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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: November 17, 2006 Archive

Happy 100th Birthday, Soichira Honda!

Posted at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2006 by John Birge

Soichira Honda was born 100 years ago today.

He was an ingenious child. Once he took a pedal from his father's bicycle repair shop, and made a rubber stamp to forge his family's seal on bad report cards. But any failure he might have had at school didn't prevent success in life. From bicycles, he turned his attention to motorcycles, then automobiles. Today, Honda Motor Company also makes robots, jets, ATVs, boats, generators, and lawn mowers. Honda is the largest engine-maker in the world, building 14 million internal combustion engines each year, to the tune of $84 billion annually.

Here is a fitting musical tribute to Soichira Honda! (note the announcer at the end, btw).

SPCO violist Alice Preves dies

Posted at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2006 by John Birge (926 Comments)

Was sorry to read this obituary in Pioneer Press this morning.

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The Classical Intersection

Posted at 6:27 PM on November 17, 2006 by Rex Levang (3 Comments)

I've been reading with interest the comments of Don Lee and others about the intersection of classical music and popular -- specifically, rock 'n' roll. I'm sure there are many other examples waiting to be cited.

But for a really productive era in this category, you'd need to go back several decades, to the years of swing and big-band jazz. "Let's Dance" is a re-working of Weber's "Invitation to the Dance, Fletcher Henderson did an arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero," Duke Ellington did a "Nutcracker" Suite, and so on; it would be an interesting task to see just how many pop songs came out of this special relationship.

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