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Archive for February 20, 2014

WOW, It’s Wotan: Eric Owens Impromptu

American bass-baritone Eric Owens

Richard Wagner is like the Texas of composers: everything is bigger; the concepts, the casts, the orchestras, the duration, and especially the voices. Only the largest, most heroic voices dare to sing Wagner. We have one of those tremendous singers in Chicago this month. Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Wotan-to-be, king of the gods

Frenchmen on the Morning Show

Charles-Marie Widor

While his ballets and operas might not be the most famous things going today, Delibes’ Flower duet from Lakmé is huge. You can find recordings with dozens of famous opera singers, or with Charlotte Church, as a ringtone, flutes only, a Flower duet mixed with ocean waves, a classical remix

The Originality of Charles Ives

Charles Ives

As a youngster, Charles Ives became a church organist in his hometown of Danbury, Connecticut. His dad had been a bandmaster during the Civil War, and continued afterwards as a civilian. Young Charles was used to hearing the cacophony of musicians tooting various passages through their instruments before and after rehearsal—New England folks may not have expected

Medieval Villages, Early Music

La_Pobla_de_Segur._Puimanyons._El_Castell_1

The Pyrenees town of La Pobla de Segur was granted its first charter in 1363, though locals trace their history back to the mid-twelfth century. It’s one of 22 communities who celebrate their heritage through the Festival de Música Antiga dels Pirineus—notice the name is not quite Spanish, it’s Catalan which evolved from Latin during the middle ages and is a co-official language of Catalonia