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Music

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Many classical music purists today consider Sergei Rachmaninoff’s music to be excessively sentimental, admittedly lush but too similar-sounding once you’ve heard one concerto. But is this a fair assessment?... Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op 18...
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Editor's Note: Hector Berlioz composed Le carnaval romain, ouverture pour orchestre (Roman Carnival Overture), Op. 9, in in 1844. Intended to be performed as an independent piece, it employs themes from Berlioz' opera Benvenuto Cellini: The beautiful melody on cor anglais in the slow introduction comes from the Act I...
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Are you dipping your toe into the classical music waters, not sure if you’re up for the full swim, but willing to wade around a bit? Hop in—the temperature is just right! Here are 10 tips for you...
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Editor's Note: "The Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple" is one of the movements of Baroque composer Heinrich Barber's famous "Mystery Sonatas" (also called the "Rosary Sonatas"), a set of fifteen short sonatas for violin and continuo. According to the program notes* for a performance of these works: The Mystery Sonatas survive in only a...

In terms of his achievement there is only one other composer to whom Franz Schubert can be compared: Mozart. Perhaps not as precocious as Mozart, Schubert was nonetheless already an accomplished composer as a teenager. In his brief...

"Too wild and terrible" is what Ludwig van Beethoven is reported to have said about Mozart's famous Requiem. And despite the popularity of this great, unfinished work, the "wild and terrible" side of Mozart has generally been obscured...
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You are not too old to start. It is not too hard. If you harbor any interest in learning how to play the violin, or if you’re merely curious to see a violin up close, examine how it works, what’s stopping you? Here are five easy steps to take...
sibelius
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There is something immoderate about Sibelius' Violin Concerto—something vulnerable and unspeakably beautiful, right there along something dark and brooding. The piece illustrates that not only do darkness and beauty coexist, they enhance each other... It’s complex, gripping, devilishly complicated,...
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The Adoration of the Magi, by Sandro Botticelli (1476) Editor’s Note: Ottorino Respighi composed his Trittico Botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) in 1927. Each of the three movements of the work is based on a painting by the...
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Editor's Note: "The Gloucestershire Wassail" is a traditional English carol associated with the eve of Epiphany, when revelers drank wassail punch, a hot-mulled sherry- or brandy-based cider, sweetened with sugar and seasoned with other spices, and including yeast, apples, and toast. According to British Food History, "wassailing...
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Editor's Note: "The Seven Joys of Mary" (sometimes called simply "Joys Seven") is a traditional carol based on events in the life of the Mother of God. Though it was not originally connected to the Christmas season, it has become so with time. It should be noted...
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The body language of the band is one of a frozen watchfulness. Each band member has the look and stance of one who has witnessed something truly awful, and yet is powerless to do anything about it. Before their eyes, what the Rolling Stones were witnessing was...
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Over the years, the Czech Christmas Mass, "Hej, mistře" (Hail, master!), by Jakub Jan Ryba has become an inherent part of Czech tradition. This is mainly owing to the simplicity, the emotional impact and pure comprehensiveness of Ryba's music. Ryba...
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Editor's Note: American composer William Henry Fry wrote the highly enjoyable Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony in 1853, deeming it "the longest instrumental composition ever written on a single subject, with unbroken continuity." This claim, which is...