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Critical Karaoke

"Critical Karaoke" is a monthly show about music and the ideas it inspires. We also produce daily music history segments called "A Day in the Life." Both currently air on KRCC
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Now displaying: Category: a classical day in the life

"A Day in the Life" is a 2-minute podcast about music, history, culture, and ideas.  We release at least one new episode every weekday on an incredible range of genres and artists.  We hope you enjoy these quick listens!

Jun 30, 2016

Today in 1886, Arturo Toscanini conducted his first opera in Rio de Janeiro. This unstoppable force of the classical music world would go on to be one of the most famous music directors of all time.  What were the roles of Giuseppe Verdi and Samuel Barber in his career? Find out on this brief episode of "A Classical Day in the Life."

Jun 28, 2016

Today in 1905 Pomp and Circumstance--the so-called "graduation march"--was performed for the first time at a commencement ceremony.  Where does its title come from?  And why was it performed on this day at Yale University?  Find out with a quick listen to this episode of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 27, 2016

On this day in 1985, the United States government decommissioned Route 66 — America's main street — after almost 60 years in service connecting Chicago and Los Angeles. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we take in the sonic landscape of Route 66.

Jun 23, 2016

Today in 1943, Harold Spivacke, then Chief of the Music Division at the Library of Congress, wrote a letter to American composer, Samuel Barber about a recent performance of his String Quartet--Opus 11 in B minor.  Find out what the letter contains and hear more about the work itself on this installment of "A Day in the Life."

Jun 21, 2016

Today in 1954 witnessed the final broadcast of the radio program, “The Railroad Hour.”  It featured abridged takes on classics of musical theatre, such as Carousel or The Merry Widow.  Who were the instrumental (pun intended) figures in creating this successful show?  And what do railroads have to do with all of this?  Find out on this episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 20, 2016

On this day in 1901, Edward Elgar conducted the world premiere of his orchestral overture Cockaigne, or "in London Town," at Queens Hall in London. Just what is this Cockaigne and what does it have to do with London? Find out on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

Jun 17, 2016

Today is composer Igor Stravinsky’s birthday, born in Russia on this day in 1882.  Why did his ballet Rite of Spring send listeners into a frenzy?  How did he come to influence nearly every twentieth-century composer through his musical output.  Find out on this episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Jun 16, 2016

Today in 1893 Theodore Thomas conducted the music of Bach at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  This episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" explores the performance of western classical and popular music at the fair as well as moments of musical appropriation within the "exotic" exhibits that lined the streets of the so-called White City.

Jun 15, 2016

Today in 1882, Eric Satie was expelled from the Paris Conservatory.  Why did this happen and what did he accomplish as a result? Find out these answers--as well as what else happened to him on this day in 1908--on today's "A Classical Day in the Life."

Jun 13, 2016

Today in 1986 witnessed the debut of Short Ride in a Fast Machine by American composer John Adams.  On this episode of "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore the this rhythmic gauntlet and the origins of its inspiration.  Hint: it was a car.  What type?  Have a listen!

Jun 10, 2016

The opera Tristan und Isolde premiered in Munich on this day in 1865.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life," we explore the power of an important chord composed by Richard Wagner and why some say it was the beginning of the end for traditional harmony.

Jun 9, 2016

On this day in 1840, the Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt changed the history of concertgoing culture: he inaugurated the term "recital" for a concert he gave at the Hanover Square Rooms in London. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we learn more about Liszt's concept of recitals and what he played at his first one on this day in 1840.

Jun 8, 2016

On this day in 1810, the German composer Robert Schumann was born.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore one of the heavyweights of the 19th century romantic tradition.

Jun 7, 2016

Today in 1883, Theodore Thomas conducted his orchestra in the opening concert of the San Francisco Festival. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we take a look at the life and career of the most famous conductor in the United States during the 19th Century.

Jun 3, 2016

It was on this day in 1888 that the outlook wasn't too brilliant for the Mudville 9, as Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem "Casey at the Bat" first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we look at musical works that were inspired by the tale.

Jun 2, 2016

It was on this day in 1897 that the American writer Mark Twain didn't die. As Twain was quoted in the New York Journal "The report of my death was an exaggeration". On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore music inspired by Twain's works.

Jun 1, 2016

On this day in 1600, English Renaissance composer, lutenist and singer John Dowland dedicated his "Second Booke of Songs or Airs" to Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we learn that Dowland was the Elizabethan version of Elliot Smith, what with all the melancholia and what have you.

May 27, 2016

On this day in 1907, the environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore musical works inspired by the conservation and environmental movement.

May 26, 2016

Today in 2008, film and television composer Earle Hagen passed away in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 88.  Although his name may not be immediately familiar, his theme songs are. Find out which iconic tunes he composed on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

May 20, 2016

On this day in 1896, composer and pianist Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck) passed away.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out how she changed the course of concert recitals and contributed to the musical life of the romantic era--all while raising eight children and caring for her husband, Robert.

May 19, 2016

On this day in 715, Gregory the Second became Pope.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the origins Gregorian Chant and the various Popes Gregory associated with it.

May 18, 2016

On this day in 1911, the Austrian composer and conductor, Gustav Mahler, died at the age of 51 of a heart valve infection.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out what you might need to perform his 6th Symphony and his connection to Sigmund Freud.

May 17, 2016

Today in 1866, French composer and pianist, Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, was born in Honfleur, France. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the most enduring work of one of the central composers of the new minimalist style emerging out of Paris at the end of the 19th Century.

May 13, 2016

Today in 1922, actor Bernice Frankel was born in New York City.  She would become best known in the 1970s as television star Bea Arthur, playing the title role in sitcom Maude and would go on to play Dorothy Zbornak in the 1980s staple The Golden Girls.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical side of the beloved actor.

May 12, 2016

Today on "A Classical Day in the Life": Find out who commissioned baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi to write 100 concerti on this day in 1716 and how such work relates to his life and musical output. 

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