Verdi’s Requiem: A Preview

Allow me to share a story.

Some years ago, while I was still teaching at the University of Kansas, a colleague stopped by my office to chat. I was kicking back with some music on my headphones at the time; curious, she asked what I was listening to.

I explained I was listening to Verdi’s Requiem, because it had been “that kind of day.” Continue reading

Genius: Shakespeare, Berlioz, and Sibelius

The Minnesota Orchestra’s Shakespeare Winterfest is coming to a close… but not without presenting one last concert that I’ve been waiting for all season. We are getting two wholly original masterpieces: Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and selections from Sibelius’s The Tempest.

That sound you hear in the background is me doing a little dance at my computer just thinking about it.

Allow me to provide a preview of the concert. Continue reading

A Festive Evening with the Minnesota Chorale

Let me tell you a story—one of my favorite musical memories.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I sing with the Minnesota Chorale (and proudly serve as the President of the Board of Directors). A few years ago, we were lined up to perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana… again. It’s a work that we frequently end up singing once a year (or more).

This time was unusual, however. Continue reading

Romeo and Juliet at the Orchestra

It has been awhile, but I wanted to post a review of an astonishing Minnesota Orchestra concert I attended over the weekend, to help people understand the power of a live classical music concert. As it happens, I think it was my wife’s favorite concert of the season thus far… and it’s easy to see why.  Continue reading

Another Musical Puzzle: The EU Challenge

A few weeks ago, Los Angeles blogger CK Dexter Haven came up with an intriguing musical game of choosing your “Top Nine” symphonies—you had to pick your favorite numbered symphonies, one through nine.  The challenge was made more intriguing by the fact that composers could only be used once and all slots had to be filled, giving the challenge a Sudoku-like quality. It was great fun, and many writers/bloggers took up the challenge (my selections are here).  Continue reading