This Week in Classical Music with Randy Kinkel 11/12/17

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Audrey Luna



Luna Sings highest note ever at Met;

Sad Music/Creativity link?


It’s “This Week in Classical Music” an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

the A above high C that the soprano Audrey Luna reaches in Thomas Adès’s new opera, "The Exterminating Angel" is so high, it has never been heard in the 137-year history of the Metropolitan Opera.

High C has been hit by dozens of singers on the Met stage, But a high A is unprecedented according to Met archivists.

Luna had already hit a high G in Ades’s adaption of “The Tempest” a few years back, so he thought of her as he was writing the high A into “The Exterminating Angel”

How Does Audrey Luna Do it?  It’s apparently a combination of genetics, rigorous training and psychological discipline.

She said, “I know it’s in me. But it’s just nothing I’ve performed on any stage before… the G in the tempest was like a dare, she said,  “And this… is a double-dog dare.”

Adding to the excitement of the high A is its placement in the score.— there’s not much time for Audrey to warm up: The A is her very first note, sung before she’s even visible onstage.


 Ever feel embarrassed to be at a concert, and suddenly realize that your mind has been wandering?

Well, give yourself a break…According to newly published research, that's a perfectly natural occurrence.

"When listening to sad people draw their attention inward, and engage in spontaneous, self-referential cognitive processes," reports a research team led by Liila Taruffi of the Free University of Berlin.

"Our study suggests that the emotional experience underlying sad music shapes mind-wandering in a unique way."

The researchers report that "music evoking sad emotions increased the strength of mind-wandering," while with happy tunes, "listeners are more focused on the music itself, and exhibit reduced mind-wandering."

They speculate that the link between music and mind-wandering "could be harnessed to possibly  improve creativity," So if you find yourself creatively stuck, cue up Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and see what happens.


For more info on these and other items and events, go to the website at; be listening every week at this time for another update;  you can follow us on Facebook and find us on Twitter; join us every weekday at noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, Playing your top 100 hits in classical music. I’m Randy Kinkel, For This week in classical music, on 89-five KBACH, KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of Rio Salado College and Arizona State University.