The Beautiful Game

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The World Cup soccer tournament gets underway in Germany today. We'll start this segment with music written in 1919 to commemorate a soccer victory for Brazil: "Um a Zero" by Brazilian composer Pixinguinha. Cellist Yo Yo Ma and his 2003 Brazilian ensemble gave us this special NPR performance in Los Angeles. Also: a polka from the ballet "The Golden Age," by Shostakovich. The ballet imagines a Soviet soccer victory over a weak capitalist team. Constantine Orbelian conducts the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Then, listener comments about the stage manner of pianist Lang Lang: Does his emotive, demonstrative style detract from the music? And we'll finish by hearing Lang Lang in concert this past Tuesday in Munich, at a massive concert celebrating the opening of the 2006 World Cup.

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