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Review: Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet, 'Landfall'

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page. Hurricane Sandy was a horrific natural disaster that no one would care to relive, except perhaps for the brilliant polymath Laurie Anderson . In Landfall , her 70-minute multimedia piece featuring the Kronos Quartet , she doesn't revisit the storm so much as ruminate – sometimes with dry wit – on the idea of how we handle loss...

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Classical News from NPR

In a suit filed Friday by the Metropolitan Opera, five men have made newly public accusations against conductor and pianist James Levine, who was closely associated with the Met for four decades. In total, nine men have now come forward, either by name or anonymously, with accusations against Levine.

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Patricia Barber On Piano Jazz

Nov 20, 2015

Patricia Barber is a pianist and singer who's solidly grounded in the jazz idiom while eclectic in her style. She's recorded a series of albums that have each established a wider audience for her music, and in 2002, she released the successful Verse.

The brass-band sound is a proud tradition of New Orleans. But over the years, those horns have evolved to embrace a broader repertoire, full of funk and jazz and even a little hip-hop — and the sounds have migrated well beyond Louisiana. Take NO BS! Brass Band, whose core members met at Virgina Commonwealth University and proudly claim Richmond, Va. as their home base.

Over the course of a career that lasted some sixty years, pianist, producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint's music and sound became a hugely influential force for artists working in many different genres. Toussaint died on Monday night in Madrid, at the age of 77.

As the news has spread, artists and other luminaries have been pouring out their grief on social media. Here's a selection of their tributes.

About a year ago, trumpeter Marquis Hill, now 28, traveled to Los Angeles, played five tunes for a panel of judges, and won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. You can think of it as a sort of Heisman Trophy for young jazz artists, meaning that a lot more people discovered his talent in a hurry.

You don't often hear "football" and "bel canto" in the same sentence. How about the same opera?

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Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” is probably the single most prolific work in pipe organ repertoire, but for nearly a century after its composition, it wasn’t even published.

Farewell To Blackfaced Otellos At The Met

Sep 28, 2015

When the curtain rises on the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Verdi's Otello tonight, opera fans will quickly notice what's not there. For the first time since the opera was first staged at the Met in 1891, a white singer performing the title role will not be wearing makeup to darken his complexion to play the Moor at the center of the tragedy.

Over in London, the Independent's arts editor, David Lister, recently published a scathing commentary about the paucity of valuable or even interesting information in artist biographies. He wrote it in a fury after paying £4 to obtain the program for a Proms concert he attended, featuring the excellent German violinist Julia Fischer.

Most working cellists play in classical ensembles that perform in concert halls and music theaters. Tonight, Columbia's Rose Music Hall features a different take on the instrument. The Portland Cello Project is an ensemble interested in testing the boundaries of what you expect from the cello.

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