Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

Bach-to-Bach Punning

Sep 21, 2016
Penny R. Frondelli

Blame it all on Jeffrey Biegel. He and several orchestras commissioned a new piano concerto from PDQ Bach...which got Jeffrey thinking.  There were already so many Bachs--JSB, CPE, WF, JC, JCF, to name a few.  How many other Bachs, he wondered, were out there? So Jeffrey asked us, the trusty world of classical announcers, if we knew of any.  And things got pretty silly.

Some of the suggestions:

alpacasofinstagram

One day I walked into the doctor’s office and noticed the receptionist wearing an unusual necklace, a thick chain with a large, gold llama hanging at the end.   I complimented her llama.  Her eyes lit up behind glasses as she explained that she and her family raised llamas and showed them at the New York State Fair.  They had even won prizes, she said.  

I said, “That’s nice!  I know someone who runs an alpaca farm.” 

She shrugged dismissively and said, “I just don’t get the whole alpaca thing.”

Once in a blue moon I encounter a book that resonates so deeply with me that I immediately flip back to page one and start over.  That happened when I finished Run by Ann Patchett.  The first time I read for plot and the second time for language.  Months later, I’m still going back to re-read favorite passages. 

Run is about family, running, and secrets.

Sheet music cover: The Star Spangled Banner: National Song
Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

It caught me off guard. I had forgotten that the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra plays "The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of the first concert of the season. I stood up and started to sing along. 

 

It caught me off guard. Part way through the anthem, I suddenly started to think of the protests by athlete Colin Kaepernick and others, sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, over issues of social injustice in our country.

 

It caught me off guard. As we were sitting down, in the brief pause between the end of the anthem and the beginning of the first piece on the concert, someone near me said:

Pack your bags.  Take a weekend to explore.  There are obscure and fascinating destinations for music history geeks sprinkled throughout New York State.  I’ve touched on some of these before, but here they are, laid out for your next road trip.

Stop 1: Saranac Lake, New York, a four and a half hour drive east of Rochester.

WXXI's Brenda Tremblay caught a few moments with Rochester resident and American tenor Gregory Kunde, fresh from his winning “Best Male Singer” in the 2016 International Opera Awards in London.

After Robert Ward left The Eastman School of Music in the 1930’s, he went on to study with Aaron Copland.  Ward crafted a musical language that would earn him a 1962 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller’s iconic play. (Ward’s son says he remembers finding his parents unexpectedly drinking champagne in the kitchen; that’s how he found out his father had won a Pulitzer.)

This year the Glimmerglass Festival is offering a fresh take on the dark tale of revenge and paranoia. 

Pages