Tom Huizenga http://publicradioeast.org en 'La Marseillaise' Unmasked: A Bastille Day Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/la-marseillaise-unmasked-bastille-day-puzzler "The Star Spangled Banner" turns 200 this year, and the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2014/06/13/321696397/join-a-nationwide-performance-of-the-national-anthem" target="_blank">attention it's been getting</a> is again a reminder of how <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvQ5hZadFok" target="_blank">difficult it is</a> for many Americans to sing our national anthem.<p>Not so for the French, who have <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mW8D0UNyLk" target="_blank">"La Marseillaise,"</a> composed by Claude Joseph de Lisle in 1792 as the French Revolution was in ful Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 46313 at http://publicradioeast.org 'La Marseillaise' Unmasked: A Bastille Day Puzzler A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90 http://publicradioeast.org/post/voice-velvet-and-bronze-carlo-bergonzi-90 <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94e1ARaqJx8</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 46114 at http://publicradioeast.org A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90 Best Songs Of The Year (So Far) Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/best-songs-year-so-far-puzzler The year is half over and that means NPR Music and our public radio partners have been obsessing over our favorite songs of the year so far. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:01:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 45383 at http://publicradioeast.org Best Songs Of The Year (So Far) Puzzler Tracy Silverman: Tiny Desk Concert http://publicradioeast.org/post/tracy-silverman-tiny-desk-concert <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/06/12/154835249/conducting-business-crowdfunding-classical-music" target="_blank">Tracy Silverman</a> has been called the greatest living exponent of the electric violin. But we're not talking just any electric violin. Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:29:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 45124 at http://publicradioeast.org Tracy Silverman: Tiny Desk Concert Sounds Of A Summer Night Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/sounds-summer-night-puzzler Summer has officially breezed in with not only longer days but also sultry nights. There's something about summer nights that inspires composers — perhaps a certain stillness in the air or the allure of a new romance. To mark the changing of the season, test your ears in this nocturnal puzzler dedicated to musical snapshots of warm summer evenings. Score high and turn the air conditioner up a notch. Score low and sweat it out till morning. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:05:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 44663 at http://publicradioeast.org Sounds Of A Summer Night Puzzler The 2014 World Cup Anthems Quiz http://publicradioeast.org/post/2014-world-cup-anthems-quiz In case you've been hiding under a rock (or a patch of AstroTurf), there's a little sporting event underway that has much of the world glued to the television. As the <a href="http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/index.html" target="_blank">2014 World Cup</a> blasts into its second week, 32 teams (in groups of four, lettered A-H) continue to battle it out in Brazil.<p>Before each game begins, one important custom must be observed — the singing of each team's national anthem. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:45:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 44196 at http://publicradioeast.org The 2014 World Cup Anthems Quiz The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks http://publicradioeast.org/post/concerto-400-year-old-recipe-still-cooks The concerto. It's a musical recipe more than 400 years old but composers still cook with it. And why shouldn't they? We still seem to crave the sound of a virtuosic soloist playing with (and often against) an orchestra. As in centuries past, virtuosos still inspire, and in many cases commission, composers to write some of their best music, which can push an instrument to its creative limit. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:29:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 43770 at http://publicradioeast.org The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks The Composer As Sphinx: A Richard Strauss Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/composer-sphinx-richard-strauss-puzzler Music by <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15870129/richard-strauss" target="_blank">Richard Strauss </a>is heard in symphony halls and opera houses across the world. He needs little help to boost his considerable fame. Yet 150 years after his birth, the German composer remains an enigma to some classical music fans and a polarizing figure for others. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 14:55:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 43672 at http://publicradioeast.org The Composer As Sphinx: A Richard Strauss Puzzler I Hear Bells: The NPR Music Wedding Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/i-hear-bells-npr-music-wedding-puzzler Can you hear the wedding bells? June has arrived. Theories vary on why this is the month for marriage. Old traditions like the timing of the harvest season (and pregnancies) might have had something to do with it, or more modern practicalities such as nicer weather and abundant fresh flowers. And then there's the name of the month itself, thought to be inspired by Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.<p>Music has long been an essential ingredient in weddings, from ushering brides down aisles to celebrating happy couples with dancing. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 43567 at http://publicradioeast.org I Hear Bells: The NPR Music Wedding Puzzler Simone Dinnerstein: Tiny Desk Concert http://publicradioeast.org/post/simone-dinnerstein-tiny-desk-concert Almost any pianist, from a budding beginner to a pro like <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/17022250/simone-dinnerstein" target="_blank">Simone Dinnerstein</a>, will tell you that one of the basic techniques of keyboard playing is also the toughest to master: making your hands to do separate things simultaneously.<p>The great <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15031897/johann-sebastian-bach" target="_blank">Johann Sebastian Bach</a> knew this to be true. That's the primary reason he composed his Two-Part Inventions. