Lloyd Schwartz

Lloyd Schwartz is the classical music critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

In addition to his role on Fresh Air, Schwartz is the classical music editor of The Boston Phoenix. He is the co-editor of the Library of the America's Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters. He is also the author of three volumes of poems: These People, Goodnight, Gracie and Cairo Traffic. He's the editor of the centennial edition of Elizabeth Bishop's Prose, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2011.

In 1994, Schwartz won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He is the Frederick S. Troy Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz lives in Boston and caught the beginning of the national tour of the new Broadway musical "An American In Paris." The show was inspired by the hit 1951 Hollywood movie starring Gene Kelly with music by George Gershwin. Here's Lloyd's review. (SOUNDBITE OF AN AMERICAN IN PARIS ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF GERSHWIN'S, "CONCERTO IN F") LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: When...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The 63-year-old Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen is relatively little-known in this country. But the charismatic Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan has helped create a new piece that might change that and bring Abrahamsen worldwide attention. It's called "Let Me Tell You." And classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has this review. (SOUNDBITE OF HANS ABRAHAMSEN COMPOSITION, "LET ME...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air .

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our classical music critic, Lloyd Schwartz, is also a poet. And among our favorite poems of his are the ones he wrote about his mother as her memory was beginning to fail. Over the years, Lloyd has read several of these on our show. Now three of these poems have been set to music and recorded. We asked Lloyd to read one of these poems and to play the musical setting. LLOYD SCHWARTZ,...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our Classical Music Critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of the album that just won the Grammy for best opera recording - Maurice Ravel's one-act opera, "L'enfant Et Les Sortileges," conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Lloyd says the opera is one of Ravel's masterpieces. Lloyd had admired Ozawa's live performances of the opera with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This album is Ozawa's first recording of it. Here...

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 1955, 65 million viewers watched a live telecast of "Peter Pan," a recreation of the hit Broadway musical starring Mary Martin and directed by Jerome Robbins. It was so popular it was repeated, also live, the following year. The 1956 version has now been released on DVD, and both versions have been released on Blu-ray. Our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has watched both...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. In 1954, the New York Drama Critics voted "The Golden Apple" the best musical of the year. It was the first time that an off-Broadway musical had won the award. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says that wasn't the only extraordinary thing about "The Golden Apple." (SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL, "THE GOLDEN APPLE") LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: "The Golden Apple" isn't your typical Broadway...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. For many years, our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says he was addicted to and mesmerized by George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet. Then Lloyd lost interest. Lately, he says his fascination has returned. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: When I was a student in New York in the 1960s, the New York City Ballet was the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Decca label, which began as a British record company, pioneered high-fidelity sound and the long-playing record. A new 53-CD box called "Decca Sound," celebrating the early days of hi-fi, has just been released. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has an appreciation. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PETRUSHKA") LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: Who would've thought that technology developed by audio...

Some 30 years ago, the Kronos Quartet created a sensation by releasing an album of chamber music that included an arrangement of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze." Now Brooklyn Rider, another gifted string quartet, is again blurring the boundaries between classical and more popular kinds of chamber music. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says he admires that blur. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Some 30...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz loves old records - really old records, even before the age of vinyl. Many of those historic recordings have been transferred to CD, but not always as accurately as might be desirable. One company, Lloyd says, specializes in getting them exactly right. LLOYD SCHWARTZ, BYLINE: Long before there were CDs, before there were 33-and-a-third and 45 RPM...

Among the best loved recordings from the 1950s were 15 LPs of Haydn string quartets played by the Schneider Quartet. They originally appeared on the Haydn Society label, but were never reissued on CD until now. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Among the best-loved recordings from the 1950s fifties were 15 LPs of Haydn string quartets played by the Schneider...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Metropolitan Opera will be celebrating New Year's Eve with Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow," one of the most beloved operettas ever written, in a new production staring soprano Renee Fleming. Later, it will be telecast in theaters worldwide. But classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz wonders whether any stage production could ever surpass the first two movie versions. Both films...

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely." Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. There are many recordings of Mozart's "the Marriage of Figaro." Do we need another, asked our classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz. In the case of this...

The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20 th 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. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9 / Das Lied...

Broadway had never seen anything like it when Show Boat 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. Show Boat was the first great serious Broadway musical. Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote the songs, and Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., who produced it, departed from typical musical comedy...

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...

Fresh Air 's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is also a poet. He recently published a poem about friendship and loss on Poets.org. It's titled " To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death :" In today's paper, a story about our high school drama
teacher evicted from his Carnegie Hall rooftop apartment made me ache to call you — the only person I know
who'd still remember his talent, his good looks, his self- absorption. We'd laugh (at what haven't we laughed?), then ...

Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: 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. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) 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. I...

Some years ago, I wrote a poem 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 The Concert was one of the masterpieces stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It's still missing. The French conceptual artist Sophie Calle, who loved that Vermeer, put together a show called Last Seen, a series of photographs of the empty frames of the stolen paintings, combined with comments on...

An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra 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. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again. But last year, the Met announced that he'd be returning this year to lead...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZBzTLsyA30 The British composer George Benjamin has quietly developed a reputation for serious, meticulous work. His creative output is limited because he proceeds very slowly. I first heard his music in 2000, when no less a conductor than Pierre Boulez led a piece of his at Carnegie Hall. But after the premiere of his first full-length opera at the Aix-en-Provence Festival last year, his reputation seems to have taken off. The New Yorker 's Alex Ross called it...

A movie last year called A Late Quartet 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. That was certainly the case with the Stuyvesant Quartet, the New York group that paved the way for such distinguished American chamber groups as the Hollywood, the Yale and the...

Mozart's The Magic Flute, 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 Singspiel, 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. Mozart's mixture of fairy tale and high morality presents a great opportunity for a filmmaker; in 1975, Ingmar Bergman released a version for Swedish...

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. Although Oldenburg is a serious artist, probably no artist in history ever created works that were more fun. In a new show at the Museum of Modern Art — really two shows — practically everyone, including myself, was...

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. Cinerama offered what no TV or movie screen could provide before — peripheral vision, which could make...