I was sitting on the sofa, suffering through shingles. I finished the NY Times crossword puzzle, read some of Patricia O'Connor's The Origin of the Specious, watched an episode of Judge Pirro. Looking for further distraction, I fired up the first season of TheWest Wing. As the pilot started, with that impossibly beautiful song playing over the opening credits, it struck me: where have all the theme songs gone?
Rimsky-KorsakovTodayâ€™s mystery piece: Rimsky-Korsakovâ€™s â€śProcession of the Noblesâ€ť from Mlada. Itâ€™s ashort work by a Russian composer with sailing experience. His family pushed him to serve in the Navy, so he enlisted.
Today, June 2nd, we heard Smetanaâ€™s Overture to The Bartered Bride. Smetana was a Czech composer who founded a school in Prague in 1848. This piece is the overture to a hugely successful comic opera. The composer saw the 100th performance of this opera, which was a milestone in the history of Czech opera. By 1952, it had been performed a thousand times at Pragueâ€™s National Theater! Tomorrow, our mystery piece is from an opera inspired by Wagnerâ€™s "Ring" cycle.
Today's early morning mystery piece was Maurice Ravel's La Valse. Georges Pretre conducted the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart (Hanssler 93013.) Congratulations to Robert, who guessed via e-mail at btre...@wxxi.org. Tomorrow, we'll hear a work by a Czech composer which, by 1952, had been performed a thousand times at Pragueâ€™s National Theater. Hear a daily mystery piece at around 6:40 a.m. on Classical 91.5.
Earlier this month, I was gone and off the air for a whole week. I thought I'd try Skyaking for a bit--didn't work out so well. After multiple bird strikes and $17,000 worth of skyaks destroyed, I decided on a safer endeavor and played racquetball.
Every day for 5 hours at WXXI, I play CDs. On an average weekday, I play 22 pieces of recorded music. A rough estimate suggests that 97% of the recordings I play are produced in a studio, with the remaining 3% are recorded live in concert.