Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing


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Shostakovich and Puccini Live Online This Weekend

Broadcast tower topped by music note, globe in background

On January 27, 2019 at 1:00 PM EST (GMT-5) OperaVision will present a live webcast of Puccini’s La bohème from the Komische Oper Berlin.

Coming up soon on OperaVision will be performances of Handel’s Xerxes (on February 1) and Britten’s Billy Budd (on February 8).

If you won’t be able to watch at that time, OperaVision typically makes the operas available on its website thereafter (with your choice of subtitles) for a limited time.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 on January 27, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST (GMT -5).  The program will also include Robert Schumann’s Concerto for Piano, featuring pianist Lise de la SalleKarina Canellakis will conduct.  You can see the concert hereYou can read the program notes here.  You might also like to read this essay on the Eighth by conductor Mark Wigglesworth.

Whatever your choice, have a wonderful, music-filled weekend!

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Haiku Wednesday: GOOD MORNING!

music note with laughter emoji inside

It’s early morning.
It’s still dark, I’m on the road.
I need some music.

Without looking, I
Slip a disc into the slot.
DA DA DA DUM! No!

Beethoven attack!
Off. Fumbling, I find a disc.
Well, let’s try again.

Chopin is lovely,
But too lively this morning–
It’s a rude etude.

Who picked this music?!
I’ll put 4’33” on,
Looping, for a while.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

 

Chopin:  Etude in A Minor, Op 10, No 2

Cage: 4’33”


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Beauty and Creativity Are Everywhere

Here is the link to Yo-Yo Ma’s new video, in which he performs the Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1.  This would be beauty enough; but the music forms the background to clips of people around the world expressing their creativity and showing how culture connects us all.  It is exuberant and full of hope, something we can all aspire to as this new year begins.  The video was created as part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project, in which he will be playing Bach’s six cello suites in 36 cities around the world.


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No Wrong Number: The Aria Code Opera Podcast Series and More

stick guy singing opera on a television with a viking helmet for an antenna

I have been reading enthusiastic reviews of Aria Code, a new series of podcasts sponsored by WQXR, the Metropolitan Opera and WNYC Studios.  And after listening, I agree.

Each podcast discusses one aria.  Just one.  Afterward, the aria is presented in its entirety without interruption.

For those looking for an introduction to opera, this is what I would call an easy on-ramp.  The presenters provide diverse views and insights into each aria, revealing details one might not have heard otherwise.  Each podcast lasts around 30 minutes.

Arias from Verdi’s La Traviata and Otello, Puccini’s La Boheme and Tosca, and Saint-Saën’s Dalila have been presented thus far.

You can listen to Aria Code at https://www.wnycstudios.org/shows/aria-code.

 

Are you in the mood for full operas now?  Here’s just some of what’s currently available on demand at OperaVision:

Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute

Verdi: Macbeth

Puccini: Tosca

Wagner: The Flying Dutchman

Britten: Albert Herring

Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

Click here for a list of all the operas currently available.


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A Christmas Fanfare and Good Wishes for the New Year

For those of you who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas!

I wish all of my readers good health, good fortune, and peace in the coming year, and, of course, abundant music.

Today I would like to feature a fanfare for trumpets and organ by Frederik Magle, Den Yndigste Rose.

I hope you have a wonderful day.


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Free Concert Webcast Tonight: Overtures and Suites from Schumann, Strauss, and More

Broadcast tower topped by music note, globe in background

Tonight, conductor Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra present an evening of Strauss (Johann II and Richard) and Schumann.  The concert will feature cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.  You can see the concert at https://www.dso.org/live.  Here’s the program:

Johann Strauss II.:   Overture to Die Fledermaus
Robert Schumann: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Robert Schumann: Overture to Manfred
Richard Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier