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Brazilian vs. European Musical Geniuses
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  1. BB753 says:

    Totally agree. Jobim was a genius, as were many of the other Brazilian musicians of his cohort.
    Here’s a Jobim/Sinatra duet.

    As for Brazilian classical music, I can only think of Villa-Lobos.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heitor_Villa-Lobos

  2. Twinkie says:

    One is elevator music, the other is high art of (once) a great civilization.

    A personal favorite:

  3. It’s like calling J.K. Rowling a literary genius because she’s more popular than, say, anyone of the 20th-21st C canonical authors ….

    And I find Bossa Nova simply dull & uninteresting. Virtually the only praise I could say is: It’s enormously better than rave or rap.

  4. Charon says:

    It’s also true, however much you may like jobim et al, that you will completely run out of names among Latin American artists of any stripe before you even scratch the surface of European ones. Which is sort of strange since one descended from the other to some degree.

    Why have North Americans done so much better, in virtually every regard?

    PS to spergs: a few examples does not disprove the point.

  5. Anon[289] • Disclaimer says:

    Is there a point being made here, or is this just the designated place for people to make clever quips and show how sophisticated their taste in music is while the world burns?

    Most of the people who post here are upper class wankers who make six figures while working from home doing nothing and have no idea what the common man’s life is like. Nor do they care.

    ETA: These songs are all old. It doesn’t take any talent to reproduce classic songs that have already been written eons ago.

  6. Dumbo says:

    Antonio Carlos Jobim did (almost singlehandedly) create the Brazilian Bossa Nova, one of the most listenable music genres ever.

    Sort of… Sure, he was responsible for all or most of the music, but Vinicius de Moraes (lyricist) and João Gilberto (voice and guitar) were also in large part responsible for its success.

    Jobim also did some orchestral / instrumental work. Partly inspired by Villa-Lobos who is the most famous (only?) Brazilian classical composer.

  7. Dumbo says:

    One is elevator music, the other is high art of (once) a great civilization.

    The comparison made by you and iSteve is unfair, and also silly. It seems to imply that “Europeans” (i.e. whites) are musically more talented than Brazilian (i.e. “browns”).

    But we are talking about two completely different periods! Are any Europeans TODAY creating any music as good as Mozart’s or Bach? Or even as Jobim’s? I don’t think so.

    Also, if Jobim had been born in Europe in the 1800 (and he was mostly European, or at least European-looking, mostly from Portuguese origin, and coming from a relatively well-to-do family) he would probably have composed classical music.

    P.S. “Bossa nova” was almost 60 years ago now. Most Brazilian music (or at least what’s popular) is mostly awful these days, with a few exceptions.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  8. @Twinkie

    What you call “elevator music” is actually a model of subtlety and perfection, in both composition and performance. Acknowledging that takes nothing away from that great pinnacle of human achievement which is European classical music.

    Not that I would mind this music in an elevator, though.

    • Replies: @Dube
    , @AndrewR
  9. dearieme says:

    Here’s Tom Jobim coaching Gerry Mulligan through One-Note Samba.

    • Replies: @European-American
  10. I’ll see your high art, and raise you a samba.

    I have a friend who worked for John Lennon, post-Beatles, and one day they got into an elevator playing the Muzak version of Imagine, to which Lennon apparently said something to the effect of, “Christ, I’ve lived too long!”

  11. Sean says:

    The transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil in the Napoleonic era may have been the origin of a elite level musical flourishing in the country.

    Bossa nova has no dance steps, unlike Tango. Argentinian vs Brazilian psychologies? The Tango came out of basically working class Italian areas of Argentina.

    • Thanks: Buffalo Joe
  12. Anonymous[116] • Disclaimer says:

    On a somewhat related note, because of some subliminal trigger or other, the other day I was tempted to revisit the ouevre of British musical duo, Godley & Creme, on YouTube, clicking on various more or less random vaguely remembered works of theirs.
    ‘This Sporting Life’ from the ‘L’ album of 1978 still pulls no punches – and the sheer lyrical exuberance of ‘An Englishman in New York’ (1979), no, not the Sting song, never mind the epochal accompanying video, still never fails to impress.
    Listened to a few random snatches from ‘Consequences’ (1977), an ill fated concept album, which, bizarrely, featured that late, great celebrated English comedian, Peter Cook, interspersing the music in a series of comic monologues.

