Gabriel Kahane is the rare musician who travels easily between classical, musical theater and pop. His new album is The Ambassador. Josh Goleman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Owen Pallett's latest album is called In Conflict. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Sturgill Simpson's new album is Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Reto Sterchi/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ennio Morricone became a fixture of global culture with his film music — but as a young composer, he was a radical. Courtesy of Armonia AC hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Listen: A Few Words With Ennio Morricone

Learn how the 85-year-old composer got his start spoofing on John Cage, and hear his best impression of the coyote howl from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843. Henry Fuseli/Getty Images hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Marin Alsop's Guide To Mendelssohn's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Inspired by Shakespeare, Mendelssohn captures all the magic and frivolity in the music he wrote for the Bard's otherworldy play.

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D'Angelo with Nelson George (left) onstage at the Brooklyn Museum Wednesday night. Drew Gurian/Red Bull Content Pool hide caption

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The Record

D'Angelo: 'I'm Trying To Go Deep'

In a conversation with author Nelson George at the Brooklyn Museum, the elusive singer and songwriter spoke on his idols, his process and his teenage years, and hinted at a new album.

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Theo Croker's new album, AfroPhysicist, comes out May 20. Thomas Brodin/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music

Heir To A Jazz Legacy, A Trumpeter Finds His Own Way

Theo Croker is a descendant of old-school New Orleans jazz royalty, but his fusion of different genres is anything but traditional.

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Dancers pose reverently in the video for "Love Never Felt So Good," the lead single from Michael Jackson's posthumous Xscape album. YouTube hide caption

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Hozier performs live in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters. Olivia Merrion/NPR hide caption

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Ledisi performs at the 2013 BET Honors awards. The singer has been nominated for eight Grammy awards over the past 10 years. Kris Connor/Getty Images for BET hide caption

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Music

Breaking Up Helped Ledisi Find 'The Truth' In Her Music

Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi pulls no punches when talking about a failed relationship. She says it even became the inspiration of her latest album.

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Kishi Bashi's second solo album is titled Lighght. Kaden Shallat/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Kishi Bashi: Holding A Mirror To Pop Music's Many Faces

The musician describes the way he blends violin, electronics and far-reaching cultural influences to create a unique sound on his new album, Lighght.

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