Classical Music with Laura Carlo

Baroque Brunch with Laura Carlo

Friday, July 20, 2012
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Boston Baroque's Messiah

Sunday, December 23, 2012
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The Classical Spirit of Halloween

By Cheryl Willoughby   |   Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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Conant Farm jack o lanterns

Forget about childhood fears like the thing in the closet and the seemingly endless expanse of darkness beneath the bed, “scary” can take on a whole different dimension with the perspective of an adult.

At a certain age, “scary” becomes things we earnestly worry about every day: the realities of the economy, or, say, freakishly strong late-season hurricanes. Or perhaps the "normally" scary, such as rush hour on 93 South (or 128, or 95, or the Mass. Pike, or….) on a Friday summer afternoon. It’s just part of growing up.

But, for just a few hours this Wednesday, Classical New England invites you to set aside the real-world concerns that keep us up at night in the grownup world and allow music to do what it does best: transport the mind and spirit to another place altogether. It’s Hallowe’en. And we’re offering a mid-week musical diversion featuring characters from the supernatural world of goblins, fairies, and magical spirits of all origins.

Do you know the story of the virtuoso violinist whose skills were so superb it was widely thought he could only have come by his talents if he’d struck some kind of dangerous Mephistpholean bargain? We’re not talking about Paganini here, though he certainly did everything he could in his lifetime to perpetuate a similar mythology for himself. No, this is someone who lived much earlier – the 17th c. teacher and violinist Giuseppe Tartini. Wednesday morning Laura Carlo will feature his treacherously difficult Devil’s Trill virtuoso violin sonata.

Other highlights in her program include two works that were famously featured in animated Disney films: the magical Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas (who could ever forget Mickey Mouse in the hapless title role, with his pesky problem of exponentially multiplying brooms and buckets?), and, from Fantasia, Modest Mussorgsky’s darkly evocative Night on the Bare Mountain.

As the day continues you can look forward to Alan McLellan conjuring up Charles Gounod’s ballet music from his “underworldly” opera, Faust, as well as the clarevoyant trio of witches from Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, and an afternoon materialization of Beethoven’s spectral Ghost piano trio.

And into the evening while the real-life little ghosts and witches take to the streets for their trick-or-treating, Cathy Fuller and James David Jacobs offer a haunting accompaniment to all of the night’s festivities.

You can get back to the fearsome tasks of yard cleanup, mortgage payments and end-of-the-week deadlines on Thursday and Friday. For the 31st, turn your imagination over to Classical New England and we’ll promise a howlingly entertaining time.

In the meantime, enjoy a few spooky classics from the Disney archives!

Baroque in Boston

Thursday, October 4, 2012
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Keith's Classical Corner

Monday, February 6, 2012
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O mio babbino caro….

By Laura Carlo   |   Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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Oct. 26

My father was facing surgery early one April many years ago and was dismayed that just before he had to go into the hospital his order of a dozen-plus heritage rose bushes was delivered early - too early to plant for our Boston gardening zone. Dad had specified that they be delivered two months later ... but things can go wrong with mail order....and now he had to deal with all these roses.

It was important that these rose bushes were saved because roses are very important to us as a family. When we children were born my father picked a rose from his own prize-winners every day and placed it in a vase near our cribs. He kept that up the whole first year of our lives: Red for his first-born, rosy-cheeked me, yellow for my fair little sister and healthy pink for his strapping son---so that the first thing that his "babies would see when they awoke was a rose.”

I returned the favor when Daddy turned 65---66 ruby red long stemmed roses (one to grown on)!

Now what to do with all these bare root rose bushes scrunched up in a soggy set of cardboard buckets left by the delivery man on the cold front stairs? Even though Daddy was a master rose gardener it was a huge task for one person, and given his impending surgery and the time of year there wasn't any time to waste, so I volunteered to help him.

I had never planted a rose bush before, but my father was very patient with me as he showed me step-by-step how to prepare the planting holes, test and amend the soil with organic compost and materials, carefully part the roots and plant and water just so. He showed me how, and just as important, he carefully explained "why" for each step. My usually quiet father was inspired to share with me how much he had loved roses from when he was a little boy. Although he often went hungry in war-torn Italy, and he was frightened of the sounds of war as a youngster, his mother kept pointing out to him that there was still beauty to be found in the world, including the exquisite, perfumed roses of Rome. He never forgot how roses came to symbolize all things hopeful and beautiful.

We worked quietly, then, side by side, and saving those rose bushes took us most of that day. When we were done my father surprised me by hanging a little sign that he had had a local hardware store make that read “The Laura Rose Garden,” something he was intending to do all along. He secured it to one of the larger front rose bushes for all passersby to see.

I have been winning trophies and ribbons and accolades my whole life but no prize ever meant so much to me.

No, not the naming.

The chance to plant roses with my father.

Rest in peace, my Daddy Carlo.

(image of rose by Parvin via Flickr;  Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 2.0)

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