    Anyway, my point is, as one half of 1970s songsters 10cc, Godley & Creme were the melodious, catchy tunesmiths par excellence …… but when they broke away from that narrow confine, their creativity really did flow …… to the edification – or not!!! – of 10cc fans.

    • Agree: Wade Hampton
    • Replies: @Wade Hampton
    , @Anonymous
  13. @Twinkie

    One is elevator music

    Eye roll

    Do you also refuse to wear shorts in the heat, as real men wear trousers?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  14. My all-time favorite Brazilian musical piece,
    Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’77 – The Waters of March

    • Agree: theo the kraut
    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    , @dearieme
  15. @Twinkie

    One is elevator music

    The elevator to the penthouse.

    People might remember Stan Getz playing Desafinado from the beach house party scene in “Wall Street”.

    Here’s another of my favorites from the same album.

    If one tries to name all the famous bossa figures off the top of their head — Joao Gilberto, Jobim, Joao’s wife, Astrud, Klaus Ogerman — the boundary between Brazilian and European, at least genetic, becomes a bit fuzzy.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
  16. inertial says:
    @Twinkie

    One is elevator music

    I am so annoyed by Boomers’ putdowns of their parents’ music. And it’s such an outdated insult. How many decades ago did they stop playing music in elevators?

    the other is high art of (once) a great civilization.

    The tradition is alive and well if you know where to look. For example, from 2007:

    • Agree: AndrewR
  17. • Thanks: RSDB
    • Replies: @Anon
  18. John says: • Website

    Heitor Villa-Lobos indeed, the guy who wrote a harmonica concerto. I’d thought the DJ on KMFA misspoke, but no, it really was a harmonica backed by an orchestra. With long experience of Brazil, I am hard to surprise; but this surprised me. I had of course already heard of the guy – he was on one of the country’s long-evaporated-by-inflation banknotes, with a nice quote, something about his music being letters written to posterity with no expectation of a reply – but the closest I’d come to his music was via a distant descendant of his, the guitarist for Legião Urbana. People may be ambivalent nowadays about 1980s music but I am not ambivalent about 1980s Brazilian music: it was fun!

    This is much on my mind as I contemplate returning to school after retirement and getting, of all things, a B.A. in Latin American Studies. I am relieved to see that not all the courses are grievance studies, or as I prefer cagily to call them, autoethnography. There is a degree requirement that can be met with a course about music, and I might just enjoy that!

    I was considering trying to get into an M.A. program but I already have a STEM Ph.D. and do not need another advanced degree. Also, I’ve never taken any coursework in Portuguese or related subjects! I was hoping to demonstrate facility with such subjects by adducing posts on Portuguese Wikipedia, but I’d verged on an edit war with some south-of-the-border soyboy and decided this was not a good look. I’ve done enough good on talk-tabs anyway. I did point out a scurrility in the article about Portugal’s one winner of the medicine Nobel: he was not praised by the Senegalese prime minister for his work on lobotomies in Gypsies. I know this because in the year cited, Senegal did not have a prime minister! Within minutes someone in Portugal thanked me for pointing this out.

    On the other hand, if I were in graduate school, there would be a requirement for seminars, and I could sure give a ton of those. I could talk about the NEJM article I’d read about Mesoamerican nephropathy: it started out ready to blame climate change, as if Central America had never been hot before 1970, but actually danced pretty close to a genetic factor. I could talk about dengue, which afflicts and kills in numbers not a whole lot different from Wu’Flu’s, and the vaccine for it: should it be given to everybody? Maybe not, if original antigenic sin is A Thing. Or I could just talk about Brazil’s military having illicitly obtained a mainframe, which it found very helpful in tracking terrorists. I don’t know if this is true but I would enjoy speaking, in a general way, about problems in computability, and why mainframes still exist.

    I’m full of stories! And one way or another, but probably not here, I will tell them. I’m really warming to this new idea of mine – looking forward to taking UT Austin’s Portuguese-equivalency exam! – and though it could be just sour grapes, kind of glad that Plan A – medical school – isn’t happening. That failure was almost certainly due to my age. But I can tell my skin color didn’t help. Two of the schools that rejected me had online seminars for applicants and potential re-applicants. One made it totally clear, with a hokey graphic on a PowerPoint slide, that there is a seesaw and the side with race and ethnicity dips decisively lower than the side with coursework and test scores. The other wasn’t so crass, but did reveal that you may get an interview without any record of coursework or test scores. How can that be? I think they just look at your photo, which you do provide with the primary application.

