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A subtly shifting balance

I have always loved Johannes Brahms’s clarinet sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 and was therefore delighted to see pianist Jon Nakamatsu’s name on a new recording of these works with another h-less Jon's, clarinetist Jon Manasse's.

In Sunday’s New York Times, James Oestreich describes the appeal of the Brahms thus: “the clarinet and the piano are thoroughly, sensuously intertwined in a subtly shifting balance.” If you listen, you'll know exactly what he means.

(Scroll down for the full review here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/arts/music/13reco.html?_r=...)

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Okay, I Lied

Louise Slaughter won't be on tonight.

Her scheduler called late yesterday and postponed. I'm still hoping to interview her before she heads back to Washington next week. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, we still have the interview with GOP Congressman James Walsh. During the 2006 election, he was opposed to setting a deadline for American troop withdrawal from Iraq. He said the U.S. still had an obligation to train Iraqi security forces.

Now, he says, the training has been done. He says the majority of American soldiers need to be back on U.S. soil by the end of 2008.

After he talks about that and several other issues, we'll talk about Governor Spitzer's 2008 State of the State address with Rochester Business Alliance President and CEO Sandy Parker.

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Reading material

[On Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”] “It is music of physical release, even of sexual orgasm, as Vaslav Nijinsky demonstrated in his undulating dance of the Faun at the Ballet Russes in 1912. ‘I hold the queen!’ Mallarme’s faun exults.”
- from The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross

“By [20th] century’s end, intellectuals had deserted classical music; compared to the theater, cinema, or dance, it was the American performing art most divorced from contemporary creativity, most susceptible to midcult decadence.”
- from Classical Music in America by Joseph Horowitz

“Since Jazz music is a laid back genre of music, students will wear jeans with no holes, a solid colored shirt (long or short sleeve) and sneakers will be okay.”

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Let's Imagine

The RPO’s Annual Meeting, Having Been Held in Rochester’s Opulent Eastman Theatre, Later Discussed by The Busts of Bach and Beethoven Over the Exits

Johann: Grüß dich! That brass quintet, sehr gut! Don’t you think, my old friend?

Ludwig: Ja, ja, I almost heard it! I think it was almost as compelling as the players’ rousing performance of The Firebird by the Russian Wild One, Herr Stravinsky. (He pauses, leans over, whispering) But I believe the young man who spoke afterward, Herr Owens, may have a Napoleonic complex. Did you catch all his mumbling about fame and glory, making the RPO famous around the world?

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Brizard: Square One

The new superintendent of the Rochester City School District is about to undergo a test of stamina.

On Thursday, January 31st, WXXI and WDKX-FM are partnering for a project called Brizard: Square One. It is a full day of broadcast events designed to introduce Jean-Claude Brizard to Rochester, and vice versa.

Beginning early in the morning, WDKX's Tariq Spence will join Brizard at Dr. Freddie Thomas High School on Scio Street to take calls from Tariq's listeners - primarily young people getting ready for school. Then Brizard will check in with WXXI-AM's morning host Alex Crichton for a Q & A during Morning Edition.

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Music from the Hearts of Space celebrates 25 years

2008 marks 25 years and over 800 Hearts of Space programs broadcast on over 300 public radio stations nationwide.

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Met at the Movies in full swing

The live HD simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in regional movie theaters is well underway. What do you think?

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From the Top gathers momentum

From the Top is coming to Rochester on Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in the Callahan Theater at Nazareth College. The event is almost completely sold out - with the exception of just a few Patron Tickets still available as of this writing on January 9th. However, if you can't get to the show, there are still other ways to celebrate our five Rochester Kids who will be performing that day.

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music news miscellany

This afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra reveals artistic and financial data during an annual meeting. Check back for more on this later.

The U.S. government issued a 2007 patent for colored polymer instrument mouthpieces for brass players, and these are starting to pop up in instrument cases all over Western New York. Prices range from $21 for a trumpet mouthpiece to $32 for a tuba mouthpiece.

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Move Over Mr(s) President

Iowa. New Hampshire. Right now, Election 2008 seems to be all about The Presidency and voters in other places.

That's not true, however, if you live in the Rochester region. Putting the Presidential race aside for a minute, let's talk about Congress.

As they did in 2006, voters in this area of the country could play a key role in November because of our Congressional delegation: Randy Kuhl, Tom Reynolds, Louise Slaughter, and James Walsh.

If we take Rep. Slaughter out of the mix, we are left with three Republicans who are on the national Democrats' radar. Close races in 2006 mean the Democrats are considering pouring even more money into these districts in hopes of ousting the established incumbents.

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