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Critics Week: The Year in Classical and Opera

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the past year, the Metropolitan Opera's high tech Ring Cycle wowed, and Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads invited a closer listen. Today, Soundcheck's Critics Week continues with a look back at the year in classical and opera with Washington Post critic, Anne Midgette. And: We take a look at the holiday tradition of Handel's "Messiah." Plus: A live performance from Depedro - the solo project from Spanish guitarist-singer-songwriter Jairo Zavala.

Neil Diamond: Headed for the Hall of Fame

Earlier this week, Neil Diamond was named an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside Alice Cooper, Darlene Love, Tom Waits and Dr. John. A year ago, Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune music critic and author of the book Neil Diamond is Forever, joined us for a Soundcheck Smackdown -- and defended Neil Diamond as one of the greatest performers ever. He joins us again to discuss the new crop of inductees.

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The Year in Classical and Opera

Our Critics Week series continues with a look back at year in classical music and opera. Washington Post chief classical music critic Anne Midgette joins us with her picks for the year’s best. Plus: Tis the season – for Handel’s “Messiah.”  Every year at this time, Handel’s big piece for chorus, soloists and orchestra takes over the NY concert scene. Kent Tritle, conductor of the Oratorio Society of NY and Musica Sacra, and host of the new “Choral Mix with Kent Tritle” on WQXR, updates us on all things "Messiah."


In Studio: Depedro

For six years, Spanish guitarist Jairo Zavala has employed his razor-sharp chops as a touring guitarist with the Tex-Mex country rock band Calexico. Today, he joins us with his solo project Depedro to play songs from the album “Nubes de Papel” live in our studio.

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Playlist: The Year In Classical and Opera + Depedro

Click through to see the music played on Soundcheck today!


Anne Midgette's Top 10 Classical and Opera Releases of 2010

Click through for Anne Midgette's top classical and opera releases...


Gig Alert: Fahir Atakoglu

Turkish composer and pianist Fahir Atakoglu plays some Turked-out jazz tonight at Drom. Download his "NY Retrospective" here.


Gig Alert: Paul Winter Consort

New Age bandleader Paul Winter brings a blown-out Winter Solstice extravaganza to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Thursday night. Download Winter's "Remembering."


A Holidaay Benefit Singers

Gig Alert: 'A Holiday Benefit' with Benjamin Wagner

“A Holiday Benefit Singers” returns this year with a fourth installment of Christmas songs for the season. Download some holiday cheer with the group’s version of Tom Petty’s “Christm...