Monthly Archives: February 2011

Week 6: Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas is your perfect starter opera. It is in English, it’s not very long, and it is drop-dead gorgeous. What more could you want? Composed for performance at a girls’ school at the end of the … Continue reading

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Week 5: Chopin’s Preludes Op. 28

Last week we talked about Bach’s monumental set of Preludes and Fugues, and this week we’ll consider Chopin’s answer, a set of Preludes that also covers every possible key. Hopefully you remember that in The Well-Tempered Clavier the Preludes served … Continue reading

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Week 4: J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

The Well-Tempered Clavier is one of those landmark works of art that every educated person should know about, up there with King Lear or Monet’s Water Lilies. Each book contains a pairing of Prelude and Fugue in every possible key, … Continue reading

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Week 3: Kaija Saariaho’s Lichtbogen

We are in Finland this week for the Musica nova festival, so it seems like the right time to feature the music of Kaija Saariaho, one of the most exciting composers working today (and a Finn. wikipedia bio.) The most … Continue reading

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