Berkshire County is so chock-full of culture it's even permeated the ski slopes.

At Bousquet's, the county's largest ski area, the musical accompaniment is strictly upper Bohemian, even a touch beatnik. You could be at Tanglewood, or Music Barn, or in a Greenwich Village pad.

Here are some of the things you're likely to hear while slithering down Russell Slope.

Funeral Music for Viola and Strings, by Hindemith.

The Four Temperaments, by Hindemith, (flip side).

Quartets Three and Four, by Bartok.

Quintet in E Flat Major. Also in G, by Mozart.

Brandenburg Concerto, played by Pablo Casals.

En Avril a Paris, Viens au Creux de Mon Epaule, and other chansons de Paris, sung by chanteuse Jacqueline Francois.

Progressive Jazz, by Ahmad Jamal.

Esoterica for Everyman, with Henry Morgan and Isobel Robins. (On the Offbeat label.)

Yes, at Bousquet's you can ski with sophistication.

Reason for this dearth of the rock 'n' roll, schmaltz, crooners, etc. usually indigenous to ski areas is the proprietor of Bousquet's Don Soviero. 

Soviero is a sophisticate, and he doesn't care who knows it. These records come from his private stock, after they've been beat up a bit.

"I gotta listen to the music around here," he says, and he doesn't want a lot of corn assaulting his ears all day long. Things are tough enough.

A lot of Bousquet's customers come from New York City, a hotbed of sophistication, so the musical fare goes over well.

"We get a lot of compliments," Soviero says. 

Now and then he puts on some light stuff, like Waldteufel and Lehar, but usually the music is pretty far out.

"I love that Bach stuff, and Vivaldi," Soviero says. "There's something about Vivaldi that really goes in a ski area."

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.