November 17 ~ in Music History

today

• 1726 ~ The first performance of J. S. Bach‘s Sacred Cantata No. 55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht on the 22nd Sunday following Trinity. Was part of Bach’s third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig 1725-27

• 1848 ~ Frederic Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.

• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.

• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.

• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.

• 1870 ~ Alfred Hill, Australian composer

• 1876~ The first performance of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s March Slav in Moscow.

• 1877 ~ The first production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera, The Sorcerer, was presented, in London.

• 1888~ The first production of Tchaikovsky‘s Fifth Symphony in St. Petersburg.

• 1891 ~ Poland’s premier and premier ivory tickler, Ignace Jan Paderewski, made his American debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In later years, Paderewski, who suffered from arthritis, settled in Paso Robles, CA. The hot mineral baths located there eased his pain. He played only Steinway grand pianos custom-built to his specifications. In fact, five were made just for his use.

• 1919 ~ Hershy Kay, composer/arranger (Olympic Hymn)

• 1925 ~ Sir Charles Mackerras, Australian conductor

• 1930 ~ David Amram, American composer and French-horn player

• 1938 ~ Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk singer, songwriter and guitarist

• 1938 ~ Orchestra leader Kay Kyser, speaking to an audience at the College of the City of New York (CCNY) told of the “inner workings and artistic features of swing music.” It marked the first of a series of lectures on swing music presented by Kyser, who went on to present The Kollege of Musical Knowledge on radio.

• 1941 ~ Gene Clark, Singer, guitar with The Byrds

• 1942 ~ Bob Gaudio, Singer with The Royal Teens; The Four Seasons

• 1946 ~ Martin Barre, Guitarist with Jethro Tull

• 1950 ~ Roberta Peters filled in for the lead in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, making her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She would become one of the Met’s most famous stars.

• 1959 ~ Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer/pianist/conductor, died at the age of 72

• 1962 ~ The 4 Seasons, with Frankie Valli as lead singer, began a five-week run at the top of the tunedex with Big Girls Don’t Cry.

• 1967 ~ Ronald DeVoe, Singer with New Edition

• 1970 ~ Elton John recorded an album live, on what was WABC-FM in New York City. It marked the first time that a concert was aired live and recorded for release as aired. The LP was titled, 11/17/70.

• 1981 ~ Bob Eberly died

• 2001 ~ Jerry Jerome, a tenor sax player who was a featured soloist with the bands of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, died of leukemia. He was 89. One of the big names in the Big Band era, Jerome was a featured soloist with the Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo and Artie Shaw orchestras. He then became a successful musical director and conductor on radio and television. Jerome also established a music business, scoring and arranging commercial jingles. Three years ago, Arbors Records released Jerome’s “Something Old, Something New.” The sequel recording, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” will be released in December. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jerome started playing the sax while in high school. He attended the University of Alabama and went on the medical school, playing gigs at jazz clubs to earn tuition money. He joined Goodman’s orchestra at the height of its popularity in 1938. When Goodman broke up his band in 1940, Jerome joined Shaw. While with Shaw, he appeared in the film “Second Chorus,” with Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith.

• 2003 ~ Arthur Conley, a 1960s soul singer and protege of Otis Redding’s, died at his home in the town of Ruurlo, in the eastern Netherlands. He was 57. Conley was born in Atlanta and started his recording career in 1959 as leader of the group Arthur and the Corvets. He was best known for his 1967 hit, Sweet Soul Music, which he co-wrote with Redding based on a number by Sam Cooke. Conley had several minor hits in the following two years. He moved to Europe in the early 1970s after several tours of the continent, deciding that he was “fed up with the pressure” in the United States, said Giesen. In the Netherlands, Conley appeared on television and radio, and ran an independent record label. In the last five years he was an adviser to The Original Sixties R&B and Soul Show, which sought to reproduce the sound and look of the heyday of soul.

• 2018 ~ Cyril Pahinui, a nationally recognized Hawaiian guitarist and singer who preserved and extended the tradition of slack-key guitar, died at the age of 68

November 16 ~ in Music History

today

• 1569 ~  Paul Sartorius, German organist and composer

• 1615 ~ Guillaume Dumanoir, II, French violinist and composer who composed dance music enjoyed by Louis XIV

• 1667 ~ Nathaniel Schnittelbach, composer, died at the age of 34

• 1715 ~ Girolamo Abos, composer of Italian opera and church music.

