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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: July 7, 2011 Archive

The Short Version: Lincoln

Posted at 6:00 PM on July 7, 2011 by Bill Morelock
Filed under: The Short Version

An introduction to one of the most versatile and accomplished figures in American arts & letters. Introduction because despite his accomplishments, it's very possible you've never heard of him. Yet, for Lincoln Kirstein, what's now a major cultural institution was a just college club. And the first of a series of essential ballet scores by Aaron Copland? His idea.

e-Piano Finalists announced

Posted at 8:11 AM on July 7, 2011 by Melissa Ousley
Filed under: Piano eComp

Things stayed interesting at the Minnesota International e-Piano Jr. Competition yesterday. As I listened to the first two contestants on Wednesday afternoon, they seemed to be gaining strength. Remarkable when you consider how much music they must prepare to participate in this "Jr" competition. Basically, three solo recital programs and a movement from a concerto.

At the end of the day, the names of the five finalists were announced. They are:
Misora Ozaki, 15, Japan
Annie Zhou, 13, Canada
Ching-Toa Aristo Sham, 15, Hong Kong
Su Yeon Kim, 17, South Korea
Tristan Teo, 14, Canada

I was hoping Italian pianist Leonardo Colafelice (15) would have made it to the final round. too. I wish you could have heard him play this week. Perhaps you did?

Finals are Friday at noon at Orchestra Hall. A free concert that will feature lots of Chopin. Hope you can come.

Menotti at 100

Posted at 8:06 AM on July 7, 2011 by John Birge

For the 100th birthday anniversary of composer Gian Carlo Menotti, a very nice retrospective tribute from Miles Hoffman at NPR's Morning Edition. Listen here to learn how Menotti is about more than his most famous work, Amahl and the Night Visitors.

And feast your ears and eyes and ears on this highlight from one of the original annual Christmas Eve NBC television broadcasts of Amahl, from 1955:

Is Andre Rieu Amazing?

Posted at 9:47 AM on July 7, 2011 by Hans Buetow
Filed under: In the media, Musical philosophy

In the great debate of integrity and relevance, every art form has its pulp and its grit.

Recent cinema releases include both Tree of Life and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Restaurants flourish that feature Tater Tot Hotdish on a paper plate and others that showcase a slow-cooked short rib, hand-picked baby green bean, porcini béchamel, and hand-made "tater tot" hotdish deconstruction.

You can find in your local Big Box Book Shop both David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino's Here's the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting your GTL on the Jersey Shore.

And in the Classical Music world, we have Andre Rieu.

Andre Rieu does not, and will not (as far as I've been told) publicly perform the Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin in D Minor by Bach, Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto, or Beethoven's Violin Concerto. These are, some would argue, serious pieces that take some serious listening.

He will, however, premier a new Waltz by none other that Sir Anthony Hopkins. Yes, the guy who played Hannibal Lecter.

Notice how genuinely happy Sir Anthony is with Mr. Rieu. Notice the tear shed by his wife as she is genuinely moved by the moment. Then go to YouTube and watch an endless parade of clips from stadium concerts full of chanting, singing, dancing fans being equally moved by Andre Rieu's version of Classical Music.

Which leads me to the question - is Classical music a serious business?