The summer on Classical Discoveries

It has been quite awhile since I wrote my last blog. I had big plans to write a few more, but the end of the school year has been quite crazy. I also had a piano recital last Sunday, which kept me busy.

The summer schedule was announced a bit late. I hope you did not miss last Monday’s early music special.

So this is how the schedule goes.

Classical Discoveries will air each Wednesday from 5:30 till 11:00am, followed by the Avant-Garde Edition until 1:00pm.

On five Mondays during June and July I will present 5 special musical travelogues.

These programs, as presented in earlier years, will focus on different countries and regions of the globe.

Each show will start at 5:30am and end at 11:00am

Schedule for:

CLASSICAL DISCOVERIES AROUND THE WORLD SUMMER TRAVELS

  • Monday, June 13, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – POLAND  – FROM THE BALTIC SEA TO THE TATRA MOUNTAINS
  • Monday, June 27, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – LATVIA – FROM RIGA WITH LOVE – with special guest, young Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, who is visiting the USA for the première of his music with Philadelphia Crossing. His works were broadcast for the first time in USA on Classical Discoveries
  • Monday, July 04, 2011 – 5:30  – 11:00 AM – USA – AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – July 4th Special  – annual American music show
  • Monday, July 11, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM –  CANADA – “UP NORTH” – CANADA REVISITED
  • Monday, July 25, 2011 – 5:30 – 11:00 AM – UKRAINE – FRESCOES OF KIEV

Details about each program will be announced closer to the broadcast date and I might blog some extra information if time allows me.

For Early Music Lovers

TREASURES OF EARLY MUSIC  –  Program devoted to little known repertoire before 1750 is back for 3 summer specials.

Unfortunately the first was already aired last Monday, but you can check the playlist to find out what you missed

  • Monday, June 06, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM  – Playlist for 06-06-2011
  • Monday, June 20, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM
  • Monday, July  18, 2011 – 8:30 – 11:00 AM

Highlights will be posted on the Classical Discoveries website as well as on Facebook a couple of days before each program.

The last special at the end of the summer at WPRB will be:

24-HOUR LIVE WPRB RADIO BROADCAST – MARATHON  – WE REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11

Starting SATURDAY, September 10, 2011 – 7:00 PM through SUNDAY, September 11, 2011 – 7:00 PM

At the 10th anniversary of September 11, Classical Discoveries will present a 24-hour live radio marathon, totally devoted to music written by composers from many countries as a reaction to the unforgettable events of that day.

I will write more about the Marathon shortly. You can check Sequenza 21 – May 21, 2011 – Call for recorded music written to commemorate 9/11 tragedy
Posted by Steve Layton

I am planning to have some composer guests as I do each summer. Since I do not have confirmation with the exception of  Ēriks Ešenvalds, these will be announced later.

 

More about me

About me – continues

So what is so special about the radio and me?

I do not know? Maybe the fact that after 14 years I am still passionate about what I do. Luckily my wonderful wife, Beata, supports what I do. On our first date instead of ordering dinner we talked about Hovhaness, Penderecki, Bacewicz and the Górecki Third Symphony, which was little known here in the west then. I think I impressed her with my knowledge of Polish music!! I remember she also loved the way I played Chopin! I think I melted her heart at the time since she is very fussy about the interpretation of Chopin!

You must be thinking that I am crazy to do all this work as a volunteer. I am crazy and enjoy every moment of it.  I am also excited that I am in the position to share all the obscure works I air with my listening audience.

From the beginning, whether it was early or new music, I always wanted the listening audience to hear something that other radio stations were not playing.

Yes, I am very lucky that my radio station does not impose any guidelines and programming restrictions, otherwise it would not be possible to develop my program the way it is, and prove to the world that listeners are ready for change.

So far, I have broken every rule governing traditional classical music programming with the exception (to the point), of the more difficult modern music, which I never program during drive time but after 11:00am.

And yes, some might think that I do have rather unorthodox ideas regarding classical programming, but every one of my programs is well thought out and unique and has to my knowledge never offended anyone.

Oh no, I lied, on my first WPRB program I played the Rossini Cat Duet without announcing it and some lady called, yelling at me. She told me that everyone at WPRB was off the deep end or something to that effect.  I politely thanked her for her call, with the wild satisfaction of waiting to announce the composer. I would have loved to see her face at that moment. I also had a listener that I considered to be a stalker. He called me often and criticized my work all the time. I was wondering why he was listening, but now after all this time I actually might know why.

I always want to prove to the world that there is so much wonderful new music fitting every discriminating taste in our century. To illustrate this I presented my 1st annual program devoted to music of 21st century on January 1, 2003.

In addition, I have presented 4, 24 hour Marathons of new music. I have presented hundreds of $0 budget special programs focusing on various countries and regions as well as variety of programs on different subjects. I have presented programs on Young Composers (age 30 and below) and women composers. I have had over 60 guests, presented many Voyages Around The World and early music specials, etc.  All of these are posted on my website, where I have a page which lists all the special programs.

In addition to the programs I have created already, my head is still full of ideas about programs that I never will be able to share due to the lack of time. With all the new music coming from all over the world something must give.

 

I have presented many world and American première broadcasts. My listeners have known Peteris Vasks and Paweł Łukaszewski long before they hit the NY radio waves and yes, Grażyna Bacewicz was on my first program 14 years ago.

I do not believe in occasional tokens in between the warhorses. I do not believe that you only can play certain types of music during drive time (no choral music) etc.

My listeners come from all social and age groups from college professors to tractor-trailer drivers. I am always trying to prove that there is music for everyone!

I have found out that once a listener develops trust in you, they would be willing to give anything a chance. My listeners have told me that because of my program they now attend concerts of new music.  With today’s CD prices, no one will buy music that they never heard before.

I know for a fact that many listeners have purchased CDs they have heard on my program and composers have gotten commissions for new works, after someone heard their music on my show.Yes, this is music to my ears.

I do not claim that every work written today is good. I do not claim that the music I present is or will be considered a masterpiece in the future.

Based on the past experience it would be arrogant of me to do that.

The music that I share with my listeners must have some value for me and bring me joy. I must like it or find it interesting.

Only the future will tell if the various works I play from the end of the 20th or 21st centuries will someday be considered great, stipulating that we have a 22nd century and our planet survives mistreatment, abuse and rape.

 

 

 

Finally, I am here

April 09, 2011

Finally, after many months of stalling and many trips to the Princeton Record Exchange, I have managed to finish my first official blog.

Unfortunately, I have been involved recently with to many projects. Some of these have been related to the Hovhaness centenary. My other main project was to simply get rid of a cold that I had for weeks.

I hope that in this blog I will be able to express myself and talk about issues that are important to me, many of which have to do about my beloved subject, the music of our time.

You must be asking, why MarvinTheCat?

Yes, I do love cats, even though I never had any animals as a child. When I married my wife Beata, I married not only her but also 2 cats and a dog.  After many more cats and another dog, I discovered the meaning of animal love.  But the reason for MarvinTheCat is totally different.

In 1993 I recorded a CD of the piano music of Alan Hovhaness – Fred the Cat. The CD cover is graced with my wife’s painting of one of our cats, properly named Fred (of course after Hovhaness’s Sonata).   This is how my story begins.

The last time I saw AH alive in Boston, I had people walk to me saying, “you are familiar to me, O yes, you are Fred the Cat”  This happened many times later also and from that time I am remembered as such.  Also Fred the Cat became my website logo.

Unfortunately again, when I wanted Fred for this Blog, the name was already taken, so I decided to replace Fred with Marvin. I just hope that who ever adopted that name, was inspired by my CD, but if not, that is OK also as long as he/she loves cats.

So now here is a bit about me.

I am a pianist, music educator and passionate recorded music collector (my motto: more rare CDs the better), or rather as my wife calls me a “sick collector” and “CDcoholic.”

I am an easygoing guy who has tried for most of my life to stay away from any controversial issues, as instructed in my early life.  I have expressed different views only via music on my radio program  (to the joy of many happy listeners), so maybe it is time for me speak out just a bit.

Yes, my other passion is a radio.

As a volunteer on WPRB, I have presented at least once a week “Classical Discoveries” for 14 years and in addition for almost 3 years now “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

Yes, this newer program airs, not in wee hours of night, hidden away from listeners, when everyone is sleeping and only few Internet junkies are exploring the airwaves, but in the daytime.

There will be more about this is my next blog.

Since I have full-time job and a time-consuming hobby, I might not have the time to write as often I would like, but we will see what happens.

 

%d bloggers like this: