Friday, February 24, 2012

It was the best of times and not...

I remember my older piano teacher Rodney Hoare telling me about a "game" in vogue in Britain in the twenties and thirties where one took two old spinet pianos, two barrel hoops and a selection of sledge hammers. You add to this a barrel of beer as the prize and you made your own entertainment. Men would pay to compete and whichever team reduced their piano to chucks small enough to fit through the barrel hoop won the beer. Amazing fun for everyone except piano teachers and music lovers. He explained this is why it was so hard to find cheap pianos in that country - they had all been used in beer fueled entertainment.

It is interesting that while all this carnage was going on there was a blossoming of great British piano music going on and that is what you can hear on the Piano this Sunday. Arnold Bax imitating the Easter bells in Moscow, Cyril Scott taking us to Lotusland and William Alwyn splashing color to and fro with his Fantastique Waltzes and I don't forget Benjamin Britten. An hour of British Piano music and no sledge hammers in sight; this Sunday afternoon at 5 on KPAC and KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

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