.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:01 am
Tue July 22, 2014

America's Youth Orchestra Hits The Road — This Time, Playing For U.S.

The French horns of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA — a yearly summer project organized by Carnegie Hall — rehearsed Saturday in Purchase, N.Y., in advance of their tour around the country.
Chris Lee Courtesy of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:23 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
4:04 am
Sun July 20, 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 11:26 am

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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World Cafe
2:31 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Olafur Arnalds On World Cafe

Olafur Arnalds.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's Sense of Place: Iceland guest today is a busy man. Composer and musician Ólafur Arnalds creates beautiful, sweeping neoclassical music, perfect for the soundtracks that have won him high praise. He's been in especially high demand since winning a BAFTA award for his musical contributions to the British TV series Broadchurch.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:29 am
Wed July 16, 2014

How The 3 Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game

Placido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, with conductor Zubin Mehta.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:00 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

'La Marseillaise' Unmasked: A Bastille Day Puzzler

Citizens of Paris, headed by the National Guards, storm the Bastille prison in an event which has come to be seen as the start of the French Revolution, 14th July 1789.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:52 am

"The Star Spangled Banner" turns 200 this year, and the attention it's been getting is again a reminder of how difficult it is for many Americans to sing our national anthem.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:41 pm
Sun July 13, 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 10:58 am

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Deceptive Cadence
8:52 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 7:35 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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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Fri July 11, 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

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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All Songs TV
11:47 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Christina Vantzou, 'VHS'

A figure falls through a void in the latest video from Christina Vantzou, for the song "VHS."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 1:18 pm

You'll want to dim the lights for this video to accompany "VHS," from composer Christina Vantzou. The title implies a primitive digital universe. But in Vantzou's world, it's more of a void — a pitch-black emptiness where a lone figure chases her own barely perceptible reflection.

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Music News
4:16 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Even Broadway Has Its B-Sides: The Lost Songs Of Sheldon Harnick

Acclaimed songwriter Sheldon Harnick turned 90 in April.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 11:50 am

Sheldon Harnick has been a working lyricist for over 60 years. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the musical Fiorello! and a Tony Award for Fiddler On The Roof. But he says a career in the theater means writing some songs that, for whatever reason, don't make the show.

"Sometimes, the song was changed because a scene was changed and it no longer accommodated the song," Harnick says. "So, sometimes there had to be a new song."

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Deceptive Cadence
10:53 am
Thu July 3, 2014

After 36 Years, A Trumpeter Sounds His Last Note In New York

New York Philharmonic principal trumpeter Philip Smith plays at New York's Park Avenue Armory in a performance in June 2012.
Chris Lee Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic

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All Songs Considered
8:01 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Best Songs Of The Year (So Far) Puzzler

"Vengo" by Ana Tijoux is one of NPR Music's favorite songs of the year (so far).
Courtesy of the artist

The year is half over and that means NPR Music and our public radio partners have been obsessing over our favorite songs of the year so far. The full list of 50 songs makes a potent stew ranging from power pop and brash hip-hop to electro-fueled dance music and intimate portraits from jazz vocalists, classical guitarists and folk troubadours.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
9:29 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Tracy Silverman: Tiny Desk Concert

Olivia Merrion NPR

Tracy Silverman has been called the greatest living exponent of the electric violin. But we're not talking just any electric violin.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:32 pm
Thu June 26, 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 3:12 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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Deceptive Cadence
4:28 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

New York Philharmonic's Lead Fiddler Rests His Bow

Glenn Dicterow joined the New York Philharmonic as its concertmaster in 1980. He has performed as its soloist every year since.
Chris Lee Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:58 am

Most people who attend symphony performances can spot the concertmaster. That's the first chair violinist who enters before the conductor and helps tune the orchestra. But the all important position calls for much more than that — from playing tricky solos to shaping the sound of the string section.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

What's Worth $45 Million — Or More? One Viola

David Aaron Carpenter plays the 'Macdonald' Stradivarius viola at Sotheby's auction house for NPR in April.
Manya Zuba/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 4:23 pm

Update Wednesday, June 25, 2014: A representative from Sotheby's tells NPR that the instrument did not sell "at this time."

Wednesday, Sotheby's auction house plans to announce the sale of a rare viola made by Antonio Stradivari. The minimum bid is $45 million. If it sells, it will be the most expensive instrument of any kind in history.

Here's an old musician joke: How do you keep your violin from getting stolen? Put it in a viola case.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:05 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Sounds Of A Summer Night Puzzler

At the Moab Music Festival in Utah, summer night performances take place in picturesque settings.
Richard Bowditch Moab Music Festival

Summer has officially breezed in with not only longer days but also sultry nights. There's something about summer nights that inspires composers — perhaps a certain stillness in the air or the allure of a new romance. To mark the changing of the season, test your ears in this nocturnal puzzler dedicated to musical snapshots of warm summer evenings. Score high and turn the air conditioner up a notch. Score low and sweat it out till morning.

Deceptive Cadence
7:00 am
Sat June 21, 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 10:52 am

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Deceptive Cadence
2:23 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 2:11 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
1:45 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The 2014 World Cup Anthems Quiz

German soccer players sing their national anthem Monday before their 2014 World Cup match against Portugal in Salvador, Brazil.
Stu Forster Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:24 pm

In case you've been hiding under a rock (or a patch of AstroTurf), there's a little sporting event underway that has much of the world glued to the television. As the 2014 World Cup blasts into its second week, 32 teams (in groups of four, lettered A-H) continue to battle it out in Brazil.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 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 9:07 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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Deceptive Cadence
4:50 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Join A Nationwide Performance Of The National Anthem

The Star-Spangled Banner manuscript and flag together in a gallery at the National Museum of American History.
Jaclyn Nash Jaclyn Nash/National Museum of American History

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:49 am

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Code Switch
3:56 pm
Fri June 13, 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 11:34 am

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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Deceptive Cadence
10:29 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks

American composer John Adams has written a new concerto for saxophone.
Nonesuch

The concerto. It's a musical recipe more than 400 years old but composers still cook with it. And why shouldn't they? We still seem to crave the sound of a virtuosic soloist playing with (and often against) an orchestra. As in centuries past, virtuosos still inspire, and in many cases commission, composers to write some of their best music, which can push an instrument to its creative limit.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:44 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Versatile Spanish Conductor, Dies At 80

The versatile Spanish conductor Rafael Frübeck de Burgos.
Morten Abrahamsen

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Deceptive Cadence
9:55 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Composer As Sphinx: A Richard Strauss Puzzler

Composer Richard Strauss in London in 1914.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:12 am

Music by Richard Strauss is heard in symphony halls and opera houses across the world. He needs little help to boost his considerable fame. Yet 150 years after his birth, the German composer remains an enigma to some classical music fans and a polarizing figure for others. A perfect candidate, in other words, for a musical puzzler.

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All Songs Considered
7:03 am
Tue June 10, 2014

I Hear Bells: The NPR Music Wedding Puzzler

If it's June, let the wedding bells, and the music, ring out.
iStockphoto.com

Can you hear the wedding bells? June has arrived. Theories vary on why this is the month for marriage. Old traditions like the timing of the harvest season (and pregnancies) might have had something to do with it, or more modern practicalities such as nicer weather and abundant fresh flowers. And then there's the name of the month itself, thought to be inspired by Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.

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