When it comes to reliable lightning rods in classical music, it's hard to top Richard Wagner. The latest controversies center on the Metropolitan Opera's current staging of the composer's gargantuan Ring cycle, the set of four epic and mythical operas first mounted at Bayreuth in 1876, and now seen live at the Met together in a series.
Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? Animal Collective has just posted two new songs on its website and you can listen now. "Honeycomb" is the bouncy one with the trademark harmonies. "Gotham" is the comparatively pensive one with lots of echo.
"The United States has for several years been secretly releasing high-level detainees from a military prison in Afghanistan as part of negotiations with insurgent groups," reports The Washington Post, which calls the program "a bold effort to quell violence, but one that U.S. officials acknowledge poses substantial risks."
The 17-inning game went so long, that for the first time since 1925, two Major League teams had non-pitchers on the mound. Baltimore won with pitching from Chris Davis, who's trained to play first base.
In England our Mother's Day comes a little before yours in America. This year my youngest son wrote me a poem, and ingeniously rhymed "good book" with "good cook," "fun" with "mum," and "great jokes" with "not giving pokes" — that was clearly a hard one.
I appreciated the challenge of nailing down motherhood in a short space. Here are three books that do the same thing.