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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: August 23, 2006 Archive

The Soviet Union has never existed

Posted at 7:09 AM on August 23, 2006 by John Birge (2 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

This may make some of you feel old, but today's college freshmen weren't born yet when the Soviet Union existed. They've also never been on an an airplane when smoking was allowed and have always used "Google" as a verb. Those are some of the cultural landmarks on the annual list compiled by Beloit College. Anything you'd like to add here?

PS: As one who abhors Andrew Lloyd-Webber, this entry gets my vote for the scariest entry: "25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway." Ewww!

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Opera on Hennepin

Posted at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2006 by Rex Levang (4 Comments)

As everyone knows by now, it's become a popular ploy for businesses to pipe classical music on to the sidewalk, in order to keep people from Lingering. Usually, they just slap on a disc of Strauss waltzes and that's it.

But if you go past Hennepin and 7th in downtown Minneapolis (the Block E corner), you will hear much, much more varied fare. I don't know if they're using a satellite service, playing a very random stack of discs, or hiring an opera/vocal nut, but on my recent strolls I have heard:

French baroque opera (Rameau? Lully?)
Gilbert and Sullivan: The Yeomen of the Guard
Italian opera from the classical period (but not one of the big three Mozart operas)
Anglican psalm singing
Victor Herbert: The Red Mill
what may have been Mendelssohn: Elijah

The idea may be to stop people from lingering -- but in my case it's having an opposite effect.

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Menlo listening highlight

Posted at 11:28 AM on August 23, 2006 by Brian Newhouse
Filed under: Concerts

Mozart: Church Sonatas in F, K. 244; E-flat, K. 67; C, K. 336
Ani Kavafian, Tein-Hsin Wu, violin; Peter Wiley, cello; James Welch, organ

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These churchy pieces always make me smile, knowing a bit about the complexity of Mozart's character, especially his delight in bathroom humor. But here he is being a good pious young man, and a professional composer trying to please his boss.

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