Serge Rachmaninoff, photographed in 1919, somewhere outside of San Francisco. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Rachmaninoff: An American Without Assimilation

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop muses on both the Russian and American sides of Sergei Rachmaninoff and his Third Symphony.

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From a 2012 New York Philharmonic production of Candide, Marin Alsop conducts a cast that includes (from right) Kristin Chenoweth, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Paul Groves and Janine LaManna. Randy Brooke/WireImage hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

In 'Candide,' Bernstein Fuses Philosophy And Comedy

Conductor Marin Alsop explains how her mentor, Leonard Bernstein, probes the essential questions of humanity in his comic operetta Candide.

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Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich's once brilliant career took a dive after the official party paper criticized one of his operas in 1936. Shostakovich responded with his powerful Fifth Symphony. Central Press/Getty Images hide caption

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Alexander Scriabin originally set out to write a piece called "Orgiastic Poem," centered on physical ecstasy, but later decided to alter the title to something more ambiguous. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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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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Gustav Mahler wanted each of his symphonies to contain a world of emotions and ideas. Library of Congress hide caption

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Benjamin Britten takes a cup of tea during rehearsals for his War Requiem at Coventry Cathedral, in Coventry, England in May, 1962. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

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Leonard Bernstein's Age of Anxiety symphony is as unconventional as its creator. Courtesy of Library of Congress hide caption

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Rudolph Cronau's drawing of Wagner's opera house, Bayreuth, flanked by his birthplace (left) and place of death. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Deceptive Cadence

Extreme Drama: The Life And Music Of Richard Wagner

Marking the 200th anniversary of the controversial composer's birth, conductor Marin Alsop and friends rethink Wagner in a series of multimedia concerts.

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Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer. William Gottlieb hide caption

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