Friday, September 14, 2012

Momtage # 71 - Double Play/ Double Jeu: Mozart & Mendelssohn

As of October 19, 2012, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / A compter du 19 octobre 2012, ce montage ne sera plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

pcast071- Playlist

English Commentary – le commentaire français suit

I'm not quite sure why, nut today I geel like sharing some baseball anecdotes. Maybe it's because we are in September, when the pennant races heat up and prospects are called up to fill-up MLB rosters for that last push before the end of the season. Or maybe it's because I notice that the Washington Nationals have one of the best records in baseball this year.

The Nationals, of course,m used to be my hometown Montreal Expos before they relocated a few years back - the Expos were my (and the city's) Summer religion for about 25 years. I say that because most people abandoned pro baseball in Montreal after the strike-shortened season of 1994 and the cancellation of the World Series. The Expos had one of the best records in baseball, and could have gone "all the way" that year. Lots of people were heart broken and quite angry after that. And the good players left for more money elsewhere...

But in the five year period between 1978 and 1983, trhe Expos were "big spenders" (remember Dave Cash?) and had extremely competitive teams. The names that come to mind... Gary Carter (who passed away earlier this year), Anbdre Dawson, Tim Raines. The Expos had a promising prospect who needed a place to play, and to make room for a rookie Tim Wallach, they traded their then long-time third baseman Larry Parrish to the Texas Rangers in the off-season and acquired Al Oliver.

Oliver was a character - a sharp dresser, a great hitter, named to the All-Star teamm in 1983 (the game was played in Montreal that Summer). He wore "Number 0", which of course stood for "a new start", matched his last name's initial, and probably represented his ability to play defense.

Becausem you see, in the National League, if you want someone to hit everyday, he has to play the filed every day. Oliver was put on First Base (one of a few positions where not much is expected physically from a defensive player), except for one thing: the infamous 3-6-3 Double Play.

Oliver's arm strength was such that he could not theorw the ball hard or accurately to cover the 90 feet between first and second base, and the opposing players knew it. For as many extra-base hits he would make, a ball hit hard to First meant a "forced out" at first, and runners advanced at will if they were on base. That Summer, the Expos acquired reserve First baseman John Milner form the Pirates, and he would be inserted into the lineup in the late innings as a "defensive measure". The crowd gave Milner a standing ovatyion when he pulled the first 3-6-3 double play in almost two years!

Todauy's 3-6-3 double play is represented by Mozart at First and Mendelssohn at Short - Mozart contriobutes two "double concertos" bookending Mendelssihn's only double concerto.

On Tuesday, we heard the first oif three concertante pieces for two solo instruments (the Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364). Today, we sample the Flute and Harp concerto, and Mozart's concerto for two pianos. The Mendelssihn work, a contemporary of his youthful violin concerto in D, involves piano and violin with strings.

I think you will love this music too!

Commentaire français

Quand j'étais aux études de maîtrise, je faisais partie d'une équipe de balle-molle. La balle molle, cèest la vertsion moins sérieuse du baseball, qui implique normalement un jeu relax, de la bière en bonne quantité et dans notre ligue, un minimum de trois demoiselles. Pour un match ou deux, une étudiante post-doctoralke de France sèest jointe à notre équipe et sa question une fois sur place était: mais où est donc la montagne?

Elle parlait bien sûr du monticule, exagéré à souhait dans les bandes dessinées de Charlie Brown (ci-haut).

Le baseball est tantôt jeu de stratégie, tantôt hjeu d'adresse et toujours une source de discussions parmi les spectateurs. On ne peiut apprécier un match de baseball que dans ce qu'on appelle communément les estrades populaires. Dans le temps, pour un dollar, ion pouvait assister à un match des Expos de Montréal au stade Olympique pour un dollar!

Pourquopi parler de baseball? Eh bien, l'expressuion double jeu au baseball désigne un jeu défensif important, impliquant le retrait de deux coureurs suite à un coup frappé au sol, et l'échange rapide de la balle entre les joureus d'avant champ qui doivent toucher le coussin avant l'arrivée du coureur (qui lui, selon les règles du jeu, se doit d'avancer au prochain coussin si la balle est en jeu).

Dans le commentaire anglais, je présente une vidéo du double jeu 3-6-3, c'est à dire la balle frappée au joueur de premier but, qui la rement au joueur d'arrêt--court qui, après avoir touché au deuxième coussin, la rement au premier avant que le fraoppeur n'arrive au premier coussin.

Une façon un opeu unique d'encadrer notre montage de cette semaine, qui offre trois souble concerti: deux de Mozart (un troisième, sa sinfonia conceertante pour alto et violon, fut présenté il y a quelques jours), et le concerto de jeunesse de Mendelssohn pour piano et violon.

De Mozart, à Mendelssohn, et de retour à Mozart. Un peu comme notre doubl;e-jeu 3-6-3...

Bonne écoute!