Have You Heard the Piano Puzzlers?

puzzlers

 

The Piano Puzzlers book is available in the O’Connor Music Studio library if you’d like to give any a try.  Piano Puzzlers as heard on American Public Media’s “Performance Today.” Includes 32 tunes with songs by Gershwin, Berlin, Arlen, Porter, Rodgers, Fats Waller, Lennon & McCartney, and others disguised in the styles of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Janacek, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Copland.

Includes an introduction by Fred Child, host of “Performance Today” as well as background info by Bruce Adolphe. “Bruce Adolphe has taken a common musician’s party game and elevated it to high art and truly funny musical slapsticks. The Piano Puzzlers are a unique combination of extraordinary insight into the styles of many composers subtle, expert workmanship and great, great fun!”

From http://jasonmorris.blogsome.com/2008/08/08/piano-puzzlers/

If you’re a music geek (like me), I have a program for you. Now, let me be clear, to fully qualify as a music geek…you must have a fond appreciation for classical music (no, Poison, Quiet Riot, and Zepplin do not count as classical music). So, if you’re a “music geek” without an appreciation for classical music…well, I hate to burst your bubble…but, you’re not truly a music geek. Instead, you’re a music appreciator, but not a geek. So, if you just listen to indie music and scowl at anything on a label larger than Matador…don’t bother following the link I’ll provide…the fun will be lost on you…And, you probably won’t have a chance.

Every Wednesday night, on my way home from WNL, I turn on my local NPR station to listen to Piano Puzzlers on Performance Today. It’s absolutely incredible. A pianist/composer (Bruce Adolphe) takes a familiar folk or pop tune and sets it inside a classical masterpiece (or in the style of a particular composer). Sometimes it’s easy…sometimes it’s ridiculously difficult. There are days when I say, “got it” on the first pass. Then there are days when I say, “what the heck?” And, more often than not, I’m able to get either the popular/folk tune or the composer.

This is sad to admit, but there are nights when I’ll slow down on the drive home or sit in the car in the driveway to finish an episode. In fact, I get a little worked up if someone stops me after WNL…as I might miss the beginning of Piano Puzzlers (it usually hits around 8:20pm on our local station).

Take a listen to some of the archives and see if you can figure it out! It’s really cool…but probably only appreciated by music geeks (the kind of people that listen to NPR for their musical programs and not just the snipets of cool indie rock between segments on All Things Considered…which is a great show too).

Play Piano Puzzlers HERE!

August 12, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

• 1644 ~ Heinrich Biber, Bohemian violinist and composer

OCMS   1859 ~ Katharine Lee Bates
Listen to Katharine Lee Bates’s music, America the Beautiful
Read about Katharine Lee Bates
More information about Bates

• 1919 ~ Michael Kidd (Milton Greenwald), Choreographer, dancer

• 1926 ~ Joe Jones, Singer, pianist for B.B. King

• 1927 ~ Porter Wagoner, Singer, songwriter

• 1929 ~ “Buck” (Alvis Edgar) Owens, American country-music guitarist, singer and songwriter

• 1941 ~ Jennifer Warnes, Singer

• 1944 ~ Peter Hofmann, German tenor and rock singer

• 1949 ~ Mark Knopfler, Musician, guitar, songwriter, singer with Dire Straits

• 1954 ~ Pat Metheny, Musician, jazz-guitar

• 1959 ~ Suzanne Vega, Musician, folk-guitar, singer, songwriter

• 1961 ~ Roy Hay, Musician, guitar with Culture Club

• 1966 ~ The last tour for The Beatles began at the International Amphitheater in Chicago; and John Lennon apologized for boasting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. London’s Catholic Herald said Lennon’s comment was “arrogant … but probably true.”

• 1967 ~ Fleetwood Mac made their stage debut at the National Blues and Jazz Festival in Great Britain.