• 1720 ~ Carlo Antonio Campioni, Italian composer.

• 1757 ~ Daniel Read, American composer of the First New England School, and one of the primary figures in early American classical music.

• 1775 ~ Karl Marian Paradeiser, German composer, died at the age of 28.

• 1780 ~ Robert Archibald Smith, English composer.

• 1829 ~ Anton G Rubinstein, Russian pianist/conductor/composer

• 1840 ~ Frederick Scotson Clark, composer.

• 1848 ~ Frédéric Chopin played his final piano concert at a Polish benefit ball at Guildhall in London.

• 1850 ~ Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Stifellio was first performed at the Teatro Grande in Trieste despite difficulties with the censors which resulted in cuts and changes.

• 1852 ~ Minnie Hauk, American soprano

• 1854 ~ First Performance of Anton Rubinstein‘s Ocean Symphony in Leipzig.

• 1860 ~ Edmund Scheucker, Viennese harpist.

• 1861 ~ Vaclav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist.

• 1861 ~ First Performance of Johannes Brahms‘ Piano Quintet No. 1 in g, Op. 25, at a rehearsal in Hamburg, with pianist Clara Schumann.

• 1862 ~ The work noted above received its official premiere with members of the Hellmesberger Quartet; Brahms at the piano, in Vienna.

• 1870 ~ Alfred Hill, Australian composer

• 1873 ~ David Karl Björling, Swedish tenor

• 1873 ~ W.C. Handy, American blues composer and bandleader
More information about Handy

• 1889 ~ George S. (Simon) Kaufman, Playwright: The Cocoanuts, A Night at the Opera, with Moss Hart, The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can’t Take It with You

• 1893 ~ George Alexander Osborne, Irish pianist and composer (La Pluie de perles), died of natural causes at the age of 87

• 1894 ~ Debut of opera star Enrico Caruso in Mario Morelli’s L’Amico Francesco at Naples Teatro Nuovo.

• 1895 ~ Paul Hindemith, German-born American composer and conductor
Read quotes by and about Hindemith
More information about Hindemith

• 1896 ~ Lawrence Mervil Tibbett, American baritone

• 1905 ~ Eddie (Albert) Condon, Guitarist, bandleader, promoter of Dixieland Jazz

• 1908 ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini made his debut in the United States this day. He appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, conducting Aida.

• 1931 ~ Bob Gibson, Singer, songwriter, leader of folk music movement in late ’50s, duo of Gibson and (Bob) Camp

• 1932 ~ The Palace in New York City closed its doors. It was the most famous vaudeville theater in America. Later, it became a movie house with live performances preceding the flicks; most notably: the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in their heyday.

• 1935 ~ The Rodgers and Hart musical, Jumbo, opened in New York City for a run of 233 performances.

• 1937 ~ Bob Crosby and his orchestra recorded South Rampart Street Parade on Decca Records.

• 1945 ~ Martine Van Hammel, Ballet, American Ballet Theatre

• 1955 ~ ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford drove to the top spot on the record charts on this day. Sixteen Tons, where he owed his “soul to the company store…”, became the fastest-selling record in history, jumping to #1 in just 3 weeks. The tune, on Capitol Records, stayed at #1 for eight weeks.

• 1964 ~ Albert Hay Malotte, composer, died at the age of 69

• 1964 ~ Diana Krall, Canadian Jazz pianist and singer

 

 

• 1970 ~ Anne Murray received a gold record for Snowbird. She was the first Canadian recording artist to receive a gold record.

• 2000 ~ Russ Conway, a British pianist known as the “Prince Charming of Pop” who sold
More than 30 million records in the 1950s and ’60s, died at age 75. He had 17 consecutive hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and won a silver disc when his record Roulette topped 250,000 sales – a total rapidly equaled by three other hits, Sidesaddle, China Tea and Snow Coach. Conway’s formal piano education consisted of one lesson at age 4. He left school at 14 and got work in a lawyer’s office. But he was sent to juvenile detention for three years for taking money he found in a package. In a detention center, he found a piano to play. While doing a stint as a pianist in a club, he was discovered by choreographer Irving Davies. He went on to provide piano accompaniment to a string of singers. Soon he was composing the songs that made him famous and won him the nicknames “Prince Charming of Pop” and the “Sheik of the Keyboard.”

