Lloyd Schwartz http://wrvo.org en Every Composer Needs A Great Storyteller http://wrvo.org/post/every-composer-needs-great-storyteller The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20<sup>th</sup> Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a box set of one of the composers he's most associated with: Gustav Mahler. <em>Fresh Air</em> classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of <em>Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9 / Das Lied von der Erde</em>. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:55:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 58971 at http://wrvo.org 1936 'Show Boat': A Multiracial, Musical Melodrama, Now Out On DVD http://wrvo.org/post/1936-show-boat-multiracial-musical-melodrama-now-out-dvd Broadway had never seen anything like it when <em>Show Boat</em> arrived at the Ziegfeld Theatre in 1927. The score was unforgettable and the story tackled complex racial issues. There have been three movie versions, but the best one — James Whale's 1936 production — has only just been released on DVD.<p><em>Show Boat </em>was the first great serious Broadway musical. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 19:19:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 56893 at http://wrvo.org 1936 'Show Boat': A Multiracial, Musical Melodrama, Now Out On DVD 'Degenerate' Exhibit Recalls Nazi War On Modern Art http://wrvo.org/post/degenerate-exhibit-recalls-nazi-war-modern-art One of the most unsettling rooms in an important art exhibit at New York's Neue Galerie is a room in which numerous empty frames are hanging, with guesses about which paintings might have been in them. The paintings themselves were all lost or destroyed by the Nazis. Encouraged by Hitler, most Nazis (Joseph Goebbels was the rare exception) considered everything but the most hidebound, traditionally realistic paintings and sculptures to be "degenerate," a threat to the Aryan ideals of German culture. Thu, 29 May 2014 18:18:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 56538 at http://wrvo.org 'Degenerate' Exhibit Recalls Nazi War On Modern Art A Poetry Reading: 'To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death' http://wrvo.org/post/poetry-reading-my-oldest-friend-whose-silence-death <em>Fresh Air</em>'s classical music critic <a href="http://www.npr.org/people/4781320/lloyd-schwartz" target="_blank">Lloyd Schwartz</a> is also a poet. He recently published a poem about friendship and loss on Poets.org. It's titled "<a href="http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23891" target="_blank">To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death</a>:"<p>In today's paper, a story about our high school drama<br /> teacher evicted from his Carnegie Hall rooftop apartment<p>made me ache to call you — the only person I know Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:56:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 52582 at http://wrvo.org Review: Jonas Kaufmann Sings Wagner And Verdi http://wrvo.org/post/review-jonas-kaufmann-sings-wagner-and-verdi Transcript <p>TERRY GROSS, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. At 44, the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann may be the most popular tenor of his generation and one of the most versatile. Music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews two of his recordings this year, dedicated to both Verdi and Wagner, celebrating the bicentennials of their birth.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: I've never heard Jonas Kaufmann in person, though I've seen him in several leading roles in the Metropolitan Opera's live telecasts. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 18:38:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 48299 at http://wrvo.org 'Pearl Earring' Is The Crown Jewel Of The Frick's Dutch Exhibit http://wrvo.org/post/pearl-earring-crown-jewel-fricks-dutch-exhibit Some years ago, I wrote <a href="http://nprfreshair.tumblr.com/post/69088699914/fresh-air-contributor-lloyd-schwartz-shares-a-poem" target="_blank">a poem</a> called "Why I Love Vermeer," which ends "I've never lived in a city without a Vermeer." I could say that until 1990, when Vermeer's exquisite painting <em>The Concert </em>was one of the masterpieces stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It's still missing. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 19:56:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 48134 at http://wrvo.org 'Pearl Earring' Is The Crown Jewel Of The Frick's Dutch Exhibit After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback http://wrvo.org/post/after-ailing-favorite-conductor-stages-his-comeback An extended ovation greeted conductor <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16053303/james-levine">James Levine</a> last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15937109/boston-symphony-orchestra">Boston Symphony Orchestra</a> and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 16:16:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 47690 at http://wrvo.org After Ailing, A Favorite Conductor Stages His Comeback This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out http://wrvo.org/post/opera-will-eat-your-heart-out <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZBzTLsyA30</p> Fri, 04 Oct 2013 17:58:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 45181 at http://wrvo.org This Opera Will Eat Your Heart Out A Forgotten Quartet, Reissued And Reevaluated