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The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game

Audio will be available later today.

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.