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 10: Today in Music History

today

• 1865 ~ Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov, Russian symphonic composer, conductor and educator. He wrote eight completed symphonies and two piano concertos. One of his last works (1934) was a concerto for saxophone.

• 1893 ~ Douglas Stuart Moore, American composer and educator

• 1895 ~ The first Promenade concert under conductor Henry Wood took place at Queen’s Hall in London. He remained in sole charge of the “Proms”, the annual British classical music festival, until 1940.

• 1928 ~ Jimmy Dean (Seth Ward), Grammy Award-winning singer, TV host of The Jimmy Dean Show, sausage mogul

• 1928 ~ Eddie Fisher, Singer, TV host of Coke Time with Eddie Fisher, father of Carrie Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher

• 1940 ~ Bobby Hatfield, Singer with The Righteous Brothers

• 1943 ~ Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Spector (Bennett), Singer with The Ronettes

• 1947 ~ Ian Anderson, Musician: flute, singer with Jethro Tull

• 1954 ~ Eliot Fisk, American guitarist

• 1954 ~ Elvis Presley made one of his first professional appearances, at Overton Park, in his hometown of Memphis, TN. He used the occasion to debut his new record, That’s All Right (Mama), and was a big crowd pleaser.

• 1961 ~ Jon Farriss, Musician, drums, singer with INXS

• 1967 ~ Lorraine Pearson, Singer with Five Star

• 1968 ~ Michael Bivins, Singer with New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe

• 1985 ~ Madonna’s album Like a Virgin became the first solo album by a female artist to be certified for sales of five million copies.

• 1987 ~ A Chorus Line celebrated its 5,000th performance. It was estimated that 25 million theatregoers had seen the musical since it opened in 1975. An estimated 16.7 million people had seen the show on Broadway, with another 8.3 million taking in the touring production. A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on The Great White Way on September 29, 1983 and ended its Broadway run in 1990.

• 2003 ~ Gregory Hines, Tony Award winner tap-dancing actor who started on Broadway and in movies including “White Nights” and “Running Scared,” died at the age of 57. The dancer, among the best in his generation, won a 1993 Tony for the musical  “Jelly’s Last Jam.”

Hines became internationally known as part of a jazz tap due with his brother, Maurice, and the two danced together in the musical revue “Eubie!” in 1978. The brothers later performed together in Broadway’s “Sophisticated Ladies” and on film in 1984’s “The Cotton Club.”

In “The Cotton Club,” Hines also had a lead acting role, which led to more work in film. He starred with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1985’s “White Nights” and with Billy Crystal in 1986’s “Running Scared,” and he appeared with Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett in 1995’s “Waiting to Exhale,” among other movies.

On television, he had his own sitcom in 1997 called “The Gregory Hines Show,” as well as a recurring role on “Will and Grace.” March 2003, he appeared in the spring television series “Lost at Home.”

• 2013 ~ Eydie Gorme, American singer, died at the age of 84