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Classical Notes: December 21, 2006 Archive

Want better employees? Start a company choir!

Posted at 8:46 AM on December 21, 2006 by John Zech
Filed under: The blog

I like to sing, but to paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn't belong to any choir that would have me. I'm not much for blending--I like to sing LOUD, and I only have about 3 good notes. Still it's fun--for me.

Apparently singing in a choir is not only fun, but it can be good for you, and make you a more productive, happier employee. The details are in a story 2 days ago from Norway's Aftenposten.

Zappa, the Bringer of Parody

Posted at 10:18 AM on December 21, 2006 by Don Lee

I owe a birthday shout out to the late Frank Zappa.

It's not that I often retrieve those old Mothers of Invention LPs from the shelf; I don't. But every time I hear Petroushka or "Jupiter'' from The Planets, I thank Frank for introducing me to Stravinsky and Holst by hiding them in plain sight in the Mothers classics "Status Back Baby" and "Brown Shoes Don't Make It."

Zappa would have been 66 today.

What Would You Chop?

Posted at 4:34 PM on December 21, 2006 by Rex Levang

If you had to abridge one of the world's best-loved operas down to a one-act format -- what would you leave out?

That's the challenge that faced the team who crafted the 90-minute family-friendly version of Mozart's "Magic Flute" that the Metropolitan Opera is currently presenting. (You can hear the broadcast on Dec. 30 -- or even see it live in a Twin Cities movie theater. It's the celebrated Julie Taymor production, so the visuals should be a treat.)

One thing to go -- the entire overture (except for its first six notes). If you're going to edit Mozart, you might as well be bold. . . .