Nov 12, 2013

Musical Discoveries of the Third Kind

You may recall the motion picture Close Encounters of the Third Kind that centers about a groundbreaking encounter with extraterrestrials. If groundbreaking classical music discoveries are what you seek, you will find them on classicalpodcasts.com.

This website is the labor of love of Lewis Smoley, one of the most knowledgeable classical music lovers I have ever been privileged to know. I met Lew a number of years ago at a fundraising event for the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey – The Discovery Orchestra’s predecessor entity. We immediately recognized each other as kindred souls who are passionate about classical music, and to my delight, Lew later accepted an invitation to join the Board of Trustees of the orchestra. And we were indeed lucky to have Lew as a Trustee during the challenging transition from Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey to The Discovery Orchestra. What I did not know the evening I met Lew was the enormous depth of his classical music experiences. . .but I would soon enjoy finding out!

As the website says: “ClassicalPodcasts.com is for people who love to listen to classical music and want to explore music they may not have heard before or discover the best performance of music they have already heard and enjoy (emphasis mine.) How is this achieved? Lew has – in addition to a vast library of books on classical music subjects – “over 60,000 recordings of more than 35,000 different pieces of music.”

What kinds of discoveries are to be found on ClassicalPodcasts.com? The categories tell the tale. Special Programs, Special Interviews, Buried Treasure, Opera Box, Going For Baroque, Interpreting Classical Music. Did I mention that Lew is an internationally recognized authority on Mahler? Lew has written extensively about Mahler, is the President of the Gustav Mahler Society in New York City, and was invited to speak about the composer this past July at a conference in Europe. Some of his observations about Mahler’s output may be found on ClassicalPodcasts.com by clicking the topics listed under Mahler: Commentary On His Music. How about listening to some interviews with composers such as Morton Gould, Joan Tower and Ellen Taaffe Zwillich? What’s New On The Classical Scene contains those, and I’m proud to say, a recent interview with yours truly.

What’s the cost of subscribing to this enormous treasure trove of rarely heard classical music, commentary, panel discussions and interviews? $0. . .zero! Subscribing to ClassicalPodcasts.com is FREE. You might also wonder how many people have already subscribed to discover classical music they have never listened to before. How about 500,000 worldwide!

 

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