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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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August 24, 2006

Viele Danken

I first heard of Milan Turkovic from Chuck Ullery, the solo bassoonist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, who returned from a European tour with a suitcase full of records (yes, Virginia, it was that long ago.) and delighted tales of this masterful bassoonist he'd met in Vienna. We listened to the records and I had to agree pretty fearsome bassoon playing. And beautiful. And elegant.

As time when on and I kept spotting Milan's name on recordings (especially those of Musicus Concentus Wien, under Harnoncourt), I resolved to make the acquaintance of this demon bassoon player. He was touring with Ensemble Wien-Berlin, the superstar wind quintet made of soloists from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics but we never seemed able to make the dates work.

Finally I just asked Milan's manager if he would consider coming to Eugene, Oregon to play with the orchestra I was leading there. He would, it turned out and delighted us all with his Vivaldi and Mozart and extraordinarily deft coaching and lovely story telling. Here was the complete package it seemed.

I had to leave Eugene on the morning after the concert but left my car keys and directions to Hobbit Beach, a favorite secluded spot on the coast. When I got back from L.A., there were my car keys and a snapshot of the beach signed "Viele Danken, Milan." We've been friends ever since and it has been a special pleasure to invite Milan Turkovic to play on Saint Paul Sunday.

Posted by Bill McGlaughlin at August 24, 2006 3:03 PM



I must be the only listener who feels that SPS plays too much string music.
Today's program (5/29) was a wonderful example of what's out there needing to be heard. The trio was magnificent - piano, bassoon and clarinet.
I have written about this before, but feel my point of view and taste is pretty much ignored. Anybody else out there feel the same?
MK-H (local PBS station supporter, volunteer, and Community Advirsory Bd member)

By mary kremer-hartrick at May 29, 2005 9:49 AM


You do a fine job! I listen on WNYC/fm.

By Constance Hanley at May 29, 2005 9:16 PM


What does "Viele Dankun" mean?

By Constance Hanley at May 29, 2005 9:53 PM


Correction: "Viele Danken"? (I assume it has to do with "Thanks").

I really am enjoying this broadcast.

By Constance Hanley Smith at May 29, 2005 9:56 PM


Wonderful program, beautifully played. It had a nice balance of music making and erudite discussion by the musicians. We non-players just don't hear this type of dialogue, and it's one of the great strengths of SPS.

Just one additional note: I expect that we will be hearing much more of Shai Wosner--if he devotes himself to solo playing; it does sound as if his plate is rather full. Beautiful touch he has.

John Niesyn
Fairfield, CT

By John Niesyn at May 29, 2005 10:18 PM


Constance, "Viele Danken" means "Many thanks."

By Mary Lee at May 30, 2005 8:43 AM