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Hear An Introduction To The Opera

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Missy Mazzoli's quintet, Victoire, blurs the boundaries between classical music and other styles. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Year In Music: Indie Classical Blossoms On Small Labels

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In "NatGeo," the inventive Alabama hip-hop duo G-Side works with a Norwegian and rhymes over Enya samples. Renalda "R-Dot" Douglas/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Renalda "R-Dot" Douglas/Courtesy of the artist

'NatGeo' by G-Side

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Though its members don't work in the same room, Bikini crafts terrific electro-pop songs like "American Mourning." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'American Mourning' by Bikini

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Very little is jazzy or routine about The Winston Jazz Routine. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Through the Snow' by The Winston Jazz Routine

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Cinderella (Kate Aldrich) doesn't know that the man she's fallen for is actually Prince Ramiro (Lawrence Brownlee) in disguise. Studio Amati Bacciardi/Rossini Opera Festival hide caption

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Studio Amati Bacciardi/Rossini Opera Festival

Hear An Introduction to The Opera

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Johannes chronicles the loss of his wife in heartbreaking, vivid detail throughout the deeply felt "Speechless." Courtesy of Ipecac Records hide caption

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Courtesy of Ipecac Records

Dan Sartain's "Walk Among the Cobras IV" channels deep hurt into a dark but upbeat two-minute release. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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An early glimpse at what would become a big band, "Them (Pop Song #3333)" sounds approachable and introspective. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Them (Pop Song #3333)

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In "Colours," the L.A. rock band Grouplove makes wild, thrilling and above all joyful noise. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Colours' by Grouplove

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Ross Flournoy, the man behind Apex Manor, was inspired by NPR Music's online songwriting contest. courtesy of Merge Records hide caption

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courtesy of Merge Records

Led by Black Flag's Keith Morris, "Upside Down" is a minute-long steamroller, and a model for streamlined might. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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"Reds" documents Houses' real-life attempts to flee a troubled past in a comfortable place. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Reds' by Houses

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John Heart Jackie's "You've Been on My Mind" is a slow-moving but upbeat ode to a relationship's home team. Eugenie Frerichs/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Eugenie Frerichs/Courtesy of the artist

'You've Been on My Mind' by John Heart Jackie

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