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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: August 29, 2008 Archive

A Little Class(ical) for Your Cell Phone

Posted at 5:22 AM on August 29, 2008 by Gillian Martin

Mozart embraced the newfangled fortepiano, Herbert van Karajan embraced all the possibilities of recording technology, and now composer Max Richter has embraced...the cell phone?

The Scotland-based Richter has created a new CD (out now in the UK, available September 23 in the US) called 24 Postcards in Full Colour which comprises newly-composed ring tones, specially designed for the medium.

"Who says ringtones have to be so bad?" Richter asks. "It's like saying LPs or CDs are bad - it's just a medium."

Read more about it here.

Celebrity Gossip, Classical Style

Posted at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2008 by Gillian Martin

A man dies in poverty, never knowing who his father was. Years later, his daughter learns from a stranger that her unknown grandfather was actually one of the great opera composers of the age. But another granddaughter disputes the story. How will it all end?

Well, the fat lady hasn't sung on this one yet. It's the true tale of Giacomo Puccini, his two illegitimate sons by two different women, and the granddaughters now fighting over his fortune.

My favorite part is how the first illegitimate granddaughter (and sole legal heir at the moment) says she wants "to protect [Puccini's] memory from...local gossip." You can read the rest of the story here.

Thanks to MPR Web Producer Monique Francesca for the tip.