I was in the mood for some classical instrumental music and went to my old standby, Internet Radio.com to see if I could scare up something commercial-free to stream and found Venice Classical Radio from Italy. The music they’ve been playing is from the 1700’s and 1800’s (which was the desired time span) and a lot of it is by composers I’ve never heard of, many of whom are from other European countries besides France, Italy, Germany and Austria, which is refreshing. So many classical music stations stick to the more well-known repertoire from the “big names” that you’ve heard a thousand times already.
I use an older version of Winamp to stream internet radio stations on my desktop computer. The “skin” of this version of Winamp has a crawler across the bottom of it that tells you the name of the station, the name of the song and the name of the composer. Oddly enough, the crawler text for this station is in Italian. They identify their key signatures differently in Italy. Instead of using letters of the alphabet (A major, B minor, C, etc.), they use “do, re, me, fa, so, la and ti.” So right now, I’m listening to “variations per violoncello e contrabasso” in the key of “do maggiore” (C major) by Frederich August Kummer (1797-1879), which is rather nice.
While ago, I was listening to a sonata for chamber orchestra and oboe by somebody else I’ve never heard of — it was delightful, though — and I happened to notice that “oboe” was rendered into Italian as “oboi” instead of “oboè” on the crawler because apparently the crawler font has no “è”– both words derive from the French “hautbois” (apparently, they invented the thing) because it has a high pitch range (“haut”) and it’s made of wood (“bois”). Nancy Rumbel of the duo Tingstad and Rumbel (a long-time favorite) plays the oboe among other instruments.
I have this vision of some 16th house in Venice that maybe Titian or Canaletto painted into the background of one of their paintings, and in one of the upstairs rooms in this 500-year-old house is this state-of-the-art computer/server setup. (. . . and here’s me in my leopard print sleep shirt* sitting at my computer 5600 miles away in Tx, streaming from it and grooving to a solid sender by that Salzburg boy).
*Hey, my robe à la français is at the cleaners. Fight me.