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I had a farm in Africa

John BarryJohn BarryThursday’s mystery piece, “I had a farm in Africa,” comes from Out of Africa, a film set in colonial Kenya.  Meryl Streep plays a Danish baroness who falls into a doomed love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.  The composer, John Barry, born in England in 1933, is

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Eric Whitacre's virtual choir

The American composer of Wednesday's mystery piece, Eric Whitacre, recently spent a few days working with students at Canandaguia Academy.  A few weeks ago, he landed a recording contract and will start making a new CD in August.  The title of the piece
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Tuesday's mystery piece

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Monday's mystery piece

Monday’s mystery piece was from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier I: Prelude and Fugue.

 

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I'll give you three notes

Years ago I was a contestant in a live, Jeopardy-like quiz show hosted by conductor Peter Bay and the RPO at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center.   Fresh out of college, I thought I knew a lot about music.  Boy, did I eat humble pie. 

 

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Lydia Timmons and Mary Graupman

When she was just 15 years old, Lydia Timmons left school to go to work full time, because the economic downturn had severely affected her mother and 9 brothers. That was in 1941.

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Tchaikovsky, inspiration

Listeners from England and Rochester guessed (correctly) Thursday's mystery piece.  At 6:40 a.m. we heard a waltz from a ballet composed in 1875 as a commission for the Russian Imperial Theatres in Moscow: Valse intrada I from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It was unsuccessful after its first year of performance.

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Wednesday Mystery piece

Congratulations to Susan in Alfred and Bob listening in Rochester.  They identified Wednesday’s mystery piece, a suite of waltzes by one of the most remarkable composers of the 20th century.  He “ran the gamut of styles without losing his own,” writes cellist David Moore

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Tuesday's mystery piece

Robert SchumannRobert SchumannToday we heard Johnathan Biss playing a selection from Robert Schumann’s Papillons (Butterflies).   He "made himself a new ideal world in which he moved almost as he wills," according to one contemporary critic.  Musicians are celebratin
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John Reid and his son Thomas

John Reid was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has lived and worked all over the world. His son Thomas was born in Bangkok, and spent his early years in Bagladesh. Both men now live in New York State. When the StoryCorps Mobile Recording Booth came to Rochester last summer, Thomas took the opportunity to ask his father some very personal questions.

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