The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was born 70 years ago this week. He died shortly after his 50th birthday. It was Gould's staggering performances of Bach's music that brought him — and Bach, for that matter — to broad popular attention. Sara Fishko asked pianists who play Bach today to comment ...
Classical music can give us the grandeur and gravity we crave. And the words can bring it down to earth, closer to the specifics of what we're trying to recall. Sara Fishko looks at memory, music, and the art of capturing a profound moment in time.
Electronic-instrument inventor Leon Theremin turns out to be a Russian spy.
Sara Fishko looks at how we watch movies closely, and how even their tiniest storytelling flaws resonate on the set and off.
A new CD set contains everything Frank Sinatra recorded in Hollywood from 1940 to 1964. One patriotic song in particular rose improbably to become a hit just after World War 2 — and its meaning changed in the process.
Filmmakers have explored the drama and brutality of boxing since the beginning of film history. Writers Victor Navasky and Jack Newfield talk about boxing at the movies.
In the classical recording world, performance is thought of as a fluid, spontaneous art. But in post-production, thousands of tiny, inaudible edits shape the music to perfection. Should a listener care?
Two years after the centenary of German composer Kurt Weill, tributes are continuing, including a large exhibition and performance series now at the New York Public Library. Weill's music will always bear the imprint of one spectacular performer, his wife and muse Lotte Lenya.
WNYC's Sara Fishko looks at the controversial show Mirroring Evil at New York’s Jewish Museum. The exhibition features contemporary artwork about the Nazis and the Holocaust.
WNYC's Sara Fishko spotlights a writer, a film editor, and a graphic designer who admit their ambivalent relationships to technology.
(Originally aired: June 9, 2001)
Orchestrators of musical theater are an imaginative and meticulous bunch, handling what a Broadway composer often does not. They create the mood of the arrangements and the way instruments play under and around and beyond the singers‘ lines.
Accompanists are unsung collaborators who do a lot more than just prop up the soloists — though that isn’t always apparent to the audience.
(Originally aired: September 1, 2001)
Movies about artists constitute a whole genre. Artists are supposed to be wild, reckless geniuses and passionate lovers. And famous artists each have a moment when they "got discovered" — always good for plots. But Sara Fishko finds all these biopics suffer a similar affliction.
WNYC's Sara Fishko takes a look at one of the greatest fans of all time, who himself was an object of fan obsession.
(Originally aired: August 4, 2001)
WNYC's Sara Fishko looks at why collectors are attracted to the intimate written thoughts of strangers.
From the Andrew Sisters to the Jackson Five — WNYC's Sara Fishko looks at the singular sound only brothers and sisters can create.
(Originally aired: April 14, 2001)
Classical music aesthetes finally embrace a composer some thought was too popular to be any good.
A healthy combination of luster and notoriety continue to make the bohemian Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan a destination for artists.