    But enough chitchat. Back to the folks who post multiple times on every single thread. Keep adding value, guys! I know I wasn’t the only person on that beach in Manaus, watching a couple dance while a keyboard player improvised…

    • Thanks: unwoke
    • Replies: @unwoke
  19. @Twinkie

    The elevator music is still better than rap.

  20. Brazilian music seems to thrive better in the hands of North American Jazz performers could give it a little more bite and make it slightly less soporific than the Brazilian performers.

    This recording IS rather lovely and explains what bossa nova means.

    On the other hand Brazilian music is mostly lounge music and dance music like Samba, and regularly features those disturbing musical instruments that sound like parrots screetching in the jungle.

    The greatest European music is often religious in origin and cannot be heard without associating it with towering cathedrals, stained glass Saints, and visions of heaven and hell, so it is hardly a fair contest.

    And the winner is…

    • Thanks: Abe, Alden
    • Replies: @turtle
    , @Dumbo
    , @epebble
  21. @Twinkie

    One is elevator music, the other is high art of (once) a great civilization.

    Stravinsky is “elevator music”?

    However, there is more to that genre than you’d imagine. Much of chamber music was intended as background for soirées. Erik Satie once interrupted his own premiere to chide the audience for paying too much attention. He wanted them to chat and read the newspaper instead.

    • Agree: RSDB
  22. Anonymous[331] • Disclaimer says:

    On the one hand Brazilian music might be ‘the most listenable genre ever’, but on the other hand there’s no actual ‘meat’ to it, and it soon gets tiresome.

    There’s only so much you can do with soft, contrived, crooning and maracas shaking.

    • Agree: Poirot
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  23. Lodewijk says:

    For fans of guitar I highly recommend the Paraguayan virtuoso Agustin Barrios. Certainly one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

    • Replies: @CJ
  24. turtle says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    And the winner is…

    Yes. 🙂

  25. Here is a performance on the baroque lute of one of J.S. Bach’s works for unaccompanied violin, the Partita in c minor, BWV997 by a woman artist from Argentina, whom I suspect is of Italian lineage. These works can very successfully be performed on the lute, as well as the works for unaccompanied violoncello, for which contemporary manuscripts in lute tablature exist.

    It is quite possible that the ‘cello suites may be transcribed for that, more common, instrument from a lute original. There is recorded a visit by Karl Phillip Emmanuel Bach, J.S. Bach’s eldest son, then employed at the court of Friedrich the Great of Prussia, to his father’s home accompanied by two fellow musicians, both lutenists, one of whom was the eminent master, Sylvius Leopold Weiss (many of whose works are found on YouTube, seek them out). It was reported that some particularly fine music making occurred during this visit, and Johann Sebastian probably learned about the potential of the baroque lute, then becoming less prevalent at that time. (He also wrote some fine works for viola da gamba, also declining in usage, so there is a history of him doing this for
    other instruments which were becoming more obscure.)

    Ms Mainardi turns in a very accomplished performance, indeed. On her website it is stated that she is recording all 6 of the Sonatas for Unaccompanied Violin, and the result of this ambitious project will soon be available in a commercial release.

    P.S.: Her lute was made by a luthier here in New Jersey.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    , @Prof. Woland
  26. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Kyrie will blow out your speakers

    • Agree: Desiderius
  27. Mike Tre says:

    I’d rather argue about the greatest rock drummer of all time.

  28. I probably would put Rite of Spring higher up the civilizational totem pole, but nobody ever got lucky listening to it.

  29. tanabear says:

    Blame it on the Bossa Nova

  30. Related:

    Bossa Nova is for closers.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  31. Anon[344] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Stravinsky once said, why was it when he heard something boring, it was always by Villa-Lobos?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  32. @Reg Cæsar

    ‘…However, there is more to that genre than you’d imagine. Much of chamber music was intended as background for soirées. Erik Satie once interrupted his own premiere to chide the audience for paying too much attention. He wanted them to chat and read the newspaper instead…’

    Here’s a true confession.

    I listen to quite a bit of classical music — and I fully agree with the sentiments of its protagonists. Great art, profound expression of the soul, etc, etc.

    …but I can’t say I’d want to go somewhere and just sit there and listen to it. I need to be doing something; actually, painting the kitchen is about the ideal activity. By itself, that’s dreadful tedium. Do it whilst revisiting Beethoven’s Ninth or whatever, and you’ve got a pretty good time on your hands.

