Wednesday, March 21, 2007


one of the losses in my life was the death of karl haas, whose radio show ADVENTURES IN GOOD MUSIC was a daily friend.

for the last year, i have been listening to EXPLORING MUSIC, the successor.

initially, i didn't think that karl haas could be equaled. this WFMT show is proving that it can equal karl's broadcasts.

over the last several weeks, there has been a concentration on composers for whom i have had a passionate affection over the years. richard strauss, samuel barber.

the close of the richard strauss retrospective was jessye norman singing im abendrot from the vier letzte lieder. too sad that all these songs weren't aired. i have always considered them the zenith of 20th century lieder. if you don't know them, i urge you to know them. gorgeous music sung by a fabulous voice at its peak with the great kurt masur conducting the leipzig gewandhaus.

i recall when i first heard the barber piano concerto. john browning was playing it with the columbus symphony orchestra. i was in high school. the adagio for strings is well known. but i have always considered the piano concerto one of the beacons of american music. along with the violin concerto. bill mcGlaughlin[sic] played a whole lot more of barber's stuff.

if you don't know this show, and it is broadcast in your area of the usa, tune in. it is a wonderful examination of what i consider to be the most mysterious of the deity's gifts, music.


Blogger Mooser said...

albert, if I may be allowed the temerity to address you on such familiar terms, (You don't mind? Oh, good! We're best fiends now, right?) I wonder, is this program web-cast? I'll have to look and see.
I'm moderately well versed in the ol' pre-baroque, up to the classical and romantic composers, but I'm not so hot on modrewn serious music.
I'll make it my business to find that program. I love music shows like that on the radio.

8:14 PM  
Blogger albertchampion said...

do that.

richard strauss, of course, straddles the centuries. samuel barber is a child of the 20th century.

at one time in my life, richard strauss was my favorite composer. ein heldenleben was a masterpiece. his opera der rosenkavalier i consider the equal of mozart's figaro.

but it is those four last songs that ,for me, enshrine him in my pantheon of composers. they are exquisite.

by the way, they were featured in one of the few movies that i can watch again and again - THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. they were the songs that billy kwan, linda[sic] hunt,listened to constantly.

and there is another story. why was hunt denied best actress?

having spent time in indonesia, this flicker captured the flavor of the country. everytime i watch it, i can smell java. no other movie has ever taken me to that level of sensation.

12:46 AM  

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