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Music News
12:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Naxos: The Little Record Label That Could (And Did)

Over a quarter century, Naxos Records has evolved from an industry joke to a leading force in classical music.
Naxos

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:22 am

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

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Favorite Sessions
3:59 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Rose Cousins: One Of Folk's Finest From 2012

Rose Cousins on Folk Alley.
Folk Alley

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:39 am

One of the great little-known albums of last year came from a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia — a seasoned and award-winning singer-songwriter who has steadily built a following here in the U.S. Rose Cousins' self-released We Have Made a Spark landed on Folk Alley's Best of 2012 list for its beautiful harmonies, creative arrangements and the sort of arresting songwriting that's sad even as it leaves listeners feeling hopeful.

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The Record
3:33 am
Sat January 12, 2013

There Are Only 100 Copies Of The New Bob Dylan Record

Bob Dylan in 1962. His extremely limited-edition 50th Anniversary Collection features unreleased material from his early career.
John Cohen Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 11:47 am

Bob Dylan has made some puzzling moves in his celebrated career, but the compilation that his record label recently released may be as odd as anything he's ever put out.

The compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. It seems to have been designed by the label to exploit a recent change in European copyright law.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:09 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Seismic Change At 'Downton Abbey,' As Heard In 'The Waltz'

The cast of Season 3 of the worldwide smash series Downton Abbey.
Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
8:28 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Milt Jackson On Piano Jazz

Milt Jackson.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress via Flickr

Vibraphonist Milt "Bags" Jackson would have been 90 this year. A member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, he also worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery and many more.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Antibalas: Cooking Up Afrobeat In A Sweltering Kitchen

Antibalas was founded in 1998 by baritone sax player Martin Perna (far right, in hat) and is fronted by singer-percussionist Amayo (center, in head wrap). The group has seen many lineup changes in its decade and a half together.
Marina Abadjieff Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Years ago, without setting out to do so, the Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas jumped out ahead of the pop-culture curve in two ways. First, geography: The band was formed in Brooklyn in the 1990s, before the New York borough became the mecca of independent music that it is today. Second, the music itself: Afrobeat makes its way into lots of popular music today, but Antibalas was doing it before it had a mainstream foothold.

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World Cafe Playlists
10:03 am
Tue January 1, 2013

World Cafe Host David Dye Picks His 10 Favorite Songs Of 2012

Polica.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 10:40 am

David Dye has been hosting WXPN's World Cafe for more than 20 years. With new artists performing in the show's studios every day, Dye gets to witness firsthand the best music each year has to offer. Here are his 10 favorite songs of 2012:

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Deceptive Cadence
12:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:20 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Fond Farewells: Classical Musicians We Lost in 2012

Classical music lost many fine artists in 2012.
Dragan Trifunovic iStock.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:47 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."
Philippe Merle AFP/Getty Images
  • Tenor Rolando Villazon let loose during a recent Q&A with The Arts Desk: "One thing that I haven't achieved is longevity. This will come — if it comes. That said, I don't think that longevity is a necessary part of a great career." And regarding his own health problems: "[My doctor] would have told [critics] the problem was biology. I would have got it if I had sung Mozart. It had nothing to do with repertoire or technique or how much I sang.
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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
9:03 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Dave Brubeck Quartet On JazzSet

Dave Brubeck at Newport.
Wiqan Ang for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:23 am

At the opening of his 2009 Newport Jazz Festival appearance, Dave Brubeck said, "A few concerts ago, we were in Washington, D.C., and [it] was Duke Ellington Month. So every church, joint and street corner were doing Duke Ellington, and I said to myself, 'He was my mentor, he helped me get started. Why don't I do some Ellington?' [And I said to the guys], 'Follow me, and I'll think of tunes as we go along.'"

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Music Interviews
6:57 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Dave Douglas: Jazz Hymns Honor A Dying Wish

Dave Douglas' new album, Be Still, includes hymns he played at his mother's funeral service.
Austin Nelson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 10:16 am

Dave Douglas has been an important player in the jazz world for more than two decades, producing a broad body of work as both a trumpet player and a composer. His newest album, Be Still, has a bittersweet backstory: It contains his arrangements of several hymns that his dying mother asked him to perform at her funeral service.

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Music Interviews
3:14 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Andre Rieu On The Allure Of The Waltz

Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 5:33 pm

On a list of the world's highest-grossing tours of last year, you'll find a lot of familiar names: U2, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga. And then, at No. 9, is an outlier: Andre Rieu, Dutch violinist and conductor of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat December 15, 2012

A Civil Rights Figure's Long Road — To Carnegie Hall

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 11:43 am

You know the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." Myrlie Evers-Williams took a different route.

Her late husband, Medgar Evers, was the Mississippi head of the NAACP; he was assassinated for his work in 1963. Evers-Williams wound up moving to Southern California, where she became an educational, corporate and political leader and, in the 1990s, chairwoman of the NAACP.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The late sitar master and Indian cultural legend Ravi Shankar performing in Bangalore in February 2012.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 7:46 am

There's no way around what a sad week it's been in music.

  • Charles Rosen, prodigious pianist, scholar and polymath, died Sunday in New York at age 85.
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Mountain Stage
2:55 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Barnaby Bright On Mountain Stage

Barnaby Bright.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:19 am

The indie-folk duo Barnaby Bright makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.V. The many instruments the two often use reflect the traditions they've picked up in their travels as musicians. It's not uncommon for the pair to employ harmonium, banjo, ukulele, floorboard bass, thumb pianos and multiple guitars in a single set.

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The Checkout: Live
4:10 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

The Cookers + Geri Allen And Timeline: Live From 92Y Tribeca

The front line of The Cookers. L-R: Billy Harper, David Weiss, Eddie Henderson, Craig Handy.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:41 am

Take a group of heavyweight jazz masters — the kind who helped to make the classic records that defined the modern idiom — and put them together on stage: Of course there'll be fireworks. But the all-star collection known as The Cookers has cohered into a band which has toured for five years now, and released three albums of mostly original compositions. Their latest, 2012's Believe, proudly captures this band's meat-and-potatoes spirit, and brings some deserved attention to its members' storied and ongoing careers.

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The Record
11:00 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Ravi Shankar, Who Brought Eastern Music To Western Legends, Dies

Ravi Shankar circa 1960 in the U.K.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 am

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Deceptive Cadence
1:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Outspoken Russian Diva And Muse Galina Vishnevskaya Dies At 86

Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations.
Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

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Mountain Stage
1:29 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Lucy Kaplansky On Mountain Stage

Lucy Kaplansky.
Brian Blauser Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:51 am

Singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky makes her 10th appearance on Mountain Stage at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. Recorded live on the eve of Hurricane Sandy, Kaplansky's performance exudes a sense of urgency and energy, as she was no doubt concerned about beating the storm back to her home and family in New York City.

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