My friend Sherry Gendelman played one of Maurizio Pollini’s recordings the other day on her Piano radio show on KPFA in Berkeley. It was Pollini’s version of the Chopin Preludes and reminded me of when he came to New York City in 1979 and played Carnegie Hall. This was a huge deal since he was already so famous and all. Since I worked at a then popular record store, somebody gave me a ticket and I went. As I recall, Pollini served up the Schubert Wanderer Fantasy and I thought he was quite spectacular. But others around me insisted that while he was a great technician, his style lacked feeling, and I, being 19 or so, agreed with them since they looked like they knew what they were talking about. After all, what did I know?
Now, listening to Sherry’s show, I have to say that the playing sounds quite beautiful. Here’s a YouTube of his album. You decide.
Last week I spent a little time with one of Marvin Rosen’s early music specials at KPRB at Princeton, New Jersey. I kept listening to Biagio Marini’s Sonata a tre over and over on the mp3, performed by Christopher Hogwood and The Academy of Ancient Music. It has that wonderful, sad, baroque busy-busy-busy sound that I love. You should download the show while you can.
My latest Hybrid Highbrow podcast did fairly well. It focused on classical tangos and got a significant number of listens on Mixcloud. I’m going on a trip to Turkey this week and will visit a radio station there. When I return, I’ll write up the tour. Then I hope to do a show on jazz interpretations of Bartok. After that I’ll throw together something about Gamelan Music and the classical tradition, which means of course that I will play some Lou Harrison. Here’s a really nice video of pianist and radio host Sarah Cahill taking you through Harrison’s Piano Concerto, which has gamelan all over it. Enjoy!
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