Say the words "Classical Music" to most people and their eyes start to glaze over or they furtively glance at their watches and scramble for excuses to beat a hasty retreat, fearing they are about to be corralled into a four-hour concert on their only night off. Why? I'm not sure...perhaps in general classical music is the most demanding to listen to and most of it is not within the "3 minute limit" that seems to be the maximum the public can take of any "Pop Music" piece.

Well, fear not folks, 'cuz this collection of classical pieces is served up in fine easy to digest fashion and I'll bet most of it you have already heard (and liked!) in other forms.

Memorable melody is the key to longevity for a song and the classics are full of great melodies, that's why you hear them pop up in contemporary music again and again. (That and the fact that their copyrights have long expired, making them fair game for the picking!) My friend and and musical collaborator Bob Piorun has put together a fine montage of some classical pieces that have over the years crept into popular consciousness.

"Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel, who died nearly 300 years ago, was used as the theme for the movie "Ordinary People", and if you listened closely you can hear the similarity in Green Day's "Basket Case" and Blues Traveler's "Hook". Chopin's "Opus 28 #20" became Donna Summer's disco hit "Could It Be Magic", "written" by Barry Manilow. Every Baby Boomer knows "Funeral March of a Marionette" as the "Alfred Hitchcock Theme". Bach's "Air" was the inspiration for Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale". "Minuet", also by Bach, we radio heads know as "Lover's Concerto" by The Toys. I guess it's true: "A good song is a good song".

Bob has used an interesting approach using only guitar and bass to showcase this material and guess what? it works just fine, because good material only needs good performance and this disc is full of good playing. Bob has probably taught more guitar students in Central New York than anyone else over the last 30 years and he has used this, his first solo project, to give us a lesson, and that is: "Don't run when you hear classical music, just open your senses and dig it!"

/ Joe Whiting

Picking On the Classics - Bob Piorun


Click on the symbol to hear an MP3
audio sample of the selected track.

  Minuet in G
(J.S. Bach) 2:00
Canon in D
(J. Pachelbel) 3:39
Funeral March of a Marionette
(C. Gounod) 2:16
(J.S. Bach) 4:13
  Prelude Op. 28 #20
(C. Chopin) 2:09
  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
(A Little Night Music)
W.A. Mozart
I. Allegro
  II. Romance
III. Menuetto
  IV. Rondeau



or by sending $14.98 to:
Bob Piorun
16 Clymer Street
Auburn, NY 13021