Aloha, from the archives. This week's contestant is Steven Buchtal from Honolulu, Hawaii. I think it's gettable. The song is nicely hidden, but well-known and becomes fairly recognizable. The composer style should be clear, because of the piece of music it's based on, though whether people know who wrote it is another matter...
This week's contestant is Ted Fisher from Belgrade, Serbia. The fellow is a foreign service officer serving in the embassy there, so hopefully he still has that job by the time this aired -- which I assume is the case since I haven't heard of any State Department controversies in the past three days. As for the composer style, it came down to two who always are so similar to me...and I guessed the wrong one. As did the contestant initially. With the hidden song, know that only afterwards does pianist Bruce Adolphe say, "I should have mentioned beforehand that there are two hidden songs in there," and then plays it again. It seemed odd the first time around, and that explains it. I did get one of the tunes very clearly the first time around, and figured that was the answer, not knowing I was supposed to guess two. Listening the second time through, I recognized the song, but couldn't name it.
This week, the contest is Joseph Gewirtz of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For the longest time, while I could tell where the hidden song was, I just couldn't nail it -- and then finally did. (It was quite clear, needless to say, when later played a second time.) My guess for the composer style was not only one of Mr. Gewirtz's guesses, but was born the same year as the composer who was the correct answer, and also the same year a third even-more renowned composer. And all three wrote in somewhat the same style. The correct answer though is the least-famous of the three.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Stacy Fahrion from Denver, Colorado. The hidden song was on the tip of my tongue, and I knew I knew it, but I just couldn't place it. And then I did. Some will likely get it far earlier than I did, because the tip of their is much clearer. As for the composer style, it's one of those styles I just don't know well enough and mix-and-match about four or five different people. So, I didn't get it.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Ray Lancaster from Columbia Hill, South Carolina. I got the hidden song pretty quickly, and then it becomes very clear. Guessing the composer style came down to being between two composers...and I guessed the wrong one. Actually, it turned out to be someone else entirely, so I was completely wrong, though it was from the same country as my guess -- if that counts for anything, which it really doesn't.
From the archives. The guest this week is Roger Reynolds from Ashland, Virginia. I got the hidden song almost immediately, and it's one of the least-hidden songs that Bruce Adolphe has done, so I suspect most people will get it. I have a feeling that the reason it's so poorly hidden is because it overlaps not a composer style, but an existing piece of music. Alas, as absolutely familiar and recognizable as that music is...I just couldn't name the composer.
The contestant for this week's Piano Puzzler is Genevieve Wild from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. I could hear the tune, and almost clearly, but just couldn't get it. It's definitely known, and I got it later when pianist Bruce Adolphe brought the music out more, but it was tough, even though known and clear. The composer style seemed to be from an era that I overlap with a lot of composers, so I took a guess. I was surprised that I was somewhat close, but didn't get that either.
From the archives. This week's contestant is Sean Hampton from Round Rock, Texas. This sounds like a repeat from their archives, not just because the bantering about Round Rock, but there's a passage in the arrangement that sounded familiar. Whether I got the hidden song from that -- or because I did recognize it, I don't know. It's well-hidden, but identifiable, I thought, Though the contestant had trouble. I also guessed the composer, and that had nothing to do with remembering it from before.
From the archives. The contestant here is Matthew Johnson from Chattanooga, Tennessee. This Puzzler is a bit of an oddity -- since I got the composer style, but not the song, and it's usually the other way around. And I felt annoyed at that, because it was clear where the hidden song was and sensed I should know it. I did at least guess it when played the second time around, though I'm not sure if composer Bruce Adolphe might have highlighted things a bit. It's definitely a well-known song, but not a wildly-known one.
From the archives, this week's contestant is Andy Zerman from New York, NY. I was pleased, and a bit surprised that I got the composer whose style the song is written in. But I was stumped -- utterly stumped by the hidden song. No clue. Oddly, I thought it might be one of those 'trick songs' that pianist Bruce Adolphe sometimes does, where the song isn't a popular song, but something from the classical world. It wasn't that, but it turns out I had a good reason to think that. (I shall say no more.) Even when he slowed down the song and highlighted it, I didn't know. Only when I started at the main theme and focused on that did I guess it. That one theme, when you know what to listen for, is extremely clear. But the rest is very well hidden. Nice piece, though...
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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