  33. JimB says:

    Sounds like corporate elevator music.

  34. AndrewR says:
    @Twinkie

    I like that Schumanm piece but it’s “elevator music” too. That Stravinsky symphony is cacophonous and very unpleasant to listen to. You are extremely pretentious.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @vinteuil
  35. The Brazilian Bob Dylan, Caetano Veloso, is significantly better than Bob Dylan.

    • Replies: @Huisache
  36. @Twinkie

    “elevator music”

    Life without brilliant Bach, brooding Sibelius, and mysterious Debussy would be less delightful but there’s space for elevator music. I tune into the easy-listening channel whilst preparing for beddy-bye. It’s prettily bland and soothing. Hopefully easy-listening music will greet my jangled nerves in the afterlife waiting room while I await decision from the executive office where Jesus is looking over the list of the many times I’ve made fun of Him.

    • Replies: @Carol
  37. Neoconned says:

    https://www.the-sun.com/news/2810632/petition-demanding-stimulus-checks-signatures/

    Now there’s a growing movement(and petition) that wants mandatory $2k checks to everyone…..aka UBI….

    Bush Jr. is at fault for this sh-t because once you pick & choose who you bail out(Wall St. megabanks & Big Auto via TARP cash & as Bloomberg discovered about 10 years ago secret multi TRILLION dollar loans) and who you do not bail out(average joes who got foreclosed on, Circuit City, Linens & Things etc)

    When you bail 1 party out you gotta bail everybody out as the principle goes….

    A local retirement slash financial advisor has a FM local radio show i listen to on occassion…..he was talking about how his “higher estimates” for govt debt under Biden had already been blown past…..and said “it scared him…..”

    Now they gotta bail EVERYBODY OUT…..

    If they do this 2k a month im quitting my job….theres no point working & going grey before my time from the added stress….

  38. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:

    Bossa Nova is highly rhythmic and based on samba and other Afro rhythms that repeat and don’t change in piece. But its tempo is slower and the rhythms are played more softly, hence it can serve as background Muzak. The soft repetitive rhythms are hypnotic and don’t startle people going about their day.

    Whereas European Classical music is highly melodic. Melody dominates and rhythm changes frequently, pauses, stops altogether, syncopates. Rhythmic change is constant.

    Bossa Nova is a pop music genre, which is more rhythmic. If you listen to pop music today, you’ll notice how melody has almost disappeared altogether and how rhythm and hooks dominate. Part of the reason for the preponderance of African and black styles in pop music from jazz, bossa nova, to rap, hip-hop, etc. is the black preference for rhythms.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  39. @Reg Cæsar

    Hail Caesar! Great point you made about elevator music, my third favorite music genre. Bossa Nova is no slouch either. South American jazz gave birth to the career of the wonderful Lalo Schifrin. Lalo’s talent can be easily accessed through film soundtracks: the score he composed for Bullitt (1968) is awesome. And the film itself — McQueen, stunning Bisset, SF in ’67, and proceedings beautifully stylized by Peter Yates — is one every whitey should watch at least once a year. America was freaking fabulous, then.

  40. Thoughts says:
    @Twinkie

    Anything as enjoyable as Girl from Ipanema IS high art

    In related but unrelated, I watched Bridgerton Season 1

    In Bridgerton, they take Ariana Grande songs and Classical Musicize them…

    The result was HORRENDOUS

    There was one song that worked sorta, but only one….

    Phoebe Dynevor is interesting…a true understated beauty…but…there’s something ‘too liberal’ about her that destroys the attraction…solid RADA acting though

  41. @Twinkie

    I’m sure you can explain the differences and similarities between the 20th century Russian modernist, and the 19th century German Romantic.

    • LOL: AndrewR
    • Replies: @AndrewR
  42. OT but live: Disco Demolition Night comes to Old Trafford:

    Manchester United v Liverpool postponed after Old Trafford protests – live!

    Or is the (second) Washington Senators’ last home game more to the point? As a City supporter, all I can say is everyone involved can go mufc themselves!

  43. Can we enjoy both? And more? Fwiw, I don’t always listen (or read or watch) for Greatness. Does anyone? Even granting that we gotta stand up for the pillars of Western Civ, I don’t understand over-fretting about Greatness. But that might be a temperamental thing, I dunno.

