Even while NPR stations have, or soon will eliminate classical music
offerings from their channels (FM stations operate on channels just like
TV stations), every now-and-then NPR offers little classical tidbits.
That happened today (02/19/05) during "Weekend Edition/Saturday", twice
in fact. As the first hour came to a close, there was a feature on
conductors performing in other countries and how they communicate to
foreign musicians. Scott Simon interviewed WESAT's go-to guy (guy?)
Marin Alsop, who's always a charming and knowledgeable interview subject.
As the program wound down to the top-of-the-hour, they aired a portion
of Mahler's Adagietto from his 5th Symphony. The closing segment of the
second hour was an interview with a scientist named Simon Singh, who has
written a book about the Big Bang (the one that started the Universe and
made music possible). After the two Simons chatted for a while, the
music selector for the show played a couple of minutes from Haydn's "
The Creation", specifically "The heavens are telling of the glory of
God". (Obiter dictum: a couple of months ago, a writer to this site put
down Haydn, at least his symphonies, but his two oratorios, "The Creation"
and "The Seasons" are true glories of the choral repertoire, and the
chorus NPR played the opening of today is one of my favorite pieces. So
take that!) So I for one am grateful that a show that reaches several
million people every week placed some excellent if unaccustomed great
music before them at least for today.