September 13, 2011 Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz just attended two productions of Porgy and Bess: an operatic performance at Tanglewood and a musical-theater version in Cambridge, Mass. He says it can work either way, "as long as Gershwin's great score remains its heart and soul."
August 5, 2011 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers weren't the only famous Hollywood musical team of the 1930s. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy also starred in a series of operettas. But classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says the two couples achieved their success in quite opposite ways.
August 2, 2011 Mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died a little more than five years ago at the height of her career. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says that, just when it seemed we weren't going to hear her sing anything new, some fantastic live performances have just been released for the first time.
June 20, 2011 You don't have to be an aficionado to enjoy Criterion's reissues of Topsy-Turvy and The Mikado. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says these operettas on DVD are indispensable for people who love G&S, and might just change the minds of those who don't.
February 3, 2011 Two Titian masterpieces — Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto — are in the United States for the first time. Fresh Air's Lloyd Schwartz says art lovers will want to see them in person — particularly because there's a chance they may be permanently separated.
December 23, 2010 Walt Disney's Fantasia, the first feature-length film to offer visual images of classical music, has just been re-released in a new box set. Music critic Lloyd Schwartz says the film is a delightful introduction to classical music — but doesn't always convey it convincingly on screen.
December 13, 2010 Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz recently attended the 2010 Musikfest Berlin's two-week-long tribute to 85-year-old French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez. Schwartz says the musical tribute was "sonically ravishing, with endlessly inventive combinations of sound and texture."
October 13, 2010 From the late 1950s up until her last stage appearance in 1990, Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland was one of the world's most admired and celebrated opera stars. She died Sunday at age 83. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz looks back at the life and work of the singer known as "La Stupenda."
September 22, 2010 Soprano Benita Valente has retired from singing, though at 75, she's still remarkably active behind the scenes as an educator, organizer and fundraiser. She may not be the world's most famous singer, but a selection of her recordings leads off a new series on Bridge Records called Great Singers of the 20th Century. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz agrees with the title.
August 24, 2010 French artist Henri Matisse is probably best known for his decorative and colorful paintings, especially nudes and still lifes. But a show at the Museum of Modern Art, called "Matisse: Radical Invention," deals with a more experimental period in Matisse's life. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says the show allows viewers to see Matisse's growth as an artist.
July 12, 2010 Marilyn Miller was one of the most adored and charismatic Broadway musical stars of the 1920s and '30s. She also had a brief movie career — before her death in 1936, at the age of 37. Critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two of her movies, Sally and Sunny, just released on DVD.
May 24, 2010 He's been at the forefront of contemporary music and conducting for more than half a century. Marking his 85th birthday this spring, a number of new Boulez CDs and DVDs have been released. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews three of the latest.