Arts Desk

Check out stories and album of the week features by WRTI's Susan Lewis, Debra Lew Harder, and Matt Silver.

Bram Goots

An opera-ballet about a child and his enchanted toys and animals came into being in the wake of World War I. Maurice Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges, or "the Child and the Spells" explores human cruelty and kindness through the eyes of a child. 

March 23, 2020. Joey Alexander has been known as a jazz piano phenom since the release of his first album back in 2015, when he was only 11. Now, the 16-year-old offers Warna, an album that boasts 10 original compositions, two fantastic interpretations, and an artist who has solidified his place in the jazz world (even without the novelty of being a little kid).

Diego PH/Unsplash

(Originally published in 2016). Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone." Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss.

March 23, 2020. Twentieth-century English composer Ruth Gipps was a consummate musician of the broadest skillset. She came of age during World War II and navigated her 50-year career, from the 1940s to '90s, not unlike many musicians of today’s gig economy.

Maurice Jerry Beznos

Pianist Emanual Ax, known both for both his virtuosity and genuine good nature, is drawn to the power and genius of Beethoven. You wouldn't know, just from talking to him, that he's one of today's great pianists.

March 16, 2020. While his better-known brothers, Branford and Wynton, are global phenomena, Delfeayo Marsalis, the trombonist, production whiz and fourth son born into jazz’s first family, has always preferred to keep things mostly about New Orleans.

mikroman6/Getty Images

It’s long been said that the Irish punch above their weight. And this goes for much beyond their propensity to produce fine boxers.

March 16, 2020. Composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967) lived all of her 78 years in one idyllic place—her family home, Bushey Park, in Enniskerry, a village at the foot of the Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains. While a mere 25 miles to Dublin, it was dramatically disconnected to the capital city’s social and cultural life.

March 9, 2020. Grammy-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe has worked on all different types of projects, and is known for having an affinity for Latin jazz. On Sunrise Over Moloka’i, Bill deviates from the predictable, and sets his musical sights on Hawaii, even completing his trio with Bruce Hamada (bass) and Darryl Pellegrini (drums), who both call Hawaii home.

Wikipedia Commons

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1808 and was praised as "one of the most important works of the time" by critic E.T.A. Hoffman. WRTI’s Susan Lewis explores why, in the more than 200 years since, the work retains its extraordinary appeal.


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