http://wrvo.org/post/forgotten-quartet-reissued-and-reevaluated A movie last year called <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/11/07/164602359/a-late-quartet-melodrama-with-a-pounding-musical-heart"><em>A Late Quartet</em></a><em> </em>told the traumatic story of what happens when a famous string quartet has to change personnel. But, in fact, most string quartets — like symphony orchestras, only more conspicuously — continually change players, because players retire, or die, or get more lucrative offers. Thu, 15 Aug 2013 17:50:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 42690 at http://wrvo.org A Forgotten Quartet, Reissued And Reevaluated Branagh Imagines Mozart's 'Magic Flute' In Wartime http://wrvo.org/post/branagh-imagines-mozarts-magic-flute-wartime Mozart's <em>The Magic Flute,</em> the last opera he lived to complete, has some of his most sublime and sublimely comic music. Technically, it's more of a musical comedy, what in German is called a <em>Singspiel,</em> a play with songs and spoken dialogue. I was excited to learn that it was filmed by Kenneth Branagh, whose Shakespeare movies I really admire. Mon, 01 Jul 2013 20:41:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 40421 at http://wrvo.org Branagh Imagines Mozart's 'Magic Flute' In Wartime The Art Of Life: Claes Oldenburg At MOMA http://wrvo.org/post/art-life-claes-oldenburg-moma The sculptor Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm but grew up in Chicago, went to Yale and came to New York in 1956, where he became a key player in the pop art movement — the major counter-reaction to the abstract expressionism that dominated the 1950s. So much for art history.<p>Although Oldenburg is a serious artist, probably no artist in history ever created works that were more fun. Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:40:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 39821 at http://wrvo.org The Art Of Life: Claes Oldenburg At MOMA Cinerama Brought The Power Of Peripheral Vision To The Movies http://wrvo.org/post/cinerama-brought-power-peripheral-vision-movies As early as silent film, directors attempted to create widescreen images. But in the 1950s it became a commercial necessity to give the multitude of new TV watchers what they couldn't get on a small screen. So even before CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and Panavision, there was Cinerama — a process in which three projectors threw three simultaneous images onto a gigantic curved screen. Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:53:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 34232 at http://wrvo.org Cinerama Brought The Power Of Peripheral Vision To The Movies Mozart's Starring Role In 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' http://wrvo.org/post/mozarts-starring-role-sunday-bloody-sunday <em>Sunday Bloody Sunday </em>is one of those films that lets you into the lives of believable, complicated characters. A handsome, self-centered young artist played by the actor/rock singer Murray Head is having simultaneous affairs with both an older woman (played with infinitely nuanced self-irony by Glenda Jackson) and an older man, a Jewish doctor (the touching Peter Finch), two intelligent adults who have mutual friends and even know each other slightly. Mon, 07 Jan 2013 18:35:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 31532 at http://wrvo.org Mozart's Starring Role In 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems http://wrvo.org/post/cecilia-bartolis-new-mission-unearths-baroque-gems I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's <em>Niobe</em>, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani. Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:52:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 29717 at http://wrvo.org Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems What Happened To 'Baby Jane'? She's Turning 50 http://wrvo.org/post/what-happened-baby-jane-shes-turning-50 Baby Jane Hudson is now 50 years old — or at least the strange and brilliant movie in which she's the main character is, just released as a beautifully remastered Blu-ray. Robert Aldrich's grotesque gothic tragedy is a cross between <em>Gypsy</em>, with its antithetical show-biz kid sisters, and<em> Sunset Boulevard</em>, with its decayed Hollywood glamour.<p>Baby Jane is a blond, curly-haired child star, a Shirley Temple wannabe, like Baby June in<em> Gypsy</em>. She's self-centered and more selfish than her plain sister, Blanche, who in the 1930s becomes a queen of Hollywood melodrama. Fri, 23 Nov 2012 18:54:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 29578 at http://wrvo.org What Happened To 'Baby Jane'? She's Turning 50 Always A Rose: Elliott Carter Remembered http://wrvo.org/post/always-rose-elliott-carter-remembered <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRTfbViCmM8</p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 19:38:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 28781 at http://wrvo.org Always A Rose: Elliott Carter Remembered 60 Years Later, Still 'Singin' In The Rain' http://wrvo.org/post/60-years-later-still-singin-rain Hollywood is often at its best when it's making fun of itself, and few movies are funnier or more fun than <em>Singin' in the Rain</em>, the broadly satirical musical comedy about the transition from silent movies to sound.