Plan B

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some musicians are known for their devotion to one thing. For example, Chopin composed almost exclusively for piano; Wagner specialized in Music Dramas; and Harry Burleigh was devoted to the Spiritual. But there are also many musicians who work professionally outside of music making: Charles Ives and Alexander Borodin are two examples.

Terrance McKnight explains: "I grew up hearing that one should always have a Plan B -- a way of making money when one’s chosen profession didn’t pay the bills. Growing up my brother taught me how to work on cars and to some degree that skill helped me get through college."

Similarly, Charles Ives believed that composers who wrote for a living weren’t able to write the music they believed in; musicians wouldn’t want to let their “children starve on his dissonances.” Ives sold insurance. Eric Satie composed the music he believed in and, as a result, lived an impoverished existence. In this week's show, Terrance mixes the consonant and the dissonant, the insurance salesman and the street musician.

It’s music for all vocations and all ears.


This Is My Story, This Is My Song
Fanny Crosby/Phoebe Knapp/Thelonious Monk
Straight, No Chaser
Thelonious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor sax
Larry Gates, bass
Ben Riley, drums

Lefty's Elegy
Marc Mellits
Dominic Frasca, guitar

Adjustable Wrench

Michael Torke
London Sinfonietta
Kent Nagano, conductor

Work All de Summer
Paul Robeson, bass-baritone

One, Two, Three
Norman Yamada
Norman Yamada, organ, shortwave radio
JD Foster, guitar
Chris Lightcap, bass
Christine Bard, percussion
Jim Pugliese, percussion

Five Tango Sensations: Fear
Astor Piazzolla
Kronos Quartet
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon

Scherzo: Holding Your Own
Charles Ives
Kronos Quartet
Piano Trio
Charles Ives
The Monticello Trio

Jean-Philippe Rameau
Tzimon Barto, piano

Three Sarabandes
Erik Satie
Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Gavin Bryars
Bill Frisell, electric guitar
Alexander Balanescu, viola
Roger Heaton, clarinet
Gavin Bryars, bass

Christian Zeal and Activity

John Adams
San Francisco Symphony
Edo de Waart, conductor

I Wish I Didn't Love You So
Frank Loesser
Hazel Scott, piano

Comments [2]


So my waiter at the Olive Garden might be the next Mozart?

Apr. 09 2011 09:34 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from BOONTON, NJ

MOUSSORGSKY's last 24 years of life, he lived to one week short of 46 years, was plagued by drugs and alcohol. Luckily, until he married, RIMSKY-KORSAKOFF whom we are discussing now, was the roommate, for several years, of Moussorgsky, and helped edit and publish BORIS GODUNOFF. Had M. other means of livelihood, his life might not be so consumed in self-destructive behavior. Moussorgsky died as a charity patient at St. Nicholas Military Hospital. His friend Rimsky-Korsakoff was aprofessor of composition at the University of St. Petersburg. Borodin, was a busy medical doctor, a science writer and wrote treatises on medicine, andwas an organizer of a Medical School for Women in St. Peterburg

Mar. 26 2011 05:44 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.