Remembering classical music commentator Miles Hoffman who died at 71

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Remembering classical music commentator Miles Hoffman who died at 71

Miles Hoffman, who died earlier this month, had an infectious love of classical music. He will probably be remembered for taking the starch out of the seemingly stiff world of classical music.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Longtime NPR listeners will keep in mind Miles Hoffman. He was a music commentator on this community for many years and had an infectious love of classical music.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hoffman died earlier this month and is remembered right here for taking the starch out of the seemingly stiff world of classical music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MILES HOFFMAN: Individuals suppose classical music is meant to be taken terribly, terribly critically. However, the truth is, there’s been numerous humorous classical music over time. There is a well-known piece by Mozart referred to as “A Musical Joke,” the place he is making enjoyable of French horn gamers who’re, as an instance, not absolutely the tops.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE ENGLISH CONCERT AND ANDREW MANZE PERFORMANCE OF “EIN MUSIKALISCHER SPASS (A MUSICAL JOKE), Okay. 522: II. MENUETTO”

MARTÍNEZ: Hoffman’s commentaries mix an encyclopedic information of classical music with a heat humorousness. Right here he’s with MORNING EDITION’s Renee Montagne, speaking about well-known unhealthy fathers in opera.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

HOFFMAN: And a few of them are literally actually unhealthy, downright evil.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, “DAS RHEINGOLD”)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing in German).

HOFFMAN: “My curse you can’t escape.” That is Alberich cursing the ring from Wagner’s “Das Rheingold.” Now, he isn’t the one unhealthy father within the Ring Cycle, Renee. There’s additionally Wotan, who’s the king of the gods. And he has affairs with each a mortal girl and an immortal girl. And he is the daddy of all of the Valkyries. So he was the daddy of Brunnhilde, Gerhilde, Ortlinde, Waltraute, Schwertleite, Helmwige, Siegrune, Grimgerde and Rossweisse.

RENEE MONTAGNE: Lot of…

HOFFMAN: Would you prefer to repeat these names?

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: Hoffman was a graduate of Yale College and the Juilliard Faculty who had a prolific musical profession as a violist. He performed with the Nationwide Symphony Orchestra and based the American Chamber Gamers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTÍNEZ: Miles Hoffman was additionally an creator and a trainer. He wrote a number of books on classical music that not solely prompt what to hearken to however learn how to hear and learn how to uncover the enjoyment he present in a lifetime of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

HOFFMAN: One of many issues that I believe is value mentioning, Renee, is that Beethoven was a person who suffered bodily all through his life, not simply from the deafness. And but he by no means stopped working. That is the true triumph of Beethoven, that the braveness to beat all of those difficulties after which to create these immortal works that may reside for so long as their civilization.

(SOUNDBITE OF LINDSAY STRING QUARTET PERFORMANCE OF “STRING QUARTET NO. 13 IN B-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 130: VII. ALTERNATIVE FINALE”)

INSKEEP: Miles Hoffman was 71 when he died of leukemia.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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