Composer Max Richter's new album takes on Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Erik Weiss/Courtesy of the artist
November 21, 2012 The composer has done a brave thing for any artist in any medium: He's messed with a classic, specifically, Vivaldi's most famous four violin concertos. Richter says he had "to figure out how much Max and how much Vivaldi there was going on at every moment."
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November 21, 2012 Thanksgiving prep is funnier with a cartoon at noon from Deceptive Cadence.
Chopin, whose Ballade No. 1 in g minor is one of the "musical moments" that inspired a New York Times series.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
November 21, 2012 It's only Wednesday, but we have your link to all the conversations and ideas you need for your holiday: from a joyous sharing of astonishing musical moments to what it's like for a classical newcomer to tweet from a symphony hall.
As a young classical composer, Missy Mazzoli borrows music and business strategies from the indie rock world.
November 20, 2012 The young composer from Brooklyn battles stereotypes in classical music with her DIY aesthetic, her penchant for blending genres, and her new opera, Song from the Uproar, based on the early 20th-century adventurer Isabelle Eberhardt.
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The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style.
/De Agostini/Getty Images
November 20, 2012 The quirky musical habits of J.S. Bach's most impressive son would later become standard practice for composers of the next generation. British pianist Danny Driver uncovers the impetuous mood swings, curious key changes and whiplash stops and starts that define Bach's leading-edge style.
An autographed portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
November 19, 2012 Conductor John Eliot Gardiner and author Matthew Guerrieri explain the incredible resonances, past and present, behind one of the most famous phrases in music: the opening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
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Hunting and gathering music for your Thanksgiving holiday? Check out our playlist.
November 19, 2012 Our suggestions for a playlist to accompany your Turkey Day, from cooking to dining to cleaning up, brimming with American sounds from all over the musical map.
John Eliot Gardiner leads the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY on November 17, 2012.
Melanie Burford for NPR
November 17, 2012 The celebrated English conductor leads his Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique and Monteverdi Choir in a performance of one of Beethoven's most expansive and searching works: the Missa Solemnis.
November 16, 2012 Friday's are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä, whose pleas to his symphony's management and players just went public.
Todd Buchanan/courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra
November 16, 2012 Vänskä pleads for both sides to work together in Minnesota, Muti declines to make a statement and a monocled (!) tenor signs to DG: the stories you must know and a guide to all the news that's fit to link. And a composer exols the durability of the orchestra and the versatility of scissors.
Ambient music composer William Basinski says the four-volume work, now a box set, saved his life.
November 15, 2012 For over 30 years, William Basinski has worked with tape loops. A stunning vinyl box set collects his best-known work, The Disintegration Loops, a project he finished the morning of September 11 while living in New York, and that Basinski says saved his life.
From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places.
November 15, 2012 Cellist Matt Haimovitz was raised on a strict diet of classical music. Somewhere along the way his tastes broadened considerably. Hear an eclectic mix of music — from Nina Simone to Mstislav Rostropovich — as the adventurous cellist spins his favorites in the studio.
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Composer Vivian Fung's new album embraces the influence of John Cage and introduces her own versatile sound.
Courtesy of the artist
November 13, 2012 A young Canadian composer of Chinese parentage deftly mixes East and West in her recent creations, which include a virtuosic violin concerto called Dreamscapes. The musical salad Fung tosses up should appeal to anyone with an inquiring mind and open ears.
Composer Elliott Carter, who died on Nov. 5 at age 103.
Meredith Heuer/courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes
November 12, 2012 The world-renowned conductor and pianist reflects on his late friend and colleague Elliott Carter, whose music he strongly championed: "Sometimes I think if Haydn were alive today, he would compose like Carter did in his last years."
Soprano Maria Slatinaru and bass Paul Plishka perform in a 1986 production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the San Francisco Opera.
November 10, 2012 Now considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, the opera flopped on its first run and carries the stigma of cursing those who perform it to terrible fates.
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This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
November 10, 2012 When peace was declared at the end of World War II, Army veteran Harold Van Heuvelen did something different than his troop mates — he wrote a symphony. This week he traveled to Virginia to hear it performed for the first time.
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Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
November 10, 2012 Perhaps the most recognized contemporary composer in the world, Williams calls retiring "unthinkable." He celebrated his 80th birthday this year by working on the score for Steven Spielberg's new film Lincoln.
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November 9, 2012 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
American composer Elliott Carter, circa 1975. He died this Monday at age 103.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
November 9, 2012 Lamenting Carter's death, trouble in Spokane and another award for Dudamel: what you need to read, in all the week's news that's fit to link. And one cheeky writer imagines that Colorado's lenient new marijuana law could make Aspen Music Festival recruiting a breeze.
Mark Ivanir, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener as the Fugue String Quartet.
courtesy of Entertainment One Films
November 8, 2012 Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener keep trying to make beautiful music together in 'A Late Quartet,' a new film about the struggles of a veteran chamber group. Beethoven supplies the soundtrack and a prism for splitting the strands of relationships and mortality.
Elliott Carter at Tanglewood in 2008 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is sitting right behind Carter.
Michael J. Lutch
November 7, 2012 Carter lived one of the most fulfilled lives any artist could wish for. What's sad about his death Monday at 103 isn't just that a whole era in music has come to an end, but that Carter was still composing, and on the highest level.
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The players in the Belcea Quartet played a series of late Beethoven string quartets at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.
November 7, 2012 In this concert at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, the group presents a pair of Beethoven's grand and enigmatic final quartets — works from the summit of a musical mountain.
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Cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Gerardo Antonio Sanchez Torres/courtesy of the artist
November 6, 2012 Hear an excerpt of MacArthur "genius" cellist Alisa Weilerstein's excellent pairing of the Elgar Cello Concerto — recorded with Daniel Barenboim, whose late wife Jacqueline Du Pre's name was synonymous with this piece— and the cello concerto by Elliott Carter, who died yesterday at 103.
Composer Elliott Carter at the piano in 1989.
Jacques M. Chenet/Corbis
November 5, 2012 The composer, who was born in 1908 and won two Pulitzer Prizes for music that could be challenging and adventurously modern, died in New York.
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Gabriela Montero takes ideas from audience members to create on the spot improvisations.
November 5, 2012 The outspoken pianist is a fearless improviser with a passion for politics. At a concert at Northwestern University, hear her make up a tune on the spot, contrasting the two major presidential candidates in a freewheeling, thoroughly American musical debate.
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