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While the cat’s away: Vacation Post 1

What do you think are the most important stories in classical music right now? What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately, or the CD that most recently caught your interest? What should be getting people’s attention? You're invited to take the helm.

By Anne Midgette  |  August 17, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  from readers  
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Next: On CD: Melnikov's Shostakovich


I'm surprised that no one has risen to your challenge and come up with a topic, so let me throw in something that might be of interest: it looks as if the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's summer season at Ravinia is being all but displaced by the Grant Park Symphony's season at the stunning Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. From reading recent articles in the Chicago Tribune, I have the sense that, for a number of reasons, Ravinia and the indisputably wonderful CSO are just not working well together anymore; for one thing, they're being seriously under-utilized doing pops concerts and Broadway musicals. By contrast, the Grant Park Symphony (the summer job for many splendid players from the Lyric Opera orchestra) plays interesting and challenging repertoire (I, along with about 200,000 others, heard a magnificent Beethoven Ninth last season and just heard a terrific Dvorak violin concerto with Christian Tetzlaff) in a stunning setting, and does it for free! This is an incredible gift to the public, one worth celebrating.

Posted by: Lutoslawski | August 18, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I can't praise enough the Metropolitan Opera channel on Sirius XM Radio. Every day, from 6:00 A.M. to midnight, one can hear five or six operas from the archives of the Met's Saturday afternoon broadcasts. Over the weekend, I heard Adriana Lecouvreur from 1968 with Renata Tebaldi in the title role and Carlo Bergonzi as Maurizio. An embarrassment of riches, certainly.

Posted by: 74umgrad1 | August 18, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Here's a terrific CD that I acquired a week ago and am excited to recommend: "Verdi Arias" by Sondra Radvanovsky. It's an album filled with many delights, but if I had to single out just one (and that is something of a Sophie's choice, mind you), you just have to hear her sing Amelia's big aria from "Ballo." Simply beautiful.

Posted by: dreichmann | August 18, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

How about doing a series devoted to the recruiting and training of the next generation of classical musicians? A discussion of youth orchestras, both here and across the country, with evaluations of quality of repertoire, innovations in programming, level of coaching, performance venues and quality, and relevance to preparing participants for pre-professional training. A related topic could be a comparison of professional orchestra's educational outreach efforts, including sponsored summer music institutes, fellowship programs, local youth training initiatives (and successes?), and level of involvement of professional musicians in bringing up the next generation. This area is a hotbed of youth musicianship,and I think you would find a high level of interest in such a story.

Posted by: edseeker81 | August 19, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I wrote a post about whether classical reviewers should say that performers are hot, when they are hot:

Yup, I am really bringing substance to summer.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | August 19, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

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