I grew up in New England in the 80’s, and my first exposure to classical music was listening to WGBH on the radio. My favorite classical music show was Robert J. Lurtsema’s Morning Pro Musica.
Listening to Morning Pro Musica as a kid was what first kindled my deep love of classical music, and my clock radio was always set to go off at the exact start of the show. It began with the sounds of birds for about 5 minutes, then a slow crossfade into a specific piece of classical music. I remember there was different music for each day of the week, but the piece I loved the most was Handel’s “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.”
For years, I happily woke to the sounds of birds and Handel. And last night as I was fiddling with my alarm app on my tablet, I suddenly remembered those sounds and longed to wake up to them again.
I searched online but couldn’t find any digital copy of the show’s intro. Happily, I found a recording of the exact bird sounds that Robert J. used for his show (from the LP “Dawn Chorus: The Birds of Morning Pro Musica”). From there it was easy enough to take one of those tracks and crossfade it into Handel.
Download: morning pro musica intro birds and music (mp3)
Robert J. Lurtsema passed away years ago, but I will never forget how he inspired me each morning and opened my eyes to a new world of music. Thank you, Robert J.