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Any manufactured product that comes from Switzerland, especially one that is the result of dazzling engineering and superlative attention to detail in construction – and one that has achieved international recognition and awards – is often at risk of failure of creativity and imagination. Not darTZeel Audio however. This company takes just as keen a focus on design quality as it does on technical construction. Many have compared their technical precision to the well known...

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David Bowie is back after a 10-year silence with a recently released new song on his 66th birthday via the Internet.  The single, entitled Where Are They Now, from the upcoming album, The Next Day is a slower, more reflective side of the typical colorful stage persona we’ve grown accustomed to, but it is still a classic step for Bowie in his aptitude for surprising the public and raising the stakes. “He happens to be...

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Just when Mozart’s success leapt to unprecedented heights and it seemed he could do nothing wrong, fortune turned against him. A new exhibition puts the spotlight on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s five distinct years in Vienna, 1784-1789.  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the genius we all know for his myriad operas and concertos, is still hitting the headlines today. During the ongoing work being done for the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM/International Inventory of Musical Sources), Dr...

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The prospect of a new golden era returns to the Bolshoi, and while London’s opera-goers give Plácido Domingo one of the loudest and longest standing ovations, New York City’s Carnegie Hall is gifted more than $950,000, at the same time enticing us with winter warmers for chilly February nights. Whether you happen to be in London, New York, Paris, Milan or any number of other major cites, the winter season always offers rich rewards to...

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The Legend of Zelda and the journey that follows—a journey that may take you onwards to classical operas such as Anna Bolena, Siegfried, and La Traviata, courtesy of The Met: Live in HD, as the curtain rises on a glittering new opera season. As everyone knows, October, 2011 saw the 25th anniversary of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda. This quarter-century landmark was celebrated with an anniversary concert in two cities, LA and London. The first...

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Our regular musical interlude this time includes a look at some innovative Italian American guitar makers and the legacy of early harpsichord music that continues to flourish in New England today.  If you had to name the most versatile musical instrument of the last hundred years, chances are it would be the guitar. There are few other modern instruments that have crossed the boundaries of classical, jazz, blues, flamenco, folk, country, world, and biggest of...

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Works of high value have too often been copied, faked and forged, and fake musical instruments are no exception, in particular Stradivari and Salò violins. So when rare instruments make an appearance at auction houses, like a unique viola of 1575 at Christie’s New York, it often causes a stir.  If you think you own a violin made by Antonio Stradivari, because the label says so, you are very likely to be in for a disappointment when...

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Born over two hundred years ago, Frédéric Chopin’s creative genius and virtuoso piano performances dazzled the society of the day. Despite a restless and turbulent life, he produced compositions—the famous nocturnes, études, polonaises, and many more—that are amongst the most famous piano pieces ever written. Frédéric Chopin was born in Poland in 1810, and is known as one of the greatest composers for the piano. Frédéric Chopin showed a prodigious talent from a very young age, composing...

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