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The Well-Tempered Clavier, Paired - Mahan Esfahani

The story of how I learned to stop worrying and love the Well-Tempered Clavier is inextricably bound with my coming to the realization that I am basically an incorrigible and immature person who would surely have fallen through the cracks had I not been guided by great musicians.

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Composer Portraits: Du Yun

“I don’t think of myself as a disruptor. I don’t like to use that word at all,” says the composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Du Yun.

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Cappella Pratensis: The Josquin Imitation Game

Why did the composers of Josquin des Prez’s time write so many works that share not only the same text, but also the same melodies and other important characteristics?

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Kate Soper: IPSA DIXIT

Ipse dixit /Ip-suh dik-sit/: noun (Latin). Literally “he, himself, said it.” An unproven yet dogmatic statement which the speaker expects the listener to accept as valid without proof beyond the speaker’s assumed expertise. Ipsa dixit: “she, herself, said it . . .”

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Stile Antico: Elizabeth I, Queen of Muses

Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most significant patrons of music in British history; her reign (1558–1603) saw an unprecedented flourishing of music and the arts, both as a result of her direct patronage and from those who used their music to gain her favor – whether courtiers, diplomats or even suitors.

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American Dreamers: Making Proving Up into an Opera

No matter where we were born and what our circumstances, each one of us has an American Dream. It might include the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity and the pursuit of personal happiness and material comfort. Great sacrifices and suffering have been endured in this pursuit. It is often forgotten that, for millions of people in America and abroad, this is a dream that is never realized.

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Composer Portraits: Frederic Rzewski

But it’s refreshing to deal with this noble form again, especially now that a new generation of excellent string players has appeared who are ready to experiment, while carrying on with the classical tradition. It makes one want to live longer…

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Les Delices: Music for Fated Lovers

Just as in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, true love sometimes ends with the ultimate sacrifice. The legendary lovers Hippolytus & Aricia, Hero & Leander, and Pyramus & Thisbe indulged forbidden desires, arranged secret trysts, faced natural disasters, suffered tragic death, and even – with intercession from the Gods – found redemption and reunification.

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Composer Portraits: Christopher Cerrone

I think I love the voice and percussion because they are the oldest and most primal ways of making music—and nearly everyone is equipped to make it… And perhaps more than any other kind of composition I do, the creation of a new work for either percussion, voice, or both necessitates intense collaboration.

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Composer Portraits: Ann Cleare

Born in 1983 in central Ireland, Ann Cleare studied at University College Cork, where she received her master’s degree in 2008. She then took the foundation course at IRCAM and began doctoral studies at Harvard with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku. Her music has been played widely in the U.S. and in Europe, by ensembles including the JACK Quartet, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and Elision.

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New York Polyphony: Tallis Lamentations

While Thomas Tallis’s name may not be uttered as quickly as Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach when naming the greatest composers in the Western classical canon — it should be. While his extant output is relatively small and mostly sacred in nature, we have vocal and instrumental works in a vast exploration of styles.

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Composer Portraits: Raphael Cendo

Raphaël Cendo is one of the principal exponents of what he calls “saturation,” driving at an excess in every dimension of musical performance: density, gesture, instrumental practice.

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