Randy Anderson | Texas Public Radio

Randy Anderson

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director until 2013 and the longest-serving employee in Texas Public Radio's history. He hosted the very first airshift on KPAC when the station went on the air at 90.9 FM in San Antonio back in November, 1982.

Randy started his career in classical broadcasting at KMFM in the mid-70s, working with one of KPAC's founders, B.J. McClain. The overnight shift was the only full-time job when KPAC first started in 1982 and he was happy to take it.

Randy's first love is painting; he enjoys portraits, landscapes and still lifes, and he spends much of his free time in front of an easel. Great music is a perfect complement to his love for painting and Randy spent years trying to find the perfect instrument. The piano came close, but he eventually realized that his best instrument is a turntable or CD player (or digital library).

Ways to Connect

Ari Magg

In the arts, an age is usually known by a great artist—Rembrandt, for example. Sometimes there are artists used as bookends to mark an age. In classical music, the English have Henry Purcell, and in the 1950s, Benjamin Britten was hailed as the greatest English composer since Purcell. That’s quite a compliment, encompassing three centuries.

Courtesy photo

Round Two of The Gurwitz 2020 International Piano Competition began on Wednesday morning at Ruth Taylor Recital Hall on the Trinity University campus. Six competitors were chosen on Tuesday night to continue performing. They were:

Nathan Cone / TPR

On the second morning of competition at The Gurwitz International Piano Competition, judges and spectators were treated to the artistry of three talented musicians, two of whom brought the audience to their feet.

Wikipedia Commons user Lethesl / cc

A virginal is a spinet harpsichord, normally without legs. The name is obscure even by Oxford English Dictionary standards, but one hint is that the name came from the young and chaste virginal girls that would spend hours and hours practicing their music in cold and drafty castles and mansions.

It was an unusual time for music in Britain.

There were battles over whether or not music belonged in the church and the only people that had music before the printed note were musicians and those with enough money to outfit their splendid homes with music rooms.

Ultimate, a word that originally meant last in Latin has become a description of finest or best in English
or ne plus ultra in French. It can be argued that Beethoven's last or ultimate sonata fits both definitions.

Coming near the end of a life of breaking barriers and exercising his considerable will, the composer's last
sonatas are artistic works that have earned their immortality.

It is scary to realize that some of our planet's great art is there for what at the time was an accidental circumstance.

In 1819 Moritz Schlesinger, a music publisher, met with Beethoven and bargained for 60 songs and 3 piano sonatas. These were his last three piano sonatas - the pinnacle of his Late period - and took longer because of illness and other work.

Because of these circumstances there was talk of dropping the sonatas from the contract. The Piano Sonata No. 31 was finished Christmas Day 1821.

Flickr user Jochen Spalding (b_lumenkraft) / cc

After his mighty "Hammerklavier Sonata," Ludwig van Beethoven continued with writing sonatas, but on a smaller and more intimate scale.

The "Sonata No. 30 in E" is a rare combination of nostalgia, youthful vigor and an antiquarian's love of baroque musical forms.

In the first movement, the music swims out of the void into being and the composer weaves passages that simultaneously project them forward and fall back into reminiscence.

My piano teacher told me about the story of Ludwig van Beethoven's creation of his biggest Piano Sonata the "Hammerklavier."

It goes back to John Broadwood sending him his best and biggest piano, and Beethoven's reply was this groundbreaking work. When I looked up to confirm what I was told, I found out the story was even more amazing.

unknown

What is a musical genius to do? Ludwig van Beethoven had been composing piano sonatas with his own technical prowess in mind since he was eleven years old, and thirty five years later he hits a brick wall.

The new ideas and experimentation that stimulated so much of his music wasn't happening. This was the situation Beethoven found himself in 1816. The composer was a crotchety and difficult man at the best of times and after 1815 his physical problems and lack of energy brought his compositional growth to a standstill.

Context is everything. Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his 26th piano sonata to Archduke Rudolph of Austria. The nickname of the sonata is "Les Adieux" or "Farewell," and I've heard speculation on the supposed relationship between the composer and his patron and friend.

Just knowing the title page on the first edition helps clarify some facts: "On the departure of his imperial highness, for the Archduke Rudolph, in admiration."

Why was his highness leaving? War.

Pages