“I Stood on De Ribber Ob Jerdon”: Marian Anderson

During a career which spanned forty years, the American contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993) performed at major concert venues which included the Metropolitan Opera. Her repertoire included opera, lieder, and African American spirituals. In 1939, when segregation prevented her from singing at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., Anderson performed at an open air Easter Sunday concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which was organized with the assistance of Eleanor Roosevelt. The integrated …

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The Bells of Vienna/Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols”

Today’s post celebrates the memory of Karl Haas, the German-American musicologist and host of the long-running radio program, Adventures in Good Music. One of the program’s most popular episodes, The Story of the Bells, aired for many years on Christmas Eve. It documented the varied sounds of church bells across Europe and the Middle East. In Haas’ words, “It’s an awesome sound…a sound which leaves no room for human voices.” To continue this tradition, …

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Remembering Alex DePue

A fatal car accident in Mexico claimed the life of the accomplished fiddler Alex DePue on Thursday morning. He was 49. Alex and his violin-playing brothers formed the popular DePue Brothers Band which specializes in “a vivid blend of bluegrass, classical, and rock genres.” Alex DePue’s rock star virtuosity is evident in this clip, which blends Paganini with Yes’ Owner of a Lonely Heart and Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal: Featured Image: Photograph by Amy E. Voigt

Remembering Dale Clevenger

Dale Clevenger, the legendary principal horn player for the Chicago Symphony from 1966 to 2013, passed away on January 5. He was 81. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Clevenger began playing the horn at the age of 13. Before joining the Chicago Symphony, he was a member of Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air. His discography included the Grammy-winning 1968 album, The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli, featuring the brass sections …

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The Bells of Ulm Minster

Today, we pay homage to the German-American musicologist Karl Haas, who hosted the nationally syndicated  radio program, Adventures in Good Music, between 1970 and 2007. One of the show’s most popular episodes, The Story of the Bells, was broadcast at Christmastime. It documented the distinct sounds of church bells throughout Europe, from the mighty cacophony of Zurich, to the pastoral serenity of the Alpine village of Arosa, to the highly ordered change ringing of Westminster Abbey. …

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Remembering Bernard Haitink

Bernard Haitink, the renowned Dutch conductor and violinist, has passed away. He was 92. Haitink served as chief conductor of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1961 to 1988. Additionally, he was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-1979), music director of the Glyndebourne Opera (1978-1988), music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from (1987-2002), chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden (2002-2004), principal guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1995-2004), …

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The 2021 Classical Grammys

The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony took place in Los Angeles Sunday evening. Here are excerpts from the winning albums in the classical categories: Best Orchestral Performance “Ives: Complete Symphonies” — Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic) This album features the four numbered symphonies of Charles Ives. The “New England Holidays” is not included. We sense an exciting artistic progression from the relatively conservative Symphony No. 1, completed in 1902 in response …

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