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Classical Notes: September 22, 2006 Archive

At the Guthrie

Posted at 11:22 AM on September 22, 2006 by Rex Levang (6 Comments)

Lots of classical-music allusion going on at the new Guthrie, if you’ve seen their production of Tom Stoppard’s “Real Thing.”

At one point, there’s a joke about Verdi’s first name – it got a big laugh, I’m happy to say. There’s also a reference, subtler than it might seem, to the whole question of Bach and Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale.” Finally, a major plot thread deals with the BBC’s “Desert Island Discs.”

That’s the radio show where celebrities talk about the records (classical, pop, you name it) that they’d take to the proverbial desert island. The show started in 1942, and it’s still going strong. A sampling of recent guests: Renée Fleming, Alexander McCall Smith, Daniel Barenboim, choreographer Matthew Bourne …. guests, details, and shows that you can listen to online here.

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Another Perfect 10 (x2)

Posted at 9:43 PM on September 22, 2006 by John Birge
Filed under: The blog

Once again, classicstoday.com has given Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra a perfect 10/10 [performance/sound quality] for the latest installment in their ongoing Beethoven Symphony cycle:

"Another measure of "greatness" in a performance is purely comparative: Does this version do anything (that matters) better than anyone else? I would say so: This probably is the finest Scherzo on disc. "

And the Minnesota Chorale comes if for high praise too:

"One thing is certain: the chorus sings magnificently throughout, and with such clarity of diction that you can practically transcribe the text of Schiller's ode even if you don't know German. "

You can read the complete review here.

My spies tell me it won't hit the stores until mid-October; watch this space for details on an exclusive pre-release broadcast premiere on Classical Minnesota Public Radio...

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