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April 2014
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Music that Changed the World

Photo of Igor Stravinsky from a 1910 postcard

There is little debate among music-lovers that The Rite of Spring tops the list of pieces that changed the world, not chronologically, or necessarily in degree of importance, but in its ability to evoke discussion and yet another re-telling of the riot that erupted at its premiere

Beyond Tristan

Portrait of Richard Wagner, Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1882

See the WFMT web exclusive video on the Chicago Symphony’s examination of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.”

Forbidden Love on Tuesday Night Opera

Richard Wagner, 1861

A Wagner opera based on Shakespeare?? Yes! But, adapted to his own libretto (as were all of Wagner’s operas). You will not want miss this ultra-rare opportunity to hear Wagner’s second opera Das Liebesverbot after Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure Tuesday night at 8:00 on WFMT. At times you’ll think you’re hearing Bellini, at others Donizetti, more…

Die Meistersinger Comes to Lyric Opera of Chicago

Photo by Robert Kusel

Ever the radical, Wagner must have amused himself, poking fun at the musical establishment. He sidestepped the mythology and magic of his other works to write a romantic comedy. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is historical fiction. In fact, Wagner’s central character Hans Sachs did live and work as a poet, a playwright and cobbler in more…

From one ordinary opera goer to another

All this month on WFMT we have been exploring the music and complicated personality of Richard Wagner. As comedic musicologist (or musicological comedian) Anna Russell so often said, Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungs is “a magnificent work, providing you can making any sense out of it.” Here she is, in her farewell concert, explaining the more…