The call came in the summer of 2016. I was asked by Jack Fishman, then of the Baltimore Symphony, now of Baltimore Choral Arts, if I was interested in doing podcasts for the BSO. Who could turn that down! Not moi mes petits amis. I had no idea how to create podcasts and the symphony had only a vague idea of what was required. After a few attempts I realized that unlike many podcasts, which have two or more people riffing on whatever subject is at hand, this podcast was going to be a more formal affair. It’s hard to riff when you are on your own even when you, like me, have the awful habit of talking to yourself far too often. I decided that this would be a scripted and rather formal podcast…though without the crushingly dull approach that seems to characterize so much classical music informational material. If I remember correctly the first podcast attempted was Orff’s Carmina Burana. It took forever, but came out well enough for both the BSO and me to continue. This season I am responsible for 15 out of the 22 BSO concert weeks and 11 have been completed. There are still seven podcasts left to write and I desperately need to start one on Brahms first piano concerto and another on Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande. If you are interested here are some links to some of my recent favorites.
Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony. I barely knew of the piece much less knew it and spent endless hours getting to know this 90 minute giant! I learned so much!
Elgar: Cello Concerto. A stunningly beautiful and elegiac work that brings me to tears just about every time I hear it.
Chabrier: Espana! Just pure unadulterated fun and beautifully written.