For my third Hybrid Highbrow podcast I have assembled a collection of tango pieces written by late-19th and early 20th-century classical composers. They include Albéniz, Shostakovich, Milhaud, Mompou, Stravinsky, Satie, and Poulenc. Listening to these wonderful compositions, and reading up on the history of tango, I am struck by the explosive impact that this […]
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By popular demand I have produced my second Hybrid Highbrow podcast. It’s all about jazz and classical pieces that conform to the “arabesque” format. Arabesques are often but not always written for the piano. Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy composed the most famous arabesques. But I also hear the arabesque spirit in the the work […]
Composer Kevin Volans gave a talk at Ireland’s Contemporary Music Center the other month. During the speech Volans ID’d the United Kingdom’s Classic FM radio service as a key moment in Good Culture’s never ending declension narrative. First came The Three Tenors (gah), and if that wasn’t enough: “Then came Classic FM in 1992, set up by […]
A first rate classical smartphone application program: King-FM’s fantasy concert series.
My favorite classical radio station has released thirty Vimeos of the semi-finalists for its “classical moonlighters” competition. I wrote about this when WQXR in New York City first announced the contest last year. These folks have posted vids of themselves playing various masterpieces and they’ve made it to first cut. The final finalists in this event will […]
Many years ago I invented a phrase for a peculiar kind of radio format: “Hybrid Highbrow.” I cooked up the term to describe listener supported KPFA in Berkeley, California, which in the 1950s broadcast classical music, opera, jazz, and folk music in the spirit with which Matthew Arnold understood “culture” in his book Culture and […]