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The latest from Primephonic

    The Trials of Mozart

    Prototypical wunderkind. Revolutionary composer. Precocious firebrand. Today, it is typically in this highly romanticized light that people choose to remember Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Growing up with such talent during what is viewed as the golden age for artistic patronage, it is no wonder that Mozart’s life is often described as a carefree one full of limitless opportunity and tragically cut short.

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    Topics: Mozart, Childhood, Aloysia Weber

    December Celebration Part II: Review

    Pentatone’s new holiday release, “December Celebration,” contains seven compositions and one arrangement by some of America’s finest living composers.

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    Topics: Corigliano, Jake Heggie’s, December Celebration

    A Century of Sinatra

    The one and only Frank Sinatra is one of the 20th century’s greatest crooners. A consummate entertainer, Sinatra was one of the most prominent exponents of the American songbook.

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    Topics: Birthday, Jazz, 20th century

    Aaron Copland: An American Romantic

    It is no exaggeration to state that there is no person more synonymous with the sound of American music than Aaron Copland. Much as Béla Bartók had done in Hungary and Tchaikovsky had done for Russia, Copland revolutionized the European Classical tradition through the lens of his own country’s national experiences, creating a uniquely American branch. 

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    Topics: Piano Concerto, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky

    György Ligeti and the Future of Music

    The end of World War II saw, for the second time in three decades, a new generation of artists trying to make sense of one of the most devastating and pointless events in human history. This tragedy hit especially close to home forGyörgy Ligeti, a man who lost his brother and father to fascist concentration camps and himself was forced into hard labor from 1944 until the end of the war. Many of Ligeti’s contemporaries, including men such asOlivier MessiaenandIannis Xenakiswho had experienced similar horrors, expressed their antipathy by tearing irreversible rifts in the fabric of sound. Although Ligeti also went down this route, his unique take on the post-war avant-garde produced music of an ethereal beauty that has seldom been heard before or since.

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    Topics: World War 2, György Ligeti, Apparitions

    Appalachian Spring – Defining the Sound of America

    In the 20thcentury, the great cities which formed the foundation of American prosperity and imagery had found their musical champions in numerous composers ranging fromGeorge GershwinandDuke Ellington. The representation had largely settled into a familiar pattern ranging from noisy urban and industrial onomatopoeia to syncopated rhythms and jazz-inspired harmonies. It is somewhat surprising that no composer had succeeded in filling the equivalent role as the authoritative depicter of rural life.

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    Topics: Composer, 20th century, Billy the Kid