Friday, June 27, 2008

Classic Arts Showcase background music

A Google search brought someone to Orange Crate Art yesterday looking for the names of the pieces played as background music during station breaks on the Classic Arts Showcase. So far as I can tell, this information is unavailable online. Until now! There are two excerpts:

One is from the overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie, 1817) by Gioachino Rossini. You can watch and listen to a performance on YouTube. The Classic Arts Showcase excerpt is about seven minutes in.

The other excerpt is from the first movement (Allegro non troppo) of Béla Bartók's Divertimento for Strings, Sz. 113 (1939). There's no YouTube performance, but the iTunes sample of the Chicago Symphony's recording has most of the relevant passage.

The Bartók piece has a curious association for me: whenever I hear it, I think of staying up until two or three in the morning reinstalling Windows, when the only television programming worth having on for company was the Classic Arts Showcase.

[Thanks to Elaine, who knew the Bartók and gave me "Rossini overture" with which to go a-fishing.]

Related post
Classic Arts Showcase

comments: 14

j said...

You can tell what people searched for? I had a meter on my blog, but it recorded the time and the state/country of the visitor.After I got used to people from all over visiting, it was not interesting. Now, why they came- that would be interesting.(And how kind of you to find the information and post it. )

Michael Leddy said...

StatCounter shows how people get to a page, which can be pretty interesting (at least to the page's "owner"). I think that such info is available with Site Meter, but I find StatCounter a lot more usable.

I've written a few posts in response to Google searches. This one I'm proudest of: "Please Don't Smoke".

Anonymous said...

At last, my search for the string music used on Classic Arts Showcase is at an end! I had consulted the FAQs at their website and found nothing. Facebook; no results. Even their YouTube channel was no help; interesting that their YouTube channel has no videos.

Creative Googling brought me to your blog.

Anyway, hubby guessed Khatchaturian, and I guessed "either Stravinsky or Bartok; but probably Bartok."

So, woohoo!

Thanks for blogging this. :)

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, Anon. :)

Bernie Cullen said...

I had tried to do a google search before but didn't find anything--but my friend Elaine just said the other piece was Rossini, which gave me the tools to go fishing for the Bartok--I found your page and see you were helped by your Elaine.

Michael Leddy said...

Aren’t Elaines wonderful? :)

Glier said...

Bartok : Divertimento, for string orchestra, Sz. 113, BB 118: I. Allegro non troppo

Now is available in youtubesince february 201, hope everybody gets this news because this piece is beautiful, makes me remember my mischieving youth

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for sharing the link, Glier.

Unknown said...

I searched and searched for the piece from CAS; very frustrated. Then heard it when a small conductor-less orchestra was rehearsing in our community room, and played it. Got the name of the piece, then came up and googled it as theme music for CAS, and found this site. So nice that so many people loved the music and really enjoy CAS!


Michael Leddy said...

Glad you got the answer. :)

Guy Clark said...


I have two more titles of music used during breaks on CAS: One is the third movement from Jacques Ibert's "Ports of Call" (Escalles) entitled "Valencia. Animé".

The other is the music played under the memorial to Lloyd Rigler, the founder of CAS who died in 2003. I just discovered this fact yesterday afternoon, oddly enough, that it is a snip from the beginning of Debussy's cantata "La Damoiselle élue (The Blessed Damozel)". My wife and I were driving home after lunch, listening to Chicago classical music station WFMT on their live stream, on my cell phone. When this bit played, we both said, "Classic Arts Showcase!".

We've been watching CAS for nearly 20 years on our big C-band satellite dish, both when we lived in Chicago area and now having moved to the mountains south of Silicon Valley, California. I hope they continue to provide this excellent service for many years to come!

Guy Clark
Los Gatos, CA

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Guy. This post still gets a fair number of visits, so your identifications will be welcome to readers in search of the names.

Ivan said...

Just saying, 25 years looking for the name of the Divertimento, can't believe I had it in front of my eyes all the time (well, there was no Shazam when CAS started in '95). THANKS!!!!

Michael Leddy said...

I’m glad you found it here, Ivan. Thanks for letting me know.