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June 13, 2009


Thanks for this series, both of you. As someone just beginning to listen to classical music, gingerly, it's been fascinating.

Same goes for me. Well, I have always listened to classical music, but not very knowledgeably or often very attentively. Your discussion here was much in my mind when I listened this past weekend to much of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition on BBC Radio 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/cardiffsinger/ (unfortunately, unlike the Cliburn, only clips are available on line) I've always had reservations about the value of 'competition' in any form. But hearing a range of performances one after the other and also the comments and comparisons of knowledgeable commentators is an excellent and involving way of learning to listen more discerningly.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.