    That said, back in the early ‘80s I attended a concert by the Brazilian musician Milton Nascimento that I really did think was Great …

    • Agree: Paul Jolliffe
    • Replies: @Cido
  44. Astrud Gilberto is a Kraut…She does look Krautish in the face. Isn’t Southern Brazil Kraut?

    • Replies: @Five Bell's Watch
  45. J.Ross says:

    Music is really ugly right now specifically because of an antiaesthetic seen in the billions of YouTube videos about nothing and explaining nothing and by nobody. Lil Wayne is the sonic equivalent of Mr Beast eating a gummy worm and then explaining to you what a gummy worm tastes like. No skilled or talent or relevance is required, and it wouldn’t shock anyone if it was the product of an AI.

  46. Achilleus says:

    First, let me say I love both Jobim and Bossa Nova music, along with several other Brazilian popular music forms.

    But, why compare a Brazilian pop music performer, composer and producer to a Russian classical art music composer? A better example for “genius” comparison on the Brazilian side would be Heiter Villa-Lobos – “the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music”.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heitor_Villa-Lobos

  47. Cido says:
    @Twinkie

    Bossa Nova is so pleasant that it can be listenned in many different places and contexts.
    Such delicate, subtle and refined music style. The same can’t be said about much of classical music, including Stravinsky. It’s so pompous and pretentious that you need to go to a concert hall to listen it.

    Imagine you, in your house, alone with a girl listenning “The Rite of Spring”. She will become scared. LOL

  48. FWIW, Latin lounge jazz is still several orders of magnitude more musically impressive than modern pop and hip hop. The only geniuses that we’re currently encouraging are marketing geniuses.

  49. It kills me how these young fuckheads always call Bossa Nova, specifically “Girl from Ipanema,” which is the only Bossa Nova song they know, “elevator music.”

    Because they never ever heard music played in elevators in their entire short little lives.

    Just like everything else in their tiny brains, “elevator music” is a concept that was given to them on a platter (for to repeat like parrots) in some movie or other. I am sure they can name the movie. I, proudly, cannot.

    Here. Listen to something too intelligent for your struggling drooling dog brains:

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
    , @Muggles
  50. Dumbo says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    so it is hardly a fair contest.

    There is no contest at all, and to compare both is stupid. It’s like apple and oranges, or sushi and ice cream. This was probably one of Steve’s lamest and laziest posts.

    Also, this whole thing about celebrating European classical music and comparing it to popular music in other countries in a “We Whites Were Kangz” fashion, seems silly to me. Compare them to Lady Gaga and Eminem, maybe.

    As you mention, bossa nova can be compared maybe to jazz, which it influenced and was influenced by.

    Brazilian music seems to thrive better in the hands of North American Jazz performers

    Not really. Well, I personally prefer the original Brazilian songs to the American versions (Stan Getz, even Sinatra), which are… well, Americanized. Less interesting.

    And I love Ella Fitzgerald, but her trying to sing in Portuguese is… quite awful.

    • Agree: Dissident, RSDB
  51. @Twinkie

    There is the classical tradition of the West and, in comparison, nothing else.

    A Chinese friend of mine, a STEM person but a civilised one, said to me only the other day that compared to Europe’s musical tradition that of his own country counts for nothing.

    This Brazilian is of no importance, while Stravinsky is one of the last flowerings of our tradition. Grounded in it like few others, he could spread his wings and fly far afield, but never lose his way.
    Dip into the Rite of Spring at any point, and this truth manifests itself immediately to those who can listen rather than merely hear.

  52. Steve, OT, but I had to post this. A new level of journalistic wokeness in an article at SF Gate (San Francisco Chronicle online.) The article is about a “problem’ with Disneyland’s Snow White adventure ride which has been reconfigured BUT…the ride ends when Prince Charming kisses a drugged unconscious Snow White who does not consent to a kiss. Writers go on to say that we must teach kids it is not ok to just take a kiss, cop a feel (I added that) without consent or worse yet, when one can not consent. Snow White is in a glass coffin, not on a glass coffee table but Prince C could be Haven Monahan. Don’t know how to link, sorry, but worth a peek.

  53. Instrument design and manufacturing is a big deal for music. I don’t know much about the origins of the instruments used in a classical orchestra, but my guess is that Europeans were on a different level than everyone else.

  54. I don’t think Jobim really created the Bossa Nova genre, let alone “singlehandedly”. I think the credit is consensually given to João Gilberto, who was predominantly a singer. Gilberto is said to have invented the beat, and several composers, Jobim being probably the most talented among them, developed the genre through their compositions.

  55. @Old Palo Altan

    This Brazilian is of no importance, while Stravinsky is one of the last flowerings of our tradition.

    Stravinsky’s “importance” was taken negatively at first:

    It was, according to some of those present – who included Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy – the sound of derisive laughter.

    By the time the curtain rose to reveal ballet dancers stomping the stage, the protests had reached a crescendo. The orchestra and dancers, choreographed by the legendary Vaslav Nijinsky, continued but it was impossible to hear the music above what Stravinsky described as a “terrific uproar”.

    As a riot ensured, two factions in the audience attacked each other, then the orchestra, which kept playing under a hail of vegetables and other objects. Forty people were forcibly ejected.

    The reviews were merciless. “The work of a madman … sheer cacophony,” wrote the composer Puccini. “A laborious and puerile barbarity,” added Le Figaro’s critic, Henri Quittard…

    The Rite opened with an introductory melody adapted from a Lithuanian folk song, featuring a bassoon playing, unusually, at the top of its register, and prompting composer Camille Saint-Saëns to exclaim: “If that’s a bassoon, then I’m a baboon!”

    Rite that caused riots: celebrating 100 years of The Rite of Spring

    You may dismiss these critics as fools, but this can be turned back at you and any others who are ignorant of and dismiss the depth of Jobim’s entire catalogue. Saint-Saëns himself was horrified that his own most enduring piece turned out to be Carnival of the Animals. Not any of his “important” works.

    Riots are going on at the moment in Manchester, over another form of entertainment.

  56. @Bardon Kaldian

    Bardon, Rowling and Stephen King are story tellers, they have a place in literature especially if they introduce the young to the written Stay safe my friend.

    • Replies: @Single malt
  57. @Negrolphin Pool

    I really cannot listen to either Rock and Roll or talk radio when I work because I cannot concentrate. I was listening to this album about 3 weeks ago and it is perfect. I don’t understand Portuguese so it is background noise. I just know he is singing about a chick.

  58. @Dumbo

    Jobim was genetically 100% Portuguese, so in essence he was European

  59. @JerseyJeffersonian

    Jersey, first thank you for the video, she is accomplished indeed. Question, why do classical musician always look like playing their instrument is painful?

  60. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: This is funny. Stupid black walks into a concealed carry class and tries to steal a gun. Naturally, he gets blown away. He actually tried to rob someone in a concealed carry class. The IQ of the black has to be around 60 points.


    • Replies: @rebel yell
  61. For even more sophistication in this discussion, the super-elegant ‘Samba Saravah’ by Pierre Barouh, original French, from the soundtrack of the 1966 masterpiece Claude Lelouch film, ‘Un homme et un femme’ – ‘A Man and a Woman’ … With its striking final verse:

    Mais quel que soit le sentiment qu’elle exprime
    Elle est blanche de formes et de rimes
    Elle est nègre, bien nègre dans son cœur

    But whatever t he feeling which she expresses
    She is white in form and rhyme
    She is black, indeed black, in her heart

  62. @JerseyJeffersonian

    Bach, especially guitar, is more music I can listen to while I write or even have a phone call if it is quiet enough so I play it at work. I have a small but nice set of Klipsch speakers in my office and can close the door and think.

    This is another reason I never listened to Limbaugh or other talk radio during the day. It is like having someone in your room that is bugging you.

  63. AceDeuce says:
    @personfellowindividual

    Great song. The benchmark version, for a lot of people, is the duet by Jobim and Elis Regina on their terrific 1970s album Elis & Tom. I also enjoy the late, great Susannah McCorkle’s version.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  64. Huisache says: • Website
    @Whereismyhandle

    Veloso is better than almost anybody

  65. @Reg Cæsar

    Riots in Manchester demanding the heads of Joel and Avram Glazer.

    Where is Pontius Pilate when you need him?

  66. I’m well aware of all that and my liveliest sympathies are with the rioters.

    Politically at least so were Stravinsky’s. If you don’t get my point, then start reading about the man’s splendidly ultra-Right views. He was a man of the Tradition and a hater of all that opposed it. He loathed Bolshevism, liberalism, democracy, atheism: everything that has ruined our world.
    Throne and altar could well have been his deepest creed.

    • Thanks: RSDB
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  67. epebble says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Bach is my favorite too. But I also like this fossil from older America.

