NPR Music

Music Reviews
3:44 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Two Malian Guitar Greats, Gone But Still Wailing

Malian guitarist Lobi Traore died in 2010, at just 49. His last album is called Bwati Kono.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:50 pm

Back in 1985, a young Malian named Zani Diabate became one of the first African musicians to release a successful album in Europe. He was soon crowded out by a flood of superstar African singers, but for anyone who experienced Diabate's rocking guitar tone and edgy African phrasing, the sound is unforgettable.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Alisa Weilerstein Plays Elgar: Exploring Music With An Intense Past

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein
Jamie Jung Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:26 am

British composer Edward Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919 — soon after the end of World War I — and it's suffused with the dark weight of that war.

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The Record
1:12 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Saviors Of Local Soul: The Archival Science Of The Numero Group

The Numero Group's Eccentric Soul: Omnibus includes 45 seven-inch singles highlighting local soul scenes from around the country.
Courtesy of the Numero Group

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All Songs Considered
8:53 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The Polyphonic Spree Covers John Lennon For The Holidays

The Polyphonic Spree, under a shower of confetti.
Steve Wrubel

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:48 am

Every year for the past decade, The Polyphonic Spree has celebrated the holidays with a special "extravaganza" in Dallas, featuring dancing, DJs and, of course, the band performing seasonal songs. This year, The Polyphonic Spree celebrates the 10th anniversary of that extravaganza with a live tour of the show, as well as a new CD called Holidaydream. The group also has this beautiful new video for one of the album's standout tracks: John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."

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Deceptive Cadence
8:11 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Classical Lost And Found: Hubert Parry's Glorious England

A 1910 portrait of King George V in procession. A new album of choral works by Hubert Parry features music he wrote for the king's coronation one year later.
Chandos Records

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:53 am

Composers Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford and Edward Elgar dominated the British musical scene in the latter half of the Victorian age through the Edwardian era. Albums of Parry's music have been rare lately, so this new recording by Neeme Järvi and BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is most welcome. Except for Parry's ever-popular Jerusalem, all the selections here are world premiere recordings.

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