Introducing our new presenter of The Talent for 2020, long-time presenter for 3MBS Adam Pietrzak! Adam will be donning the headphones, while our previous presenter Jess Carrascalão Heard steps into her new role as producer of the show.
Jess sat down with Adam and had a chat about what he loves about classical music, and what he’s looking forward to as presenter of The Talent.
Adam, thanks for taking the time to chat.
First question, and it’s going to be a tough one. Favourite instrument?
My favourite instrument, strangely enough, is not the instrument that I grew up learning, which is the piano. My favourite instrument’s actually the guitar. There’s something about the guitar that sounds like a whole orchestra in one instrument. It’s one of the few instruments where many notes are played at the same time, a little bit like on the piano. But somehow, just the sound of the guitar – and I do play the guitar a little bit – just makes more sense to me.
What about favourite composer?
Favourite composer, that’s a bit of a hard one to nail down. Look, I really love Ravel. I actually have a favourite piece by Ravel, which is the orchestral arrangement of Le Tombeau de Couperin, and I just think it’s amazing. I think Ravel was just such a wonderful composer. So, there’s a kind of French lightness to it, but also I love the fact that you can basically fit every single composition he’s ever written into one box set! [laughs]
And your favourite piece?
Favourite piece? That’s even more difficult. Well, I did mention Le Tombeau de Couperin. But look, for my favourite piece of music I’m going to go back to the guitar, and I’ll actually say the Concerto De Aranjuez by Rodrigo. And strangely enough, not that long adagio section in the middle that everybody seems to play, but actually the first movement for me comes at the top, followed by the third movement, and third comes the middle movement. I can tell you my favourite performance of it is by John Williams, who I think is just one of the most amazing musicians on the planet.
When did you discover classical music?
Probably like most people, I discovered classical music through Warner Bros cartoons. But my parents, neither of them played an instrument or sang, but they did have some records lying around. My father was a very big fan of Mario Lanza, who did span over classical and more popular music. And they also had some compilation albums that I would play every now and again…and a box set of The Pearl Fishers, which I never heard. [laughs] But I was always curious about it. And I learnt piano from about the age of eight.
What do you love about classical music?
There’s an emotional depth to it. Sometimes it’s just light and fun, as I mentioned before, but even the light and fun stuff, there’s a kind of emotional depth that you don’t find with other music. Like, there’s the Bach concerto for two violins. One particular movement that has just this kind of longing yearning that you just can’t find in other music, that hits something deep inside that is a little difficult to describe.
What are you looking forward to most about The Talent?
Melbourne is full of amazing musicians who need a kind of forum to get themselves out there. And there are, of course, other forums, but this is, I think, a very important one. And so, the chance to hear musicians that maybe I wouldn’t have heard of before, or wouldn’t have heard of in this kind of context, and also I’m quite excited see them get the opportunity to put themselves forward.