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GustoTV: Guitar competition finals tonight

Finals for the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition take place tonight at Kleinhans. Mary Kunz Goldman previewed the competition in this story and in the video below:

Live Chat with Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers

Bob Welch, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and solo artist, dead at 65



The Associated Press has reported that Bob Welch, an integral member of Fleetwood Mac between 1971 and 1974, and acclaimed solo artist in the later 70s, has died of a self-inflicted gunshot would at his Nashville home. The AP story revealed that Welch had endured spinal surgery recently and was not expected to fully recover. He left a suicide note suggesting that he didn't want his wife to have to care for him as an invalid.

Welch never received his full due as a member of Fleetwood Mac. When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Welch was not invited. His contributions to the albums "Bare Trees," "Future Gamnes" and "Heroes Are Hard To Find" suggest that Welch was the major architect of the Fleetwood Mac sound during his tenure with the band.

Later, his solo hits "Sentimental Lady" and "Ebony Eyes" revealed in full the depth of his harmony-laden pop songcraft.  I wore out my vinyl copy of Welch's "French Kiss" album as a kid. It was filled with magical, ethereal music. That record will endure, and Welch will be missed. 

- Jeff Miers 

GustoTV: Art and music this weekend in Allentown

Art sellers and buyers converge on Allentown this weekend. New this year will be an interactive art exhibit and DJ set from Jess Pfohl. Colin Dabkowski explains in this video:

Meanwhile, Jeff Miers has the details on some of the venues hosting live music in Allentown to coincide with the art festival:

GustoTV: Simon on movie openings

Jeff Simon enjoyed the new Ridley Scott sci-fi thriller "Prometheus" and the animated film "Madagascar 3." Look for reviews in Friday's Gusto.

Video: How to get to the Central Wharf

News reporter Aaron Besecker produced this video last year showing music fans how to get to the Central Wharf for concerts. Tonight's kickoff of the Thursday at the Habor series features seminal alternative rock band the Cult. Read Jeff Miers' preview of the show.

Time travel for graduation day

Here is a treat for this year's graduates, or for anyone who loves music. You get to watch the famous "Pomp and Circumstance" march, the march you hear, if you are lucky, at graduations -- conducted by the composer himself, Sir Edward Elgar.

The performance was in 1931, in honor of the opening of EMI's famous Abbey Road Studios in London.

I got a little weepy watching it. I have always liked the bittersweet nature of that march, anyway. There is nostalgia in it. On top of that, to see Elgar himself, it is so touching. This white-haired British gentleman of an earlier era, a big man, with that big mustache, wearing this formal suit. (Someone comments on the video: "Elgar had a great tailor.")

The way they help him off with his coat before he gets up there.

Then his quiet words -- it's fun to hear Elgar's voice, which I never heard before.

"Good morning, gentlemen, very glad to see you all. ... Please play this tune as though you have never heard it before."

It's interesting to hear the thrilling way Elgar himself handles the tempo of his march, slowing it up in places -- at 1:10, for instance -- and then bringing it back.

Elgar wrote this march in 1901. It was first used as a graduation march in the United States in 1905, at Yale University, with Elgar on hand to accept an honorary doctorate and oversee the proceedings. In Britain and in Italy they have hymns set to the march theme. I am glad we do not. I like this theme without words attached to it.

Elgar had a gift for nobility. Haydn had it too, and Handel, this gift for stirring anthems and marches.

Got time for one more? Sure you do, just don't let the boss see you. Here is a video I find fascinating. It is Elgar conducting his First Symphony, written in 1908. Accompanying it is actual video of Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901. First you see photos and then you can actually watch the procession. Very moving, the slow gait of the horses, the crowds lining the streets. The men holding their hats.

So impressive, the dignity of that music and its era. 

We still feel it at graduation time.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


Renee Fleming, live from London

The beautiful thing about YouTube is you never have to miss anything. You can always look and listen in!

For instance you can watch Renee Fleming, our Western New York diva, singing in England at Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee.

Fleming is from Rochester and although Buffalonians normally divorce ourselves from Rochester, we identify with the town when it comes to her. She is a hometown girl! And that is a very atmospheric video of her singing with ... with ... Alfie Boe, his name is.

Alfie Boe is a tenor. His Web site is He is known in some circles as the bad boy of opera. In future days we will have to explore the reasons why.

Here is a video of the fireworks outside Buckingham Palace. The music is kind of embarrassing, I think. I mean, this is supposed to be the Queen's Jubilee, not KISS the Summer Hello.

Why not Handel's Music For the Royal Fireworks?

Why didn't anyone ask my advice?

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

Replay Critics' Corner chat with Simon, Miers

Jeff Miers and Jeff Simon take questions about music, movies, TV and more

Some People Just Never Learn....

I guess that's why Jeff Miers--just back from vacation--and I will be returning to our weekly lemonade stand in Critic's Corner at 1 p.m. As always, all are welcome and so are all subjects. Looking forward to it.
--Jeff Simon

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