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WEEKLY DIGEST | 11/12/2018
News, Research, & Opinion



The Complicated DNA of ‘God Bless America’
NY Times: James Kaplan

The nation loved the song, which was introduced 80 years ago. But some reviled Irving Berlin for his presumption, as an immigrant and a Jew, in having written it at all.

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When Queen Took ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to Live Aid
NY Times: Wesley Morris
Freddie Mercury’s set in July 1985 is often called one of the greatest live performances of all time. What made those 21 minutes so memorable? Here’s a breakdown of the music, the moves and that subversive studded armband.

At 80, Joan Tower Says Great Music Comes ‘in the Risks’
NY Times: William Robin
When she was young, Ms. Tower composed austere, pointillist music in the then-dominant 12-tone style, but soon turned toward a propulsive and visceral language.

Do We Deserve Beethoven?
The Brooklyn Rail: George Grella
How owning a recording by Beethoven is as close to owning a piece of him, his thoughts, his memories, his feelings. The personal was the musical.

Country Music Will Talk About the Hurt, but Not the Politics
NY Times: Elizabeth A. Harris
The Country Music Association Awards are supposed to be a celebration of one of America’s enduring art forms. But Wednesday, when this year’s awards are presented in Nashville, there is one thing guests probably won’t be doing: having any discussion of gun laws.

Axl Rose And Rihanna Want Trump To Stop Playing Their Music. Can They Succeed?

The New York Times: Elizabeth A. Harris
Both musicians took to Twitter this past weekend, responding to reports from people who had heard their songs at President Trump’s rallies.

Deep Inside the Beatles’ White Album, 50 Years Later
The New York Times: Jon Pareles
Using start-to-finish live-studio performances as a foundation then building around them, the Beatles ran through songs again and again, often in all-night sessions that ended up wearing down their producers and engineers.

Twyla Tharp, The Maximal Minimalist, And Her ‘Eight Jelly Rolls’
The New York Times
It took Twyla Tharp six years to get one of her dances on a proscenium stage, and what a dance it was: “Eight Jelly Rolls,” set to early jazz music by Jelly Roll Morton.

A Rare Staging Finds the Magic in Schumann’s ‘Faust’
NY Times: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
ne reason Schumann’s “Scenes From Goethe’s ‘Faust’” is so rarely performed is its hybrid shape: part literary oratorio, part opera. An entrancing new production by Achim Freyer for the Hamburg State Opera, though, argues that it’s well worth trying.

The Lounge Pianist Who Invented Samba Funk
NY Times: Matthew Kassel
There was a time when listeners flocked to see Salvador perform live. In the 1950s, the child prodigy played past his bedtime at local dance clubs; by the 1960s, the young man had helped to create and was performing samba-jazz on the most renowned stages of Rio de Janeiro; and in the early ’70s, he had become a major player in samba-soul, a Brazilian twist on American funk and soul.

Four Paul Rolland Exercises
The Strad
Nancy Kredel describes some of the simpler actions devised by pioneering pedagogue Paul Rolland, our November 2018 issue cover star.

“Phenomenal Women” American Composers Orchestra recital
The New York Times: Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
Time travel. Tennis. An all-female lineup of composers, a mostly black roster of soloists, and one violinist bowing the wrong way.

Orchestra That Bridges Mideast Divide Tours A Fractured U.S.
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Daniel Barenboim is set to conduct the American tour of his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra dedicated to breaking down the barriers in the Middle East.

VSA honours instrument and bow makers in biennial competition
The Strad
Violin Society Of America Convention In Cleveland Reveals Winners In Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Quartet And Bow Categories.

Santiago Cañón Valencia Wins János Starker Award
The Strad
Colombian cellist, 23, picks up $35,000 cash prize from the Starker Foundation.

Roy Hargrove, Trumpeter Who Gave Jazz A Jolt Of Youth, Dies At 49
The New York Times: Giovanni Russonello
Roy Hargrove, a virtuoso trumpeter who became a symbol of jazz’s youthful renewal in the early 1990s, and then established himself as one of the most respected musicians of his generation, died on Friday in Manhattan.

Shadow, and Support, of Government Follows Hungarian Opera
The New York Times: Anthony Tommasini
Its commendable that the Hungarian State Opera and the Hungarian National Ballet, to make their American debuts, brought some 350 artists and technical crew members to New York to present six productions. Inevitably, they carried some political baggage as well.

South African National Youth Orchestra Runs First Course For Double Bass
The Strad
The course covers many aspects of professional musicianship including audition preparation, self-promotion, posture/injury prevention and performing with an orchestra.

Violinist Arve Tellefsen sells 'Del Gesù' for $9.6m – and gets to keep it

The Strad
Sale of violin makes him the top earning Norwegian artist last year, but deal struck with investor sees him keep it for life.

Andrea Bocelli Dethrones ‘A Star Is Born’ For His First No. 1 Album

The New York Times: Joe Cascarelli
It took 26 albums, but Andrea Bocelli, the Italian tenor who has embodied the popular side of classical music and opera for two decades, has finally reached the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

Francis Lai, Who Wrote the ‘Love Story’ Theme, Is Dead at 86
The New York Times: The Associated Press
Francis Lai, the French composer best known for his themes for the movies “Love Story” and “A Man and a Woman,” died on Wednesday.


Penny Fractions: The Nonsense of Spotify's Monthly Listeners Metric
Get Revue: David Turner
More than 160,000 listeners. But only 895 followers.

‘Lots Of People Told Me That Managing Songwriters And Producers Wasn’t A Real Business.’
Music Business Worldwide: Tim Ingham
Milk & Honey makes hits.  The LA-born artist-songwriter-producer management company is celebrating its fourth year in style.

Watch Beatboxers Break It Down Inside an M.R.I. Scanner
The New York Times: Veronique Greenwood
Must watch video!  Researchers got an inside look at beatboxers’ lips, mouths and throats as they performed.

The Unbridled Joy Of Dogs Catching Treats
CNN: Photographs by Christian Vieler, Story by Kyle Almond
Relate your current human emotion to the expression on a dog while catching a treat! 

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