Randy Anderson

Classical Music Director & Host

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director 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).

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KPAC blog
2:38 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

When Virginals Were Not So Chaste: Alan Feinberg's 'Basically Bull'

Composer John Bull (1563-1626)
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.

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KPAC blog
11:15 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Beethoven's Ultimate Piano Sonata, No. 32 in c minor

Luckily Beethoven could read his writing!

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.

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KPAC Blog:
2:45 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

The Last Sonatas, Beethoven And Composing For The Ages

Rembrandt's depiction of the crucifixion, The Three Crosses.

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.

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KPAC Blog
11:46 am
Wed April 24, 2013

What Was Old Is New Again With Beethoven's Sonata No. 30

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.

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KPAC Blog
4:27 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

One Of Beethoven's Greatest Testaments, The 'Hammerklavier Sonata'

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler, color by Greg Firlotte

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.

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KPAC Blog
12:25 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Beethoven Transcends His Time With 28th Piano Sonata

Even in his dark period, Beethoven was too stubborn to let it keep him down.
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.

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KPAC Blog
1:53 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Beethoven And The Painful Farewell - Art In Uncertain Times

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler.

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.

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KPAC Blog
12:00 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Beethoven Gets Payback For His "Raise" With 'A Therese' Sonata

Flickr user southtyrolean cc

What a difference there was between Mozart and Beethoven. Where the former was often forced to wear livery and eat with the servants, Beethoven hobnobbed with nobility and taught some of them music and piano.

When he didn't feel he was getting what he deserved, the composer, in 1808, put out the rumor that he was considering a position with a Napoleon brother and would leave for Westphalia.

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KPAC Blog
1:57 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Hot Rod Beethoven Settles In For His 'Appassionata' Sonata

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler.

We learn from others, or as Picasso said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Beethoven took this advice and borrowed from Mozart and Haydn, but quickly progressed.

Where some would borrow a sonata development or structure, Beethoven would take the layout, hacksaw it off and replace it with an invention of his own, or invert something and swap parts around, much like car nuts did in the early days of Hot Rod building.

But the composer's days of modifying others' ideas was over.

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KPAC Blog
2:10 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Beethoven's Mock-Serious Mood On Full Display In Opus 31's Third Sonata

listal.com

Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 31 is an amazing collection of inspirations.

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