Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Adventures in Good Music

Listening to a classical music station early yesterday morning, we heard the second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique piano sonata (number 8). It reminded us immediately of the program Adventures in Good Music hosted on public radio for years by Karl Haas. We expected to hear his greeting, "Hello, everyone." As The New York Times described the show in his obituary on February 8, :

Hallmarks of "Adventures in Good Music" included a snippet of Beethoven's "Pathétique" sonata played at the beginning and end of each broadcast (sometimes by Mr. Haas himself), Mr. Haas's slightly accented English, and the punning titles he thought up for his programs, including "Haydn, Go Seek," "From Stern to Bow" (about the violinist Isaac Stern), "Baroque and in Debt" and "The Joy of Sax."

One listener wrote Haas in the 1960's to say that it was a "longhair program with a crew cut," a description he was happy to repeat. Some longhairs looked down their noses a bit at Mr. Haas, but that didn't matter to thousands of regular listeners.

I read his book Inside Music years ago too, and it is still in print! He certainly was popularizer of classical music, confident that anyone could appreciate it, even without a music degree or even being able to read music or play an instrument. Those abilities and that training certainly enhance the experience, but anyone who has the leisure to listen to the music will "understand" it!

No comments:

Post a Comment