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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: March 1, 2007 Archive

Classical spinach?

Posted at 10:05 AM on March 1, 2007 by John Zech (1 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

One of our funniest local commentators, James Lileks, is a very thoughtful consumer and presenter (and blogger) of classical music. I think in many ways he is a prototype of our target audience.

He had some interesting things to say about classical music the other day in his column in the Strib. Talking about what he listens to on satellite radio in his car he said:

There's a good classical station, called "Pops" -- meaning, pieces you know and like, as opposed to the serious spinach classical station that rolls out interminable bolts of baroque chamber music or shrieking atonal opera that sounds like the singer is giving birth to a porcupine.

So are we a "serious spinach" classical station? Maybe once upon a time, but I think we're more on the "balaced and tasty" side of the classical food pyramid.

Any thoughts?

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A pair of 75-year-olds celebrate

Posted at 2:47 PM on March 1, 2007 by Don Lee

Both the Fargo-Moorhead and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestras are celebrating 75th anniversaries this season. I guess 1931 and '32 were banner years for making music across state lines.

The coincidence made me curious. Do our other "regional" orchestras date from that same time? Well, basic Web research tells me the South Dakota Symphony is about a decade older. And the Rochester Symphony was founded a little earlier than that, in 1919. (For the record, the Minneapolis Symphony gave its first concert in 1903.)

So we're not left to wonder about some kind of seismic shift in the Upper Midwest's symphonic landscape during the early 1930s. Still, it's remarkable enough that the Twin Ports and Fargo-Moorhead had the faith and gumption to get these organizations going just a couple of years into the Great Depression.

Gergiev Imagery

Posted at 4:23 PM on March 1, 2007 by Rex Levang

In case you were left wondering by a previous posting and its vivid description of conductor Valery Gergiev: here's just one image of the foremost Russian conductor of his generation.