Welcome to ITYWLTMT

Welcome to I Think You Will Love This Music Too (ITYWLTMT), my blog on music, music appreciation and music collecting.

My mission is to convey to music lovers everywhere my passion for music in all its forms, but more specifically classical (solo, chamber and orchestral), jazz, blues and other genres that I enjoy listening to. I have a modest music collection with well-over 10000 digital titles (and growing), and one of my goals is to allow you to sample some of my favourite music, and provide commentary on these selections through information I have read or personal anecdotes.

This page is intended to provide a quick overview of what we do around here (and, indeed, around the Web). Use the following quick links to get you to the right information:

 About me, your blogger

Allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Pierre Cherrier, I’m a fifty something, happily married father of three, living now for over 5 years in Canada’s National Capital Region. I studied Math and Physics, and have been working in the High Technology sector for the last 30 or so years, with most of the past 15 working in military tactical communications. I’m told I’m pretty good at it, too.

However, I have been a devotee of Classical Music pretty much all my life, and have been collecting music for my own listening pleasure since my teenage years: vinyl, tapes, CDs, digital downloads… Now that the kids are older and I have more free time, I spend time (according to my wife, way too much time) sorting, arranging, recovering and converting music files to my digital collection, which includes well-over 100000 tracks (my main collection that is…).

Unlike many of my readers, I don’t have much of a formal music background – save one year playing the recorder in Middle School. What I have learned about music has been by osmosis, reading record jackets, books and articles. This doesn’t make me an expert or a musical authority, rather it makes me a knowledgeable listener.

This blog – and my other activities on the Web – are my modest contribution to the field of music appreciation, and to spread the classical music gospel to those who care to be converted.

Serving Music Lovers since April 1st 2011

It is a fair question to ask: “Why a Classical Music Blog?”

Such a simple question, and one that doesn’t have a simple answer. My answer partly rationalizes what I do, and partly explains what my aim is.

Few people gravitate naturally towards Classical Music Listening and Collecting. While music is omnipresent – be it as the voice of a generation, or to provide background noise in waiting rooms – most of us become devotees of what I’d call popular music. Popular music is, at times, very much a “flavor of the month” though some songs will graduate from that status to that of what we call “a classic”. Popular genres of my generation fall in the Rock, up-tempo sounds we associate to the early pioneers of Rock and Roll, through the legendary bands (The Stones, the Beatles, The Doors…) all the way to phenomenal musical geniuses (like the many stars that created the Motown sound – Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson…)

In my day, classical music was readily associated with intellectuals, or musical snobs, or even “squares”; people who didn’t find that the modern sounds of Rock and its derivatives necessarily resonated with them. That could not be further from the reality of my musical upbringing. My mom was a pretty good singer, and enjoyed “ballroom dancing”. Dad was into the great French crooners of his generation: Georges Guitary, Tino Rossi, and closer to home Fernand Gignac. My older brother was into Rack, and these genres “fused” into the music I came to enjoy. The sounds of Xavier Cugat and the Big Band era are, really, a hop skip and jump away from What I’d call “concert music”.

In the mid-1970s (when I had enough pocket money to buy my own records) Andre Gagnon was all the rage with his incursion into “Disco”, and his album Neiges became a sort of introduction to the potential of the concert hall in an instrumental setting. This is also the time that a brash new conductor came in to lead my hometown Montreal Symphony: Charles Dutoit. Dutoit conducted concerts in parks and schools (including the college I attended), and his charismatic personality made him a darling in local television talk shows.

Oh – and there was that film “Star Wars” and its musical score that captured everybody’s imagination.

All these things, in of themselves, do not constitute more than some rough building blocks of “music appreciation”. That was enough, however, to get me interested in hearing more of what I liked, and acquiring more vinyl.

Then, as a burgeoning music listener and collector, I met Jerry Markiza.

Jerry ran the Physics Labs at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University while I was reading Undergraduate Physics, and his general office area became a favourite place for me (and other students) to hang out in, the meeting place of our study group. Sometimes, Jerry would help us with some problems, or ask us to help set up some Freshman lab experiments. In the background, from morning until the end of the day, was CBC Stereo - the old FM network run by our National Broadcaster, which played Classical Music and had its share of hosts - some of them iconic (like Bob Kerr out of Vancouver), and others more indicative of whatever programming year it was (Remember “Soundtrack” with Leon Cole? Or Bob Harding’s “Montreal Après Midi”?). They would play concerts (from Canadian orchestras of from the European Broadcasting Union), recordings, sometimes would offer opinions or insight. They were subtle teachers, who blended works from the “mainstream” and works from the ”fringe” (Remember “Two New Hours”?)

For years, I used to listen to CBC Stereo. The hoists changed, the programming evolved, but for almost 20 years the CBC guided me through my musical apprenticeship. That, and the back of album jackets!

Funny thing about Broadcasting – and radio in particular. – it needs devotees, listeners, for it to survive. In the fat cat years of my youth, the CBC enjoyed a mandate and funding that would allow it to not only cater to the distinct character of the many regions of our country, but could fund an FM service that wasn’t getting a lot of listeners. CBC’s Radio (AM band) network had enough marquee shows and hosts (Remember Peter Gzowski, or the Air Farce, or As it Happens?) that as an aggregate its numbers were decent and its commitment to niche programming was viewed as part of its mandate as a Public Broadcaster.

Today, funding cuts, the rise of streaming over the Internet, and an emphasis and focus on “Canadian content” has put the overall mission of general cultural programming (and in particular classical music) in a very precarious spot.

So, going back to the original question “Why a blog on Classical Music Appreciation and Collecting”?

I will not sit here and even pretend (or aspire) to fill the void created in North America with the slow-but-sure demise of classical music programming on broadcast media. That is something as a single individual I do not have the time, resources and ambition to accomplish.

What we do here, I hope, is provide a small wicket, a small window that helps fill that void. I see lots of initiatives on the web – many of whom I have contributed to – that together try and provide that guidance, that nudge, that opportunity to find out more, discover and enjoy classical music.

ITYWLTMT is really the result of a process, a means rather than an end. It is my vehicle to discuss the music that I love, provide illustrations from my own collection as well as tracks I have found openly on the Internet, to give a little bit of everything to everybody – be they devotees like myself or new kids on the block.

This curious experiment began on April 1st 2011 with my first blog and montage and has gone on nearly every Friday since. Readership was slow coming at first, but in late May of that year, I joined the Classical Music forum TalkClassical, and managed to attract some of their members to visit, and readership has grown ever since.

We started podcasting in mid-April, and have added a regular post to the TalkClassical site every Tuesday since June of 2011. In late 2011, a group of Opera-savvy TC’ers launched OperaLively, and asked me to contribute there as well. All told, I post about a dozen or so articles every month – not too shabby!

Although I studied Math and Physics at University in English, and English is the language I use most often at work, I am French-Canadian, and observed the same shortcomings in French on the Web when it comes to CM. In July 2011, I started blogging in both languages on this site at first, and as of December 2013 on a companion site.

The Friday Blog and Podcast

On Fridays (or occasionally a day or so before or after), I assemble a music montage lasting between 60 and 90 minutes relying on my personal music collection. These montages illustrate a theme (past examples have included significant events, the works of a composer or performer, etc.) and my Friday blog provides my commentary on the works selected and the theme of the week itself. Usually, themes are part of a larger month-long thematic arc.

The Friday Montage is featured on my Pod-O-Matic podcast, which can be heard through an embedded player within the blog, or downloaded from my Podcast page. Montages are typically available through Pod-O-Matic for a period of about a month, and are then available for download and playback at the Internet Archive.

The Tuesday Blog

My other weekly post is the Tuesday blog, which is published on the music forum TalkClassical. A typical Tuesday blog follows the same formula as the Friday Blog and Podcast, but are usually illustrated using openly-available music sources off the Internet, most notably YouTube[Click here to visit the Tuesday Blog]

Three continuing monthly series can be found on the Tuesday Blog:
  • Pierre's Podcast Vault (typically on the first Tuesday of the month) is a monthly dusting-up of a past Friday Podcast, with a fresh take on the musical selections and their theme. Furthermore, the Podcast is re-introduced on the ITYWLTMT Pod-O-Matic Podcast Channel for the remainder of the month.
  • Once Upon the Internet features music I downloaded legally on sites that are no longer operating. The selections get deposited in the Internet Archive for your listening and downloading pleasure.
  • Additionally, on the last Tuesday of the month, I issue la Chronique du Disque, my monthly report on music I acquired through purchase and/or download during the preceding month.

Once Upon a Fortnight

About twice a month, I publish some musings on the Opera forum OperaLively, under the title “Once or Twice a Fortnight”. These musings generally focus on opera and vocal music and, as is the case for PTB, often rely on materials openly available on the Internet. [Click here to view some OTF Posts]

French Content

ITYWLTMT operated as a “bilingual” blog from July 2011 until December 2013, and although some of the French content is slowly migrating to L’Idée Fixe, my current plan is to leave the material where it is, in order not to break the many links that exist on the Internet.

Although much of the French content on this site consists of “francized” versions of PTB and OTF posts, some posts have both an English and a French section to them. In cases where the material isn’t “news and notes”, French posts provide a link to the original English version. Most browsers provide “translation” tools that will do a surprisingly good job at verbatimn translation to English – or whatever your language of choice may be.

Our Plartforms
ITYWLTMT supports many platforms to distribute its content. Here are a few of them:

Have a Say

It is my sincere hope that the contents of this blog will provide you with enjoyment and the odd giggle. I urge you to leave comments or send me an e-mail (ppyjc61@yahoo.ca) to express your pleasure, disapproval, concern and/or encouragement. All comments are welcome and appreciated - all that I ask is that you "keep it clean".

Word of mouth is not only welcome, it is encouraged!

Blogspot provides a number of tools (e-mail subscriptions, follower tools, RSS/Atom feed) so there are many ways you can keep abreast of new posts. You can also reach us on many social media platforms (they are all hot-linked on this left margin menu)

Caveat Lector (Disclaimer)

ITYWLTMT wishes to remind that embedded links and their content are provided here for musical enjoyment, and can be experienced on your PC without downloading required if you have access to the Internet. (Downloading files for use on your personal digital companion is generally possible, depending on the site.) Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. I think you will love this music too