Blog Posts on Arts and Culture

I had a farm in Africa

John BarryJohn BarryThursday’s mystery piece, “I had a farm in Africa,” comes from Out of Africa, a film set in colonial Kenya.  Meryl Streep plays a Danish baroness who falls into a doomed love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.  The composer, John Barry, born in England in 1933, is

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Vicarious

I saw The Felice Brothers at Water Street a few weeks back. They're tremendous. If you've ever seen a show and felt like you wanted more commitment from the band, you should check them out next time. Anyway, it occured to me as I watched that a lot of the draw for seeing a show like that, and maybe for rock 'n' roll or music in general, is vicarious.

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Eric Whitacre's virtual choir

The American composer of Wednesday's mystery piece, Eric Whitacre, recently spent a few days working with students at Canandaguia Academy.  A few weeks ago, he landed a recording contract and will start making a new CD in August.  The title of the piece
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Tuesday's mystery piece

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Monday's mystery piece

Monday’s mystery piece was from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier I: Prelude and Fugue.

 

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I'll give you three notes

Years ago I was a contestant in a live, Jeopardy-like quiz show hosted by conductor Peter Bay and the RPO at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center.   Fresh out of college, I thought I knew a lot about music.  Boy, did I eat humble pie. 

 

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Tchaikovsky, inspiration

Listeners from England and Rochester guessed (correctly) Thursday's mystery piece.  At 6:40 a.m. we heard a waltz from a ballet composed in 1875 as a commission for the Russian Imperial Theatres in Moscow: Valse intrada I from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It was unsuccessful after its first year of performance.

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Wednesday Mystery piece

Congratulations to Susan in Alfred and Bob listening in Rochester.  They identified Wednesday’s mystery piece, a suite of waltzes by one of the most remarkable composers of the 20th century.  He “ran the gamut of styles without losing his own,” writes cellist David Moore

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Tuesday's mystery piece

Robert SchumannRobert SchumannToday we heard Johnathan Biss playing a selection from Robert Schumann’s Papillons (Butterflies).   He "made himself a new ideal world in which he moved almost as he wills," according to one contemporary critic.  Musicians are celebratin
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Monday's mystery

Georges BizetGeorges BizetWhat does Walter Matthau have to do with opera?

 

Monday's mystery piece. Carmen Suite No. 2 comes from an enticing opera written by Georges Bizet, a French composer born in 1838.

 

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