Headphones on! Here’s a handy introduction to the leitmotifs of Wagner’s Ring cycle.  (The New York Times, 4/23/19)

Alex Ross considers the quality, and the moral quandary, of the Berlin Philharmonic’s new 22-CD box set of Wilhelm Furtwängler’s radio recordings from 1939–1945.  (The New Yorker, 5/2/19)

“4 new operas in 4 months? Only in Berlin.”  (The New York Times, 4/24/19)

What makes the scene between Wotan and Brünnhilde in Act II of Die Walküre the heart of the Ring Cycle, and also “one of the most profound depictions of a father-daughter relationship in all the arts”? Anthony Tommasini breaks it down.  (The New York Times, 3/19/19)

Nearly two centuries after Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel composed her Easter Sonata, she’s finally getting her due.  (OUPblog, 3/28/19)

In memoriam: Michael Gielen (1927-2019). He was a champion of 20th-century art music and one of the most distinguished conductors of the postwar era.  (Classical Iconoclast, 3/8/19; The New York Times, 3/13/19)

Anne McElvoy looks back at the tumultuous career of musician Wolf Biermann, who “showed how a stubborn quest for artistic and political freedom could finally triumph over a system built on destroying such aspirations.”  (Standpoint, 2/2019)

“Berlin, which prides itself as staying ahead of the cultural curve, is championing electronic music produced further afield.”  (The Economist, 2/8/19)