<p>Gene Kelly, who co-directed the film with Stanley Donen, stars as the stuntman turned matinee idol who falls in love with adorable Debbie Reynolds. Thu, 09 Aug 2012 15:47:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 24002 at http://wrvo.org 60 Years Later, Still 'Singin' In The Rain' Tanglewood Celebrates 75th With Free Web Stream http://wrvo.org/post/tanglewood-celebrates-75th-free-web-stream On July 20, 1958, at Tanglewood — the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — pianist Leon Fleisher played an electrifying Brahms First Piano Concerto with the orchestra under its former music director, Pierre Monteux. This remarkable teaming has not been heard since then.<p>But the BSO has come up with an inspired way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood. Fri, 13 Jul 2012 16:56:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 22501 at http://wrvo.org Tanglewood Celebrates 75th With Free Web Stream 'St. Matthew Passion': A Monumental Bach Feast http://wrvo.org/post/st-matthew-passion-monumental-bach-feast Facing Bach's <em>St. Matthew Passion</em>, I often feel a combination of anticipation and dread. It's a great work, profound in its humanity and spirituality, with sublimely beautiful music. But it's a long haul, and if it's not a good performance, well, I'm stuck. And it can be not-good in various ways: either too solemnly pious or too much an exercise in musical style rather than emotional drama. A new DVD recorded in 2010 at Berlin's great concert hall, the Philharmonie, would be of major interest under any circumstances. Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:51:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 22299 at http://wrvo.org 'St. Matthew Passion': A Monumental Bach Feast 'Car 54' Re-Release Drives An Old Fan To Reminisce http://wrvo.org/post/car-54-re-release-drives-old-fan-reminisce I grew up in New York City, but I didn't watch <em>Car 54, Where Are You? </em>until I got hooked on it in syndication long after it was originally aired. So I was very happy to see the complete series of 60 episodes released on two DVD boxed sets. The episode in Season 2 titled "I Hate Capt. Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:53:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 21007 at http://wrvo.org 'Car 54' Re-Release Drives An Old Fan To Reminisce A Gershwin Biopic That Ain't Necessarily So True http://wrvo.org/post/gershwin-biopic-aint-necessarily-so-true The movie <em>Rhapsody in Blue, </em>a biography of George Gershwin, was released only eight years after his death from a brain tumor at the age of 38. It's a good subject: Gershwin wrote some of the best popular songs ever produced in this country, but he also had ambitions to be a serious classical composer and wrote symphonic music, concertos and an opera — all of which are still performed.<p>He's played by Robert Alda, the matinee-idol father of <em>M*A*S*H</em>'s Alan Alda, who went on to star in the original Broadway production of <em>Guys and Dolls. Fri, 04 May 2012 15:23:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 18711 at http://wrvo.org A Gershwin Biopic That Ain't Necessarily So True At MoMA, A Look At De Kooning's Shifts In Style http://wrvo.org/post/moma-look-de-koonings-shifts-style In 2010, the Museum of Modern Art was criticized for its skimpy representation of the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning in its huge abstract expressionist show. Mon, 05 Dec 2011 16:43:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 10533 at http://wrvo.org At MoMA, A Look At De Kooning's Shifts In Style Astaire, Burns, Allen, In 'Distress' In London Town http://wrvo.org/post/astaire-burns-allen-distress-london-town <em>A Damsel in Distress</em> was the third of only four films on which George Gershwin and his brother Ira collaborated. The star is Fred Astaire, but without Ginger Rogers. Their previous film together, <em>Shall We Dance?, </em>also with an unforgettable Gershwin score, hadn't lived up to studio expectations, and the now-famous stars were taking a break from each other.<p>This film — out now on a new DVD from Warner Classics — has two substitutes for Rogers, one of the best and maybe the worst. Tue, 15 Nov 2011 15:55:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 9475 at http://wrvo.org Astaire, Burns, Allen, In 'Distress' In London Town Degas' Nudes Depict The Awkwardness Of Real Life http://wrvo.org/post/degas-nudes-depict-awkwardness-real-life <em>The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris have two of the world's best collections of the work of the French postimpressionist Edgar Degas. The two museums have collaborated on an important show called </em><a href="http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/degas-and-nude" target="_blank">Degas and the Nude</a><em>, which includes pieces from major museums and private collections all over the world. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, who lives in Boston, was moved by the show, which also triggered a sweet personal memory. Thu, 27 Oct 2011 14:59:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 9800 at http://wrvo.org Degas' Nudes Depict The Awkwardness Of Real Life Wilhelm Furtwaengler: A Complex German Conductor http://wrvo.org/post/furtwangler-complex-german-operatic-composer <em>Note: Wilhelm Furtwangler's last name is typically spelled with an umlaut over the 'a' character. The npr website does not support characters with umlauts over characters. A variation of Furtwangler's name without the umlaut is spelled Furtwaengler. Mon, 29 Aug 2011 17:41:00 +0000 Lloyd Schwartz 11243 at http://wrvo.org Wilhelm Furtwaengler: A Complex German Conductor