How do you make a piano sing? Italian-born pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi tackles the question on his new album, The Rascal and the Sparrow, a tribute to Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf, two titans of French song who each died 50 years ago. Pompa-Baldi shared his thoughts on the project in this email chat with NPR Music's Tom Huizenga.
It's the middle of the afternoon when we arrive at the tiny family apartment in a working-class neighborhood of Tunis. Um Ahmed cracks open the door when we arrive, ushers us in and quickly slams the door shut. She then closes a second steel gate, which she had installed after her son, Ahmed, was arrested.
The Whisky a Go Go club on the storied Sunset Strip, once the hub L.A.'s music scene, acknowledged the May 2013 death of The Doors' keyboardist on its marquee: "Rest In Peace Ray Manzarek, Thanks for the Memories."
In a city with 6,500 miles of blacktop, one stretch of road might be the most legendary in Los Angeles: the Sunset Strip. It's where the vibrant L.A. music got its vibe; imagine The Doors blaring through the gates of one club and The Byrds softly strumming just a few doors down. From one decade to the next, from folk to metal to hip-hop, iconic music was born there.
Like Leonard Bernstein himself, there is absolutely nothing predictable about the music he wrote. None of the three amazing works Bernstein labeled as "symphonies" in any way resemble a conventional orchestral symphony.
This week's artune is ripped from the headlines. More controversy for Russia and its official position on homosexuality: A new government-funded film — and its government funders — deny that Tchaikovsky was gay.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 11:06 am
Jessye Norman's commanding soprano voice makes her the quintessential operatic diva for many listeners. But she frequently draws inspirations from jazz: She ranks singers like Billie Holiday, Mabel Mercer and Sarah Vaughan high on her list of influences.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:41 pm
Greece's premier has vowed not to let a neo-Nazi party undermine democracy after the killing of a Greek hip-hop and rap singer by a right-wing extremist.
"This government is determined not to let the descendants of the Nazis poison our social life or commit crimes," Antonis Samaras said in a national television address.
An extremist with possible ties to the right-wing Golden Dawn party has admitted to stabbing to death musician Pavlos Fyssas, who goes by the stage name Killah P. The incident has sparked outrage among many Greeks.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:02 pm
When you hear the name of guitarist and composer Bryce Dessner, you wouldn't be wrong to think immediately of hugely acclaimed indie-rock outfit The National. But he's also a stalwart of the new music scene.