  68. @Twinkie

    Interesting dichotomy: European theorists vs New World innovators.
    Little bit reminiscent of physics.
    Europeans developed relativity (Einstein) and Quantum Mechanics (Bohr, Dirac, Heisenberg, Schrodinger), while Americans invented the transistor (Shockley, Bardeen, Brattain), the laser (Townes and Maiman), and the silicon chip (Kilby and Noyce). The latter of course, dependent onf the former, changed the world. Was the physics just as good, or just applied?

    (Steve’s cultural debates are a great repast from Politics and wokeness. So many links to music I’d forgotten about.)

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  69. @obwandiyag

    We spend a lot of time on the phones in my office and we rank the music played while on hold with the companies we are associated with. Uniformly it is shit although some of the companies will have much catchier or pleasant bagatelles. I have never been able to figure out why they don’t just play classical music, Bossa Nova, or Jazz. I suspect that part of the psychology is to get people off of hold so they don’t have to take the call.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  70. Daniel H says:

    I would have titled this post Brazilian AND European Musical Geniuses.

    Not a damn thing wrong with good folk music.

  71. @The Alarmist

    I imagine he’d take that back a few years later…

  72. Half of French public support military coup.

    • Thanks: RSDB
  73. @Reg Cæsar

    Sorry: 67 was meant as a reply to you.

  74. Carol says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Never thought I’d miss Easy Listening but I do, esp the era of instrumental standards. Even the old Music of Your Life AM stations would be welcome. All gone now.

    No one knows what background music is anymore. Every restaurant we go to now blasts female Aretha-wannabe screamers to make the place sound lively or something.
    Wouldn’t want the customers actually talking with each other.

    I hate going out.

  75. unwoke says:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    “It has nothing to do with countries, but with epochs. Arrau, in the end, was more German than Chilean and Guiomar played Chopin as well as the best Polish pianist could. The important thing is the experience of life, and today there are fewer opportunities to live a full life that allows a natural expression of music.” Nelson Freire

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  76. unwoke says:
    @John

    “But enough chitchat. Back to the folks who post multiple times on every single thread. Keep adding value, guys!”

    Amen. (lol) …thanks! [& you know who you are!]

  77. unwoke says:
    @Anon

    Most of the people who post here are the same “wankers” who post multiple times on every single thread…sound familiar? duhh

  78. MEH 0910 says:

    OT:

    • Thanks: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  79. OT:
    Have you seen the new Lexus commercial?

    Commercials like these used to portray a CEO, lawyer, surgeon leaving the office in his Lexus.

    This new ad seems to be chronicling a day in the life of a diversion / equity consultant HR departments will overpay to facilitate conversations. The ad is complete with him practicing lines about “uncomfortable conversations.” This new upscale profession has truly arrived.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  80. @War for Blair Mountain

    Astrud Gilberto is a Kraut…She does look Krautish in the face. Isn’t Southern Brazil Kraut?

    Many down south of German ancestry, and also many of Japanese ancestry. The latter group especially has been over-performing in testing and university admissions, and so they’re actively discriminated against just as they are in North America. That began in earnest under Lula and Dilma, methinks.

    No mentions of Fado music yet.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  81. @Anon

    or is this just the designated place for people to make clever quips and show how sophisticated their taste in music is while the world burns?

    Everything in moderation.

  82. Jobim died due to cardiac arrest heart attack at 53. His love for steak, grilled chicken hearts, pork and other delicacies certainly contributed to the weakness of his heart and early death. He had a permanent table at one of Rio’s most famous “churrascaria”(barbecue house). He was a like a real life Ron Swanson, that ate only steak and eggs and hated vegetables with a passion. He also loved strong distilled spirits, and drank both whiskey and cachaça every day. Given his lifestyle, he wasn’t destined for a long life.

    Jobim created a lot of ultra-complex and very sonically interesting music besides Bossa Nova. But a lot of people except for musical erudites don’t like it, because it’s not very relatable.

    Jobim is more famous for his much simpler music, because it is more approachable. His most famous track ever, for instance, “Girl From Ipanema” is about the hesitations of a shy young man who fears rejection in approaching the blond haired, green eyed beautiful girl he fancies. So he just pines for her watching her walk in the beach every morning. A very relatable song.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    , @Reg Cæsar
  83. @Buffalo Joe

    I agree. My 6 year old granddaughter has already learned to read, and she voