What classical music reminds you of the State Fair?
August 11, 2014
St. Paul, Minn. —
The Minnesota State Fair is filled with music, including classical and choral tunes. Here are some of Classical MPR's hosts' music picks:
Bernstein Candide Overture with Eiji Oue conducting the Minnesota Orchestra At my very first State Fair broadcast in 1998, Minnesota Orchestra conductor Eiji Oue stopped by the booth, holding not one baton but two Pronto Pups in his hands. In between bites, he treated the crowd to the story of his first meeting with Leonard Bernstein: Oue was playing piano for a conducting class at Tanglewood. Bernstein came through the door talking loudly. Oue, with his back to the door, didn't realize who this noisy newcomer was, disrupting the class, but was sufficiently irritated to yell "Shut Up!!" Little did Oue know that he was unwittingly talking to his idol!
The State Fair audience loved the story, and the happy ending: Oue and Bernstein nevertheless became good friends.
I have three picks:
Short Ride in a fast Machine (John Adams) is there any other music that describes the Mighty Midway? The Scrambler is my favorite, followed by the Tilt-a-Whirl !
Ride in the Balloon from the movie score The Witches of Eastwick (John Williams) my wife Naomi and I always take a ride on the … "thingy" that glides across the fair. Good date music!
Grand Canyon Suite (ferde Grofe) It just sounds like the Fair!
Bach: Toccata and Fugue Last year as I was entering the fairgrounds, I heard Bach's Toccata and Fugue luring victims to the Haunted House. How cool to hear classical music is in the air at the great Minnesota Get together!
Four years ago, I hosted Cantus on the "big stage" at the Fair to kick off their year as Artists in Residence. It was the first time I heard Ysaye Barnwell's "Wanting Memories," which has become a kind of Cantus signature tune. It's so sweet, fulfilling, and within a few minutes I started singing (quietly) along. I no longer can go to the Fair without this song running through my mind.
When my son was very young, for reasons I now can't recall, I let him watch Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sometime later we were at the Fair strolling through the Midway and Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" was blaring from inside one of the rides my son instantly identified it and even got the German right! Should I disclose it was the disco version by Deodato? No matter; my son still prefers the orchestra.