I got a chuckle out of hearing The Who's bodacious "Baba O'Riley" on my early morning classical music show today. While the inclusion of a rock-ish piece was explained--the climactic viola solo--what wasn't mentioned was the source of the title, which is: composer/Who leader Peter Townsend's dual tribute to both his guru and also to modern music composer Terry ("In C")Riley. Just in case everybody didn't already know this.
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2012 - 09:15 am:
A second message, Bill, if I may. The television series "Biography" once ran a program on composer Bernard Herrmann that mentioned his score for the 1952 movie "On Dangerous Ground," featuring Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan. According to "Biography," Herrmann (who also conducted the soundtrack) was so impressed by the performance by Virginia Majewski, playing the viola d'amore, that he insisted that she be given her own "card" on the list of credits. When the studio refused, Herrmann shared his own card with the musician, so the listing was "Music by Bernard Herrmann; viola d'amore soloist: Virginia Majewski." Interviewed on "Biography," Majewski said how proud she was of that recognition by such a famous composer.
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 08:59 am:
Am loving the viola series this week, Bill, relishing it. Today, you played two Brahms compositions for viola that were also scored for clarinet and I was reminded that I once had recordings of the clarinet version played by the famous Reginald Kell. I am a bassoonist by trade but must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for the viola. While studying at the Lebanon Valley Conservatory in Pennsylvania nigh on six decades ago, I had a torrid relationship with the orchestra's principal violist, who not only was a beautiful woman but also played the viola beautifully. Ah, youth!