We spent a few days in Berlin last week, and we had seldom been in a city that produced such contradictory emotions. On the one hand we had to admire the sweeping boulevards, the grand architecture from the past, the green spaces, and the splendid public transport system. On the other hand, at least for people of my generation, Berlin evokes some very dark images indeed. Seeing the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden and the site of Hitler's Reichstag, it's hard to forget that this was the capital of the Third Reich in all its baroque horror.

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Edvard Grieg's wife, Nina, gave him a very special piano for their anniversary.  Grieg immortalized this thoughtful gift with his Lyric Piece, "Wedding Day at Troldhaugen."  We'll enjoy it this morning.  

Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.

The first round of results from Connecticut's new standardized exams show more students than expected are excelling at English language arts, but math skills remain a challenge, according to scores released Friday.

The math scores matched state estimates, but Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said there is "significant room for improvement'' and announced a new council to assist teachers that will be made up of educators, industry and business leaders and experts in math, science and technology.

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings, file)

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut wants to require the federal government to investigate whether private health insurers are following a law called the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The law says private insurers can’t impose financial or other barriers that only apply to mental health benefits. In other words, for people with private insurance, it should be as easy to get mental health benefits as it is to get physical health ones.

Elgar takes us back to the Age of Chivalry with his "Froissart" Concert Overture, inspired by the writings of the best-known chronicler of the Hundred Years' War.  

telegraph.co.uk

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote himself into a corner with a piano concerto, but a soon as he added a second piano, the possibilities seemed endless. We'll enjoy his two-piano concerto this morning.

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A newly published study says a quarter of patients seeking new drugs to treat Hepatitis C while enrolled in the Yale Viral Hepatitis Program were denied by their insurance companies, both public and private.

(AP Photo/Dave Collins)

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald says Connecticut is the first state in the country to end chronic homelessness among veterans.

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