• 2001 ~ Blue guitarist and singer Isaac Scott, a major figure in the city’s music scene for more than a quarter century, died of complications from diabetes. He was 56. A stream of musicians paid their respects to Scott, said his ex-wife, Eloise DePoe. He was found in his apartment Nov. 4 and never regained consciousness. Scott recorded several albums, including “The Isaac Scott Band,” “Big Time Blues Man” and “High Class Woman.” He also appeared on the compilation albums “Live at the San Francisco Jazz Festival” and “Live at the Roadhouse.” Primarily a “cover artist,” Scott did not write his own songs, which hindered national recognition. But he received several local honors, including the Washington Blues Society’s Hall of Fame (1991) and lifetime-achievement (2000) awards. He also performed at last year’s opening of the Experience Music Project. Scott taught himself piano and guitar, and started out playing gospel music, once touring the West Coast with the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. In 1974, he turned his attention to blues, with a sound flavored by his love of Seattle-born guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Like Albert Collins, an early influence, Scott played electric guitar with his thumb instead of a pick, which contributed to his distinctive sound. He also was known for his stamina, often playing two- and three-hour sets.

• 2001 ~ Tommy Flanagan, a jazz pianist who worked with such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, died of an arterial aneurysm. He was 71. Flanagan, part of his own classic jazz trio, accompanied Fitzgerald for 20 years, also acting as her musical director. He also worked for Tony Bennett. He became a celebrated figure in jazz with such trio albums as “Jazz Poet” (1989) and “Let’s” (1993). Flanagan’s trio included bassists George Mraz and Peter Washington, and drummers Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash and Albert Heath. Flanagan won the distinguished Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1993. Born in Detroit, Flanagan was the youngest of six children. He recorded “Sunset and the Mockingbird: The Birthday Concert,” live at the Vanguard in 1998. He was to appear at Iridium this holiday season.

November 1 ~ in Music History

today

 

OCMS 1830 ~ Frederic Chopin left Warsaw for Paris, never to return. He was presented a cup of Polish soil on this day.
More about Chopin

.1902 ~ Eugen Jochum, German conductor

.1921 ~ Jan Tausinger, Rumanian-born Czech violist, conductor and composer

.1923 ~ Victoria de Los Angeles, Spanish soprano

.1926 ~ Lou Donaldson, Alto saxophone, singer

.1937 ~ ‘Whispering’ Bill (James) Anderson, Songwriter, singer

.1940 ~ Barry Sadler, Songwriter, singer

.1944 ~ Keith Emerson, Keyboards with Emerson, Lake & Powell as well as Emerson, Lake & Palmer

.1944 ~ Chris Morris, Guitarist with Paper Lace

.1945 ~ Rick Grech, Bassist, violinist

.1950 ~ Dan Peek, Guitarist, singer with America

.1951 ~ Ronald Bell, Saxophone with Kool & The Gang

.1957 ~ Lyle Lovett, Grammy Award-winning singer, Best Male Country Vocal in 1989

.1959 ~ Eddie MacDonald, Bass with The Alarm

.1962 ~ Rick Allen, Drummer with Def Leppard

.1962 ~ Mags Furuholmen, Keyboards, singer with a-ha

.1968 ~ George Harrison’s soundtrack LP, “Wonderwall”, was released. It was the first solo album by one of The Beatles. The album was also the first on the new Apple label.

.1969 ~ Warner Brothers Records added Faces, to its roster. They fared OK, but even better when lead singer Rod Stewart stepped out to become a superstar on his own. The group’s former label, Mercury, capitalized on the fact by releasing Maggie Mae and three other Faces tunes before Stewart went solo for Warner exclusively.

.1969 ~ The last album of The Beatles reached #1 on the album chart. “Abbey Road” was the top LP for eleven nonconsecutive weeks.  The final studio recordings from the group featured two songs; ‘Something’ & ‘Here Comes The Sun’. The cover supposedly contained clues adding to the ‘Paul Is Dead’ phenomenon: Paul is barefoot and the car number plate ‘LMW 281F’ supposedly referred to the fact that McCartney would be 28 if he was still alive. ‘LMW’ was said to stand for ‘Linda McCartney Weeps.’

