I've been listening to these for a while, and it occurred to me that I should to post them here, as well.
Fred Child hosts a classical music program, Performance Today, on American Public Radio (out of Minnesota Public Radio). Once a week on the broadcast, he does a little segment with pianist/composer Bruce Adolphe called "Piano Puzzlers." What Adolphe does is take some popular song (or piece of popular music) and arrange in it the style of a classical composer. A listener calls up and has to guess the popular song and what composer whose style it's in.
It's fun to play along, even though my knowledge of classical composer-styles if fairly limited. But usually he sticks with the most-known ones. Anyway, I figured it would be fun for others here to play along. Even if you don't know classical musical in the slightest and couldn't tell a beet from Beethoven, you still can at least try to guess the hidden popular song.
This first selection is somewhat fortuitous, which will be clear why after you've heard it. It's also a rare episode because the guest really has zero idea what the popular song is. Even with all the clues and help -- and it's a perfectly well-known song that (to me) was very obvious the first time through...let alone with Bruce Adolphe eventually helping him with the music as much as he can. What's funny is that Fred Child is the most gracious of hosts, and always go out of his way to be kind to the caller, and even if the guest is totally lost and only finally guesses the hidden song with an abundance of help, Child will say, "And you got both! The composer and the song. Congratulations!"
(I keep waiting for a caller to say, "Let's be honest, Fred, I really didn't." But they always are willing to accept that they "won." Only one time over the course of years do I recall the guest even suggesting that he really needed a LOT of help.) I mention all this because -- even on this episode -- Fred Child congratulates the guest on getting both right. And trust me, the only way the guest "got both right" is because Bruce Adolphe stripped away the classical composer completely, just plays the song, and Fred Child prompts him with (for example), "My Country, 'Tis of......." and the guest jumps in "THEE!!" To which, Fred Child congratulates him with his traditional, "Well done!"
So, just know that this is not typical. Even when callers have trouble with the composer or the song, they usually get to it with a whole lot less difficulty than this fellow. Sometimes people simply don't know the song, and that's understandable. That's not common, but it happens. But this fellow actually does know the song. He just can't identify it until the final word.
One last thing that's I like about this episode. Every once in a while, Bruce Adolphe sings along with the song -- and I love that because he's quite a good singer. And he does so here...doing everything he can to help the poor fellow. Who, alas, just doesn't have a clue. Until, fortunately, the final word.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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