I have no idea what I’m listening to on the radio these days, but I’ve been finding it preferable to what I was listening to.
But Gerry, how can you not know what you’re listening to?
I’ve been listening to classical music in the car. I’ve never much listened to it before, so I have no idea whatsoever whether I’m listening to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or Rachmaninoff. I have not a clue as to the name of the piece I’m listening to.
It may just be a phase, but right now it’s working for me.
I find it soothing on the way to work, and I find it even more soothing on the way home. Ironically, I’m listening to WFCR, a station I walked by hundreds of times while I was at UMass. Never gave the place a second thought. Then.
Now, I’m accompanied home every night by a radio host named Peter Van de Graaff. (You can’t call ’em disc jockeys if they play classical, right?) Has there ever been a better name for a classical radio host than Peter Van de Graaff? (At WAVZ in New Haven, I worked with a man who had the best name ever for a top-40 DJ: Bill Rock. And that’s his real name. I’ll bet Peter Van de Graaf uses his real name, too.)
Mr. Van de Graaff (I’m not comfortable calling him Peter yet) has a most pleasant voice and delivery, and explains exactly what he’s playing. Kind of like “Classical Music for Idiots.”
Last week, Mr. Van de Graaff offered a wonderful and understandable lesson in “vocalise.” (Not to be confused with the Manhattan Transfer album “Vocalese.”) Last night, we delved into the “ballade,” featuring works by Sibelius and Grieg.
I couldn’t believe I cared. I couldn’t believe I enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe I learned something. But I did, I did, I did.
I suppose I’ll eventually return to the oldies, the screamers on sportstalk, and whatever’s on my iPod. But until then, bravo, Mr. Van de Graaff.