"Songs My Mother Taught Me"

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Mother’s Day is coming up and we’d like to invite you to contribute some fun musical programming ideas. What comes to your mind when you mix classical music and mothers?

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A Wonderful Life

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good morning, good day! It's Pulitzer-Prize-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick's 86th birthday. Isn't it wonderful?

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A Misappropriation of Music

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A few nights ago I saw a commercial for a video game called "Tom Clancy's Conviction."  The ad depicted a father, automatic rifle in tow, walking through an abandoned town Wild, Wild West-style. Here’s the juicy part: the theme music in the ad was the spiritual “Run on for a Long Time.”

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Speaking of Performances...How Do You Feel About Reviews?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Recently I went to see the play RED on Broadway.  Because I knew that it was about the artist Mark Rothko, I spent some time reading about his life and work before I went. However, I did not read any reviews or informational pieces about the actual play until after I saw it. A couple of days after the performance, I had a ball reading as many reviews as I could find! For the most part, I found I agreed with the various critics.  But, there was one who I felt missed the point of the show entirely. Interesting.

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Unusual Performance Venues

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tonight at 8 o'clock, WQXR offers a Web cast--a broadcast exclusively on our Web stream at WQXR.org--of a concert by the Emerson String Quartet.

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Going to the Theater

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm going to the theater more often than I used to.

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When Does "New Music" Stop Being New?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This past weekend, I performed a wonderful 19-year-old piece: Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine, by Aaron Jay Kernis, on a program that also included "Four Seasons" compositions by Antonio Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla.

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It's All in the Fingers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recently I went to a birthday party where there was a piano. When asked to play, I had one piece in my fingers, the Op. 118 Intermezzo by Brahms--the Intermezzo isn't party music. That incident reminded me of a piano teacher saying "always have a piece in your fingers." In this case I needed two.

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Chamber Music In Any Chamber

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When I was in high school, I took the Metro-North into New York City every weekend to study classical music. Those weekends I would often end up hanging out with friends in Greenwich Village, and I soon discovered the fading--but still vibrant--jazz scene in places like the Village Vanguard and Smalls.

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All Roads Lead (Back) to Rome

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greetings after a grand hiatus in my blogging activity, due to a healthy-sized sojourn back on home soil (East and West coasts of the U.S.), and some adventures within Italy too, including a recent visit to nearby Palestrina, birthplace of Giovanni Pierluigi da... (Palestrina), memorialized here as the Prince of Music:

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Frederica von Stade and The Decision to Retire

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This Thursday, the beloved American mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade (known as ‘Flicka’) will sing her farewell recital at Carnegie Hall. When I was a young singer, Frederica von Stade was an important role model for many of us--a young, talented, attractive, hometown girl who made it big! Needless to say, her retirement will serve as a major benchmark in my life.

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Comments [23]

reCONTACT! and the Blogging Community

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hear the New York Philharmonic’s second CONTACT! concert this week on Q2, and read what the blogosphere is saying right now.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day is this Friday. The idea has come a long way in the four decades since it was first observed, but it seems to me that one of the most obvious consequences of Earth Day must be New York City’s recycling laws, which have us all sorting the paper from the glass, and the glass from the plastic (and the plastic from the plastic--nothing is easy).

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Comments [28]

On Wings of Song

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mondays through April bring back a long running vocal recital series to WQXR. On Wings of Song was the brain child of mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. The series started on stages in 1995 and shortly after that, on the radio. But this series is coming to a halt. Or rather, a change. After this season, it will be folded into The Song Continues, a series at Carnegie Hall.

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Comments [7]

Recycling Classical Music For Earth Day

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who was the most ‘green’ composer? Verdi? OK, a good suggestion, but not where I’m going. My vote would be Vivaldi. It has been said that Vivaldi didn’t write a thousand pieces...he wrote the same piece a thousand times. As Earth Day approaches, our minds are turning to those who were great at RECYCLING. You might call it stealing, borrowing, appropriating, arranging, an accident or (you who are more generous) might call it the use of homage, but we like recycling.

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Comments [113]

Celebrating Marta Eggerth

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Saturday, April 17, Hungarian-born singer Marta Eggerth will celebrate her 98th birthday. Knowing Marta, as I’m fortunate to, she will surely have a lively celebration with humor and music.

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There's Something About Maria

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The article in The New York Times about people who don't like cilantro, and/or manage to acquire a taste for it, reminded me, in a strange way, of Maria Callas.

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Comments [22]

For Opera Lovers

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I’m looking forward to seeing Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera this Friday night with a special group of WQXR Opera Lovers. Naturally, I’ve been thinking about what to wear.

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Comments [77]

Remembering George Jellinek and The Vocal Scene

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I spent a few hours this weekend in renewed admiration and affection of George Jellinek. We’re planning to re-broadcast some of The Vocal Scene this summer. What are some of your favorite memories of George and of The Vocal Scene?

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Comments [47]

Familiar is Good

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WNYC

On my coffee table (more like empty glasses/laptop table) are small stacks of CDs that include Garrick Ohlsson‘s recording of Chopin's Nocturnes and Glenn Gould’s “The Young Maverick” set.

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