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Classical Notes

Click on Classical: Quintessential Beethoven, a surprising lesson, naming chamber groups

Posted at 8:25 AM on March 31, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical

Voyager Golden Record 2.jpg

Every Monday morning at about 9:15, I join John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss some of the stories we're featuring on our site. Three stories we'll be talking about this morning:

• I grew up in awe of my father's 85-record Beethoven Bicentennial Collection: a near-complete set of the composer's works issued by Time Life in 1970 to celebrate Beethoven's 200th birthday. I've resolved to listen to every single record in the set at least once by the time Beethoven turns 250, and to hold myself to it, I'm writing a blog post for every record. This week, I write about the most quintessentially BEETHOVEN piece in the set.

• When Ellen Blum Barish went to hear an Edgar Meyer concert at Northwestern University's beautiful Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, she was distressed to hear a repeated clicking sound. Was it the heating system acting up? Was someone flicking a pen or tapping their seat? She was so distracted, she pulled up her jacket collar to try to focus her ears. Finally Ellen's husband went to tell an usher about the sound — and the two of them learned a surprising lesson about tolerance.

• Moorhead french hornist Gwen Hoberg and a few of her colleagues recently founded a brass trio--but what to name their group? They looked at other chamber group names and brainstormed ideas that included the Red River Brass Trio, Valves and Slides, the Joyful Brass, Flood of Sound, the Loki Trio, Tundra Brass, the Bohemian Brass, and even — in tribute to the revival of Cosmos — the Sagan Trio. Eventually, they all agreed they'd found the perfect name for their northerly ensemble.