Monday, March 8, 2010

back to it

So I realized one of the problems with having a blog is that the more time I go without posting, the more I feel like whatever I post has to be really informative or useful. This was obviously not the point when I set out to do this. For those who missed my first post, it was meant to be entirely self-indulgent from the start. So I'm gonna try to get back to that. As an experiment, I'm going to start posting something every day. We'll see how long this lasts.

Apologies for the busy weeks. I'm not apologizing to you, of course, but to myself. It was really busy, as evidenced by the absurd back-log of reading to do in my google reader...I haven't even finished last week's New Yorker, and another one is probably coming tomorrow! Luckily, it didn't turn out all for nought...[shameless self-promotion alert]....I was preparing for a couple of concerts, and as a result that preparation, or more likely, luck, I'm playing on the radio sometime soon! Here's the link to the station website, which streams through itunes or quicktime or windows media player, etc. etc. I think I'll be playing two nocturnes and the first Scherzo by Chopin.

Unlike classical radio where I hail from (DC), this station doesn't suck (it's non-suckiness is so pronounced that I actually gave them money), so I'm pretty psyched to be playing on it. Shameless promotion aside, if you're actually a music person you should download the itunes link and stream it more often than that one time I'll be on it, as they have lots of interesting stuff. Perhaps I'm tainted by my experience growing up in DC, where classical music on the radio regularly consisted of only three things: Vivaldi, second-class Mozart imitations, and Beethoven's fifth. At the very least, everything fit into those three general categories: "easy-listening," bad, generic music by someone you've heard of, bad music by someone you've never heard of, and pieces you've heard a thousand times.

On WFMT, I regularly hear music that I've never heard, by composers I've never heard of, that is enjoyable on first hearing, and motivates further listening. For instance, a week ago I heard a clarinet quartet. I usually fancy myself at guessing the composer when I hear a good piece of music from the late 18th/early 19th century, but I was flummoxed. It sounded astonishingly Mozartean for a piece I knew wasn't by Mozart. Turns out it was by some Finnish composer named Bernhard Crusell, and I felt really dumb for never having heard of him. Now I know all about him! He's mostly known for clarinet music, but I reckon he should be a bit more famous. I may be ignorant, but if I'd never heard of him, I'm guessing a lot of musicians are in the same boat.

'Til tomorrow!

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