“Opera was my Nirvana” -- Rufus Wainwright
“For me, Bach's music is not only as good as music gets, but also as good as it gets, period — as good as existence, reality, life and the world.” -- Andrew W.K.
Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of fun classical music stories that caught my ear this week.
JS + WK?
Pop musicians are making news with their appreciation for classical music and classical genres:
* Adam Harris over at Mountain Stage forwarded me this NPR story where Andrew W.K. sings Bach’s praises on All Things Considered’s You Must Hear This. Listen to what Andrew W.K. has to say about Bach here.
* Rufus Wainwright has written an opera, Prima Donna, and it was premiered this past week in Manchester. The Omniscient Mussel has a preview interview and a review. The opera will come to the U.S. in August.
(I first heard Wainwright’s music when a capella group Sonos sang one of his songs on a recent Mountain Stage.)
* Speaking of opera, baritone Thomas Hampson (who graces both opera and recital stages) is going wild celebrating American song. It’s the 250th anniversary of the first American song, and Hampson is marking the occasion with a series of concerts and a whole bunch of activities online, including a free download of his recital.
Thanks to Performance Today, you can download and hear it for yourself here.
* That reminds me of one more pop-classical connection. A listener wrote to Performance Today to mention the connection between Santana and Brahms' Symphony No. 3 (one my all time favorite pieces). So that you can make the comparison yourself, here they are.
Here's Brahms Symphony No. 3, third movement:
And here's Santana with "Love of My Life"