Talking About And Talking With Serge Koussevitsky – Past Daily Weekend Gallimaufry
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In the early 1970s, when National Public Radio was getting off the ground, getting its feet wet and finding its way, it was an exciting adventure in the possibilities of what Educational Radio could achieve. The promise, though reached, was never sustained and has become something of a forgotten ideal that information and education could be a creative and engaging partnership.
One of those programs, introduced in the early 70s was the short-lived, but highly important series Voices In The Wind. If memory serves, it lasted around a year (maybe more, maybe less) and it covered a multitude of topics and interests; truly eclectic but insatiably curious as to what made the world and the creative process tick in all sorts of ways.
This episode; program #5, was broadcast on July 28, 1974 and features a portrait of the legendary conductor of the Boston Symphony, musician and champion of Modern Music Serge Koussevitsky. He is heard in a 1949 interview, but also features reminiscences by Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland – Bernstein as a student and Copland as the recipient of early support and encouragement.
It’s a fascinating segment that runs a little under a half hour of this hour-long program and also features a piece on Dave Brubeck and his teacher, the composer Darius Milhaud (who was also a recipient of support from Koussevitsky), and a brief discussion on Wine (not related to Brubeck, Milhaud or Koussevitsky, but interesting on its own).
On the one hand, it’s a fascinating portrait of a truly important figure in Music of the 20th century – and on the other, shows the possibilities of what radio could accomplish, even as late as the 1970s in the area of useful and essential information about our culture and people. We could use a bit of that right about now.
Have a listen and enjoy.