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Mixed Company®

Mixed Company is written by Saint Paul Sunday staff, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the show and the classical music they love. We welcome your online comments.

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July 19, 2006

Like old friends...

It was a real treat to meet these members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The very first thing that struck me about them was their comfortableness with each other. Clearly old friends, they could joke around and give each other a hard time while also being really supportive of each other.

When I picked the six of them up at the airport the night before cellist Ronald Thomas mentioned that he thought he might have a cold coming on. By the next day when we recorded them, it was in full swing. As soon as he mentioned the word "cold," the other five musicians whipped out all different sorts of remedies from their instrument cases or bags. I guess when you're constantly on the road it's good to keep a full pharmacy close at hand!

But that proved to me how professional these musicians areóready to play incredibly well no matter the circumstances. And clearly they always have fun doing it. Have you ever noticed how musicians' camaraderie on stage or on the radio makes a difference in their performance?

Posted by Suzanne Schaffer at July 19, 2006 10:09 AM



This show with the CMSLC is just another reason why SPS is the most important venue for classical music on the air.

Living in Fairfield, Connecticut (58 miles from Lincoln Center) I've had the good fortune to hear the Society (in it's many varied lineups) over the years at Fairfield University. However, I've never heard them discuss music or performing before. They're such brilliant musicians with obvious stores of knowledge about what they play. The entire hour could have been spent simply listening to them talk about music and playing.

Just three weeks ago, I had the great good fortune to hear a trio from CMSLC play two Schubert pieces at the University. I've lost the program, but the pianist was Andre Michele Schub joined by an outstanding violinist and a wonderful cellist. It was the best performance by a trio I've ever heard--live or recorded. Just this week I heard the Kalichstein, Robinson, Laredo trio at NY's 92nd Street Y and they paled in comparison.

Which leads me to this thought: Can SPS be a two hour program? The hour goes by so quickly, it always feels like we're being short-changed because there's so much left unsaid.

Prarie Home Companion is a two hour program and, as a result, listeners feel satisfied. Why not SPS?

John Niesyn
Fairfield, CT

By John Niesyn at April 24, 2005 10:20 PM


Hi John,
The standard in the industry for programs like SPS is one hour. But we think about expanded versions on the web. Interested?

By Mary Lee at April 25, 2005 9:50 AM