OCMS 1975 ~ Elton John’s Island Girl hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song parked itself at the top of the hit heap for 3 weeks.

.1979 ~ Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” premiered

Franz Liszt’s Birthday!

liszt-quote

Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, near Ödenburg, October 22, 1811 and died in Bayreuth, July 31, 1886. He was a Hungarian composer and pianist who was a major influence during the romantic period. Liszt was an outstanding pianist at seven, composed at eight and made concert appearances at nine. In addition to being a piano virtuoso, he was also a critic, conductor, city music director, literary writer and transcriber of the works of other composers. He transcribed Beethoven’s Symphonies for the piano.

Franz Liszt began his career as the outstanding concert pianist of the century, who, along with the prodigious violinist Niccoló Paganini (1782-1840), created the cult of the modern instrumental virtuoso. To show off his phenomenal and unprecedented technique, Liszt composed a great deal of music designed specifically for this purpose, resulting in a vast amount of piano literature laden with dazzling, and other technical marvels. In this vein, Liszt composed a series of virtuosic rhapsodies on Hungarian gypsy melodies, the best-known being the all too familiar Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. Liszt developed the rhapsody as a form of serious music. This kind of music is worlds apart from the generally more introspective, poetic music of pianist-composer Frédéric Chopin.

Liszt was wildly handsome and hugely talented. He was extremely popular in Paris during the 1830’s. It is said that women actually fainted at his piano recitals. He was the first to position the piano so that its lid reflected the sound and the audience could see his profile as he performed.

Liszt was the first to write a tone poem, which is an extended, single-movement work for orchestra, inspired by paintings, plays, poems or other literary or visual works, and attempting to convey the ideas expressed in those media through music. Such a work is Les Préludes, based on a poem in which life is expressed as a series of struggles, passions, and mysteries, all serving as a mere prelude to . . .what? The Romantic genre of the symphonic poem, as well as its cousin the concert overture, became very attractive to many later composers, including Saint-Saëns, TchaikovskyDvorák, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss.


     Liszt’s birthday

     anniversary of Liszt’s death

    Listen to Liszt’s transcription of Meyerbeer’s Hellish Waltz from Robert du Diable, which probably caused more public commotion than any other piano piece in history.


     Read quotes by and about Liszt

     Liszt was the first recitalist

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     History of the Piano

     Franz Liszt

Fall LIstening and Coloring Pages

 

I have purchased a set of Shades of Sound Listening & Coloring Book: Halloween for the studio.

Each week, I will print out some of the pages for your student and put them in his/her notebook.  After listening to the music on YouTube, the student may color the pages.

After they are colored, please return them to the notebook so that there will be a complete book when finished.

If you are an adult and want to listen and color, too, just let me know and I’ll print you a set.

From the website:

The Shades of Sound Listening and Coloring Books are a great way to encourage students to listen to great piano and orchestral repertoire. Students of all ages will love coloring the fun pictures while listening to and learning from the music of the great composers.

This Shades of Sound Halloween edition includes 13 spooky pieces of piano and orchestral literature, ranging from the Baroque to the Modern period. By spending just 5-10 minutes per day listening for just a few days per week, students can listen to and complete the whole book in a few weeks.

Aspiring pianists need to know the literature, hear the greats perform, and be inspired and excited by the great music that is available! Just as writers need to read, read, read, pianists need to listen! Through this fun curriculum, students will learn about the musical periods and the great composers and their works. Listening repertoire selected includes selections from the standard solo piano literature, as well as solo piano and orchestra literature and orchestral works.

My hope is that students can add just 5-10 minutes of listening per day to their normal practicing. Listening to great music will change their understanding of music and will vastly increase their music history knowledge. It will excite and inspire them, encourage further study and listening, give them new pieces to add to their own repertoire wish list, infuse more great music into their lives, homes and families, and will boost their musicianship and expression to the next level.

The Halloween Shades of Sound book includes 13 different pieces, including:

  • Totentanz by Liszt
  • Le Cimetiere, from Clairs de Lune by Abel Decaux
  • Graceful Ghost Rag by William Bolcom
  • Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky/Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Tarantelle, from Music for Children Op. 65 No. 4 by Prokofiev
  • Tarantella by Albert Pieczonka
  • In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg
  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Bach
  • Funeral March, from Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor by Chopin
  • Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens
  • The Banshee by Henry Cowell
  • Scarbo, from Gaspard de la nuit by Ravel
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas

Students may use The Playful Piano – Halloween Listening YouTube playlist to listen along with their book using quality recordings. The playlist is ordered to go right along with the book, and also includes 5 extra pieces (some pages include optional “Further Listening” examples students may listen to).