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:32:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 42954 at http://publicradioeast.org Simone Dinnerstein: Tiny Desk Concert The Silence And Awe Of Arvo Pärt http://publicradioeast.org/post/silence-and-awe-arvo-p-rt <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/16070552/arvo-part" target="_blank">Arvo Pärt</a> is one of the few living composers to find popularity beyond the borders of classical music. <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15155026/r-e-m" target="_blank">R.E.M.</a>'s Michael Stipe and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15191158/bjork" target="_blank">Bjork</a> are <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BVACGWgN4U" target="_blank">big fans</a>. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 07:31:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 42901 at http://publicradioeast.org The Silence And Awe Of Arvo Pärt Asleep In Dress Blues: Music For Memorial Day http://publicradioeast.org/post/asleep-dress-blues-music-memorial-day <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCSMCgqlc-0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnlgRQdfONs</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n21PsFsL_Gw</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJb1_EGnapY</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WChTqYlDjtI</p> Sat, 24 May 2014 09:27:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 42232 at http://publicradioeast.org Asleep In Dress Blues: Music For Memorial Day Iestyn Davies: Tiny Desk Concert http://publicradioeast.org/post/iestyn-davies-tiny-desk-concert The Bee Gees did it. So do <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15398278/smokey-robinson" target="_blank">Smokey Robinson</a>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15394157/prince" target="_blank">Prince</a> and Justin Vernon of <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/18073513/bon-iver" target="_blank">Bon Iver</a>. They all sing in the high register usually associated with female singers.<p>Men have cultivated their upper range in falsetto for centuries. Sat, 17 May 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 41624 at http://publicradioeast.org Iestyn Davies: Tiny Desk Concert Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It) http://publicradioeast.org/post/anonymous-4-breaking-hard-do-theyre-doing-it In 1986, four women gathered in a casual setting to sing through a bit of medieval chant. Little did they know they were launching <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15182954/anonymous-4" target="_blank">Anonymous 4</a>, an a cappella ensemble that has spanned nearly 30 years, 20 albums, countless concerts and more than a millenium of music.<p>Today the group announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. Tue, 13 May 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 41251 at http://publicradioeast.org Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It) Mothers Of Intervention: The Operatic Moms Puzzler http://publicradioeast.org/post/mothers-intervention-operatic-moms-puzzler It's not easy being a mom, but it's even tougher for mothers in opera. So often they're completely absent while fathers have leading roles in shows like <em>Rigoletto</em>, <em>La traviata</em>, <em>The Flying Dutchman</em>. When depicted at all, operatic moms are usually under supreme stress. They can be murderous, manipulative or simply mad. Only rarely are they the loving moms who brought us into the world. Here your job is to identify the operas and their mothers. Score high and brag to your own sweet (or stressed) mom. Score low and go to your room without supper. Thu, 08 May 2014 19:25:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 40884 at http://publicradioeast.org Mothers Of Intervention: The Operatic Moms Puzzler 10 Can't-Miss Classical Music Festivals http://publicradioeast.org/post/10-cant-miss-classical-music-festivals In much of the country it still feels like summer is a long way off, but it's not too early to plan on hitting the road and hearing great music. From bucolic college campuses in New England to musical rafting trips down the Colorado, these are 10 of the most intriguing classical festivals. And below them is a listing, by region, of many of the best fests. Been to one we missed? Thu, 01 May 2014 18:43:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 40332 at http://publicradioeast.org 10 Can't-Miss Classical Music Festivals A Trove Of Celluloid, Primed For The Public http://publicradioeast.org/post/trove-celluloid-primed-public <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWH8wdQOEWU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxRmGDV8QDI</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMvS9BGQdHY</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxZ_KHDm7Sc</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOeZr8jrMZY</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw-8lyZROIo</p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 13:02:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 39813 at http://publicradioeast.org A Trove Of Celluloid, Primed For The Public Angst And Excellence In Forgotten Soviet Symphonies http://publicradioeast.org/post/angst-and-excellence-forgotten-soviet-symphonies Soviet composer Vadim Salmanov is little more than a footnote outside Russia, but his four energetic, skillfully orchestrated symphonies are making a small comeback. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:47:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 39706 at http://publicradioeast.org Angst And Excellence In Forgotten Soviet Symphonies Pet Sounds: The NPR Music Critter Quiz http://publicradioeast.org/post/pet-sounds-npr-music-critter-quiz From as far back as we can tell, music makers have been inspired by the flora and especially the fauna around us. From tooting tunes on actual <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090624-bone-flute-oldest-instrument.html">animal horns and bones</a>, to musical portraits of creatures <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZAGLJtj5RU">large</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQhEtF29O3I">small</a>, performers and composers of all stripes have included critters in their creations. In this puzzler, you must identify the creature depicted in the music. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:17:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 39512 at http://publicradioeast.org Pet Sounds: The NPR Music Critter Quiz A Visitor's Guide To Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion' http://publicradioeast.org/post/visitors-guide-bachs-st-matthew-passion <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16318115">Johann Sebastian Bach</a> wrote his <em>St. Matthew Passion</em> for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services.<p>Bach's <em>Passion</em> continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St. Thomas's Church in Leipzig, Germany. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Tom Huizenga 39130 at http://publicradioeast.org A Visitor's Guide To Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion'