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Encyclopedia > Sir Charles Mackerras
Sir Charles Mackerras
Sir Charles Mackerras

Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras, AC, CH, CBE, (born November 17, 1925) is an Australian conductor. He received a CBE in 1974 and was knighted for his services to music in 1979. In 1996 he received The Medal of Merit from the Czech Republic, and in 1997 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. In 2003 he was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2005, he was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal and he was also the first recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music. Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, wearing on her left shoulder the Order of Australias Sovereign Badge. ... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece, coinciding with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... A conductor conducting a band at a ceremony A conductors score and batons Conducting is the act of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, wearing on her left shoulder the Order of Australias Sovereign Badge. ... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order. ... The Royal Philharmonic Society is a British music society, formed in 1813. ...

Contents

Life and career

Mackerras was born in Schenectady, New York in the United States of America to Australian parents and moved with them to Sydney at an early age. He was one of five brothers, the others being Malcolm, Colin, Alastair and Neil. They are descendants of the pioneer Australian musician Isaac Nathan. Union Colleges Nott Memorial, one of the most recognized buildings in Schenectady Schenectady (IPA ) is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of over 4. ... Malcolm Hugh Mackerras AO (1939 - ) is an academic (psephologist) and commentator on Australian and American politics. ... Isaac Nathan is an Anglo-Jewish musician and self-publicist (c. ...


Mackerras studied oboe, piano and composition at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and eventually became principal oboist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He settled in England in 1946. He won a British Council Scholarship in 1947, which enabled him to study conducting with Václav Talich at the Prague Academy of Music. The Sydney Conservatorium of Music (formerly the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music), informally known as ‘The Con’, is one of the oldest music schools in Australia. ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of over 4. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Sydney Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Sydney Symphony, is a symphony orchestra based in Sydney, Australia. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Logo of the British Council British Council building in London The British Council is a non-departmental public body and registered charity for cultural relations in the United Kingdom. ... Václav Talich (May 28, 1883 - March 16, 1961) was a Czech conductor and violinist. ...


Early career

Returning to England, in 1948, he began his life-long association with Sadler's Wells Opera (now English National Opera), conducting, among others, Janáček, Händel, Gluck, Bach, and Donizetti. In the 1950s, well before the "authenticity" movement had come to general notice, Mackerras focused on the study and practical realization of period performance techniques, culminating in his landmark 1959 recording of Handel's Royal Fireworks Music using the original wind band instrumentation. In his 1965 performance of The Marriage of Figaro, he added the ornamentation in authentic Mozart patterns. At the same time, he gained general recognition for Janáček as one of this century's great opera composers, and established his reputation as the world's most authoritative conductor of Czech music outside of the then Czechoslovakia. The London Coliseum, home of the English National Opera English National Opera (ENO), located at the Coliseum Theatre on St. ... LeoÅ¡ Janáček in 1928 LeoÅ¡ Janáček â–¶ (help· info) (July 3, 1854 in Hukvaldy, Moravia – August 12, 1928 in Ostrava) was a Czech composer. ... George Frideric Handel (German Georg Friedrich Händel), (February 23, 1685 – April 14, 1759) was a German Baroque music composer who lived much of his life in England. ... Christoph Willibald (von) Gluck (July 2, 1714 - November 15, 1787) was a German composer, one of the most important opera composers of the Classical music era, particularly remembered for Orfeo ed Euridice. ... Johann Sebastian Bach (pronounced ) (21 March 1685 O.S. – 28 July 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. ... Gaetano Donizetti Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 – 8 April 1848) was a famous Italian opera composer. ... The Fireworks Music (also known as Music for the Royal Fireworks) was composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the celebration fireworks occasion in Londons Green Park on 27 April 1749. ... Le nozze di Figaro ossia la folle giornata (Trans: ), K. 492, is an opera buffa (comic opera) composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, Le mariage de Figaro (1784). ... In music, ornaments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to the overall melodic (or harmonic) line, but serve to decorate or ornament that line. ...


Mackerras has performed a wide range of repertoire, but is particularly closely associated with the operas of Leoš Janáček — in 1951 he conducted the British premiere of Katya Kabanova, which had been written thirty years earlier. He is also a noted authority on Mozart's operas (it has been said that if the scores of Mozart's operas were all somehow destroyed, Mackerras would be able to reconstruct them from memory) and those of Sir Arthur Sullivan. His Sullivan ballet arrangement Pineapple Poll (1951, just after the expiration of copyright on Sullivan's music), based on one of Gilbert's Bab Ballads, continues to be a popular light music favorite in English speaking countries. Mackerras has also arranged music by Giuseppe Verdi for the ballet The Lady and the Fool. LeoÅ¡ Janáček in 1928 LeoÅ¡ Janáček â–¶ (help· info) (July 3, 1854 in Hukvaldy, Moravia – August 12, 1928 in Ostrava) was a Czech composer. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... Katyá Kabanová is an opera by Leoš Janáček , first produced in Brno on 23 November 1921. ... Mozart redirects here. ... Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (May 13, 1842 – November 22, 1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. ... Pineapple Poll is a Gilbert and Sullivan inspired comic ballet, which was created by John Cranko in collaboration with Sir Charles Mackerras. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Giuseppe Verdi, by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 (National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome). ...


He became principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra from 1954 to 1956. In 1963 he made his debut at London's Covent Garden conducting Shostakovich's Katerina Ismailova. He directed the Hamburg State Opera from 1965 to 1969 and English National Opera from 1970 to 1978. In 1972 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York conducting Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. Mackerras worked closely with Benjamin Britten for a time, but after he had joked about Britten's relationships with young boys, they didn't work together again. The events are described in John Bridcut's Britten's Children. Mackerras was a guest conductor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado during the D'Oyly Carte Centenary season (in 1975) at the Savoy. He later joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Trust and later its Board of Trustees. The BBC Concert Orchestra is based in London and is one of the British Broadcasting Corporations five orchestras. ... Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich (Russian Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович) (September 25, 1906 – August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... The Hamburg State Opera (in German: Hamburgische Staatsoper) is one of the leading opera companies in Germany. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza A full house at the old Metropolitan Opera House, seen from the rear of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Józef Hofmann, November 28, 1937. ... Christoph Willibald Gluck (July 2, 1714 – November 15, 1787) was a German composer. ... Orfeo ed Euridice is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. ... Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH (November 22, 1913 Lowestoft, Suffolk - December 4, 1976 Aldeburgh, Suffolk) was a British composer, conductor, and pianist. ... Brittens Children book cover Britten’s Children is a scholarly 2006 book by John Bridcut that describes the English composer Benjamin Britten’s love for a continuous series of adolescent boys throughout his life. ... The DOyly Carte Opera Company staged performances of Gilbert and Sullivans Savoy operas in the UK, Europe, America, South Africa and elsewhere from the nineteenth century to the twenty first. ... Poster announcing the copyright performance at the Bijou Theatre, Paignton The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. ...


In 1982 he was appointed the first Australian-born Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1985. Sydney Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Sydney Symphony, is a symphony orchestra based in Sydney, Australia. ...


Later career

Mackerras directed the Welsh National Opera from 1987 to 1992, where his Janáček productions won particular praise. One of the highlights of the 1991 season was the reopening of the Estates Theatre in Prague, scene of the original premiere of Don Giovanni, in which Mackerras conducted a new production of that opera to mark the bicentenary of Mozart's death. As Conductor Emeritus of Welsh National Opera, his successes have included Tristan und Isolde, The Yeomen of the Guard, and La Clemenza di Tito (all of which productions were brought to London). He was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, from 1992 to 1995 and of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1993 to 1996. During the same period, he was also Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Opera. From 1998 to 2001 he was the music director of the Orchestra of St. Luke's. The Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru or Wales Millenium Centre, a new performing arts centre which opended in 2004, is the home of the Welsh National Opera (WNO), a touring operatic company founded in Cardiff in 1943. ... Don Giovanni (K.527) is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. ... Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde) is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Strassburg, which in turn was based on the story of Tristan and Isolde as told in French by Thomas of... The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and his Maid, is the eleventh of Gilbert and Sullivans operettas. ... La clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus), K. 621, was an opera seria written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. ... The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is a professional chamber orchestra based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. ... The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is an English orchestra based in London. ... San Francisco Opera (SFO) is the second largest opera company in North America. ... The Orchestra of St. ...


In 2004 he became Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, acknowledging his expertise with Czech music. With the Royal Opera, he has recently conducted productions of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and Handel's Semele. Mackerras has also had a long association with the Metropolitan Opera and has recently conducted The Makropulos Case, Katya Kabanova and Die Zauberflöte with that company. The Philharmonia is an orchestra based in London. ... The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (ÄŒeská filharmonie in Czech language) is based in Prague and is probably the most famous and respected orchestra in the Czech Republic. ... Categories: Stub | 1818 births | 1893 deaths | Opera composers | Romantic composers | French musicians ... Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on the play by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. ... HANDEL was the code-name for the UKs National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. ... In Greek mythology, Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, was the mother of Dionysus (the god and his votaries were both identified as Bacchus) by Zeus. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza A full house at the old Metropolitan Opera House, seen from the rear of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Józef Hofmann, November 28, 1937. ... The Makropulos Case (Věc Makropulos in Czech) is an opera by Leoš Janáček, with the composers libretto drawn from the play by Karel Čapek. ... Katyá Kabanová is an opera by Leoš Janáček , first produced in Brno on 23 November 1921. ... Die Zauberflöte (en: The Magic Flute) is an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. ...


Mackerras's strategy for working with an orchestra is to come prepared. He has said,

I believe it's very important to edit orchestral parts explicitly and as thoroughly as possible, so that the musicians can play them without too much rehearsal. For instance, the other day I did all the Schumann symphonies with very little rehearsal at all. Because the parts were clearly marked, particularly with regard to dynamics, we were able to play them without needing to do that much preliminary work, focusing our attention on the interpretation rather than the technical business of who plays too loud or too soft.[1]

Schumann is the name of several notable people: Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856), German composer (husband of composer Clara Schumann) Clara Wieck Schumann (1819 - 1896), German pianist and composer, (wife of composer Robert Schumann) Georg Schumann (1886 - 1945), German Communist and resistance fighter against the Nazis Georg Schumann (1866 - 1952), German...

Recordings

Mackerras's earliest recordings were for EMI, in the dying days of 78 rpm records. He began with the first of his recordings of his own Pineapple Poll ballet, which was issued on twelve sides, and subsequently transferred to LP, in 1952. Some of his early recording sessions were for Walter Legge, standing in when Otto Klemperer and other eminent conductors were ill.[1] The EMI Group (LSE: EMI) is a music company comprising the major record label, EMI Music, based in Brook Green in London, England, and EMI Music Publishing, based on Charing Cross Road, London. ... Walter Legge (June 1, 1906 - March 22, 1979) was an influential British classical record producer, most notably for EMI. Legge first joined HMV in 1927 mainly to work for the editorial of the companys retailing magazine, but he caught the eye of another famous record producer, Fred Gaisberg, and... Photographic portrait taken ca. ...


A smaller UK record company, Pye, asked Mackerras to record Handel’s Fireworks Music. ‘We had to do that in the middle of the night, in order to get our twenty-six oboes together.’[2] The recording, issued in 1959, was received with critical acclaim for attempting to reproduce the sound Handel would have heard rather than the smoother orchestral arrangements usually played until then. The Fireworks Music (also known as Music for the Royal Fireworks) was composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the celebration fireworks occasion in Londons Green Park on 27 April 1749. ...


In the 1960s Mackerras made the first recording of the Italian version of Gluck’s Orfeo. For DG he conducted Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and for EMI a ‘new-look’ Messiah, with scholarly texts, small forces and sprightly tempi. He followed that up with Handel’s Saul and Israel in Egypt for DG. Christoph Willibald Gluck (July 2, 1714 – November 15, 1787) was a German composer. ... Orfeo (LOrfeo, favola in musica) is one of the earliest works recognized as an opera, composed by Claudio Monteverdi with text by Alessandro Striggio for the annual carnival of Mantua. ... DG may stand for: The IATA code for Eastern Pacific airline Dangerous Goods Dark Galaxy Data General (dg. ... Purcell is a family name in English. ... The Composer, Henry Purcell Dido and Aeneas is an opera by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell, from a libretto by Nahum Tate. ... Messiah (HWV 56, 1741), is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. ... Saul (Hebrew Shaul meaning demanded) is: 1. ... Israel in Egypt. ...


In 1986, he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in the soundtrack to Carroll Ballard's film Nutcracker: The Motion Picture, the first full-length film version of Tchaikovsky's great ballet to be given a major release in theaters. It is performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet and features sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak. 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that London (orchestra) be merged into this article or section. ... Carroll Ballard (born October 14, 1937 in Los Angeles, California) is an American film director. ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... Tchaikovsky redirects here. ... Act 4 of Swan Lake: choreography by Petipa and Nureyev, music by Tchaikovsky. ... The Pacific Northwest Ballet is a ballet company and based in Seattle, Washington in the United States. ... Maurice Sendak (born June 10, 1928) is an artist and creator of childrens literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. ...


In 1997 Mackerras recorded Le delizie dell'amor, with the soprano Andrea Rost, Sony Classical. His most recent release for that label was Lucia di Lammermoor with the Hanover Band (S2K 63174). Other recent recordings for Sony Classical include Chopin's two piano concertos with Emanuel Ax (SK 60771) and (SK 63371). Andrea Rost (born June 15, 1962) is a Hungarian lyric soprano. ... Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico, or opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. ... Frédéric François Chopin as portrayed by Eugène Delacroix in 1838. ...


He has also recently recorded Dvorak's Rusalka (Decca) and Slavonic Dances (Supraphon), Suk's A Summer Tale (Decca), Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 24 with Alfred Brendel (Philips), and Brahms' two orchestral serenades (Telarc). Mackerras's recordings of the complete symphonies of Mozart (Telarc), Brahms(Telarc), Beethoven (EMI), and Mahler, as well as the Mozart operas, continue to attract critical acclaim, as do his recordings of the operas of Janacek (Decca, Supraphon, and Chandos), and major works of Handel, Dvorak, Martinu, Strauss, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Donizetti, Elgar, Delius, Walton, Holst, and Haydn, among many others. Dvořák is a common Czech surname (feminine form is Dvořáková). Spelling without diacritics is Dvorak. ... Rusalka may refer to: Rusalkas, Slavic water nymphs. ... A piano concerto is a concerto for solo piano and orchestra. ... Alfred Brendel Alfred Brendel (born January 5, 1931) is an Austrian pianist, born in Czechoslovakia. ... Johannes Brahms Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of classical music. ... Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer of Classical music, the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. ... Portrait of Martinu Bohuslav Martinů (born in Polička, December 8, 1890 – August 28, 1959) was a Czech composer. ... Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich (Russian Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович) (September 25, 1906 – August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... Contrary to what Rachel Lewis believes. ... Edward Elgar Sir Edward William Elgar, Bt OM GCVO (June 2, 1857 – February 23, 1934) was a British composer, born in the small Worcestershire village of Broadheath to William Elgar, a piano tuner and music dealer, and his wife Ann. ... Frederick Delius (January 29, 1862 – June 10, 1934) was an English composer born in Bradford. ... Sir William Turner Walton, OM (March 29, 1902–March 8, 1983) was a British composer whose style was influenced by the works of Stravinsky, Sibelius and jazz. ... Holst may be: Adriaan Roland Holst (1888 - 1976), Dutch writer Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934), British composer Imogen Holst (1907 - 1984), British conductor, composer and writer, daughter of Gustav This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... (Franz) Joseph Haydn (in German, Josef; he never used the Franz) (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was a leading composer of the classical period. ...


For Telarc he has also conducted Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, and The Yeomen of the Guard. In collaboration with David Mackie he reconstructed Arthur Sullivan's "lost" cello concerto, conducting its first performance by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall, London, in April 1986, and a recording for EMI shortly afterwards. Telarc International Corporation is a Cleveland, Ohio based independent record label, founded in 1977 by two classically trained musicians and former teachers, Jack Renner and Robert Woods. ... W. S. Gilbert Sir Arthur Sullivan Librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) collaborated on a series of fourteen comic operas in Victorian England between 1871 and 1896. ... Trial by Jury is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in one act (the only single-act Savoy Opera). ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: H.M.S. Pinafore H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass that Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Poster announcing the copyright performance at the Bijou Theatre, Paignton The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert, their ninth of fourteen operatic collaborations. ... The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and his Maid, is the eleventh of Gilbert and Sullivans operettas. ... Julian Lloyd Webber (born April 14, 1951) is a British cellist. ... It has been suggested that London (orchestra) be merged into this article or section. ...


References

  • Biography: Charles Mackerras: A Musician's Musician by Nancy Phelan (London, Victor Gollancz, 1987).
  • Feature in The Gramophone, March 1975 (p. 1626) by Alan Blyth

Notes

  1. ^ The Gramophone
  2. ^ The Gramophone

External links

Preceded by
Louis Frémaux
Chief Conductor, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
1982–1985
Succeeded by
Zdenek Macal

  Results from FactBites:
 
Charles Mackerras (Conductor) - Short Biography (755 words)
In February 1993, Sir Charles was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and later conducted its first professional performance in the UK of the "original version" of Glagolitic Mass with the Brighton Festival Chorus at the Royal Festival Hall.
Charles Mackerras was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974, and was knighted in 1979 for his services to music.
Sir Charles celebrated his seventieth birthday in 1995 with gala concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh, Welsh National Opera in Cardiff and with San Francisco Opera.
Charles Mackerras: Information From Answers.com (1157 words)
Mackerras was born in Schenectady, New York in the United States of America to Australian parents and moved with them to Sydney at an early age.
Mackerras studied oboe, piano and composition at the New South Wales Conservatorium in Sydney and eventually became principal oboist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Mackerras has performed a wide range of repertoire, but is particularly closely associated with the operas of Leoš Janáček — in 1951 he conducted the British premiere of Katya Kabanova, which had been written thirty years earlier.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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