 

October 17 ~ in Music History

today

• 1810 ~ Giovanni Matteo Mario, Italian tenor

• 1849 ~ Frederic Chopin died at the age of 39. Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.

• 1892 ~ Herbert Howells, British composer

• 1909 ~ Cozy (William Randolph) Cole, Drummer. He played with Cab CallowayLouis Armstrong, in films – Make Mine Music, The Glenn Miller Story and started a drummers’ school with Gene Krupa

• 1938 ~ This was a big day in Tinseltown. NBC moved to the corner of Sunset and Vine, the ‘Crossroads of the World’. The new Hollywood Radio City drew thousands of visitors ready to fill studio-audience seats for popular radio programs.

• 1940 ~ James Seals, Singer, guitar, saxophone, fiddle with Seals and Crofts

• 1940 ~ One year before recording that memorable song, Fry Me Cookie, with a Can of Lard, Will Bradley’s orchestra recorded Five O’Clock Whistle, also on Columbia Records.

• 1941 ~ Alan Howard, Bass with Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

• 1942 ~ Gary Puckett, Singer with The Union Gap

• 1945 ~ Actress Ava Gardner made news. She married bandleader Artie Shaw.

• 1946 ~ Jim Tucker, Guitarist with The Turtles until 1965

• 1949 ~ Bill Hudson, Comedian, singer with The Hudson Brothers, was married to actress Goldie Hawn

• 1953 ~ The first concert of contemporary Canadian music presented in the U.S. was performed by conductor Leopold Stokowski at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

• 1955 ~ Jose Ferrer and Claire Bloom starred on NBC’s Producer’s Showcase. They performed in “Cyrano De Bergerac”. Ferrer also won an Oscar for his performance in the film version.

• 1958 ~ Alan Jackson, Singer

• 1962 ~ Though the ‘Fab Four’ would appear on both radio and television, on what they would call ‘Auntie Beeb’ (the BBC), The Beatles made their first appearance this day on Great Britain’s Grenada TV Network.

• 1967 ~ A controversial rock musical “Hair”, opened on this day at the Anspacher Theatre in New York City. It ran for 1,742 performances and then became a movie.

• 1983 ~ Actor Anthony Quinn lit up the Great White Way in the revival of the 1968 musical, “Zorba”, that reunited Quinn with Lila Kedrova, who played Madame Hortense. They both had appeared in the film portrayal, “Zorba the Greek”, which won Quinn a nomination for Best Actor, and an Oscar for Kedrova as Best Supporting Actress. This was one of the few films that came before the Broadway show, rather than the reverse.

• 2003 ~ Bernard Schwartz, who produced “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the Academy Award-nominated biopic of country singer Loretta Lynn, died of complications following a stroke. He was 85. Schwartz was a one-time Broadway child actor who got into television and film production in the 1950s, working on the popular paranormal suspense show “Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond” and the hit science fiction film “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Schwartz’ best known and most lauded production was “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the 1980 film inspired by Lynn’s song of the same name. Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her portrayal of Lynn and the film won the Golden Globe award for best musical or comedy. It also was nominated for an Oscar for best picture. In 1985, Schwartz featured Patsy Cline’s life in “Sweet Dreams,” which was named for one of her songs and starred Jessica Lange as the music legend killed in a plane crash. He also produced country singer Amy Grant’s 1986 TV special “Headin’ Home for the Holidays” and worked with Priscilla Presley on the 1988 miniseries “Elvis and Me.” Another of his best-known productions was 1983’s “Psycho II,” the darkly humorous but far bloodier sequel to Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller about troubled motel operator Norman Bates. Other feature films included “The Wackiest Ship in the Army,” “Global Affair,” which starred Bob Hope, and “Rage,” which starred Glenn Ford. Schwartz also produced “That Man Bolt” and “Bucktown,” both vehicles for former football star Fred Williamson, and the thriller “Roadgames” starring Stacey Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis.

From the Radio Show 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!