hey mr. dj

for those of you who aren’t (yet) listening to stumptown’s 89.9, let me just say it’s gotta be the most kick-ass classical radio station in the country.  seriously.  there are a million reasons why this is true, but without question, a key ingredient is the awesome on-air talent spinning all those oldies but goodies.  case in point: john burk.  i decided to pick mr. burk’s brain, asking for his thoughts about 19th-century powerhouse composer johannes brahms and the piano concerto that manny ax and the oregon symphony will be playing this weekend:

I used to feel that I didn’t “get” him.  I was trying to explain how he perplexed and confused me to an old European conductor a number of years ago and the Maestro cut me short: “Forget about that! It’s so beautiful…”

I started out swimming against Brahms.  The old conductor caught me when I had moved on and encouraged me to swim with Brahms.  I think the message was that it isn’t about swimming: Surrender, float, enjoy the feeling and see where he takes you.

With the Piano Concerto No. 2 you’ll hear such powerful, gorgeous melodies emerge that you will want to sing along in your mind.  But you won’t be able to, because Brahms will always take a different direction. Just enjoy the ride.

thanks john – grab your waterwings and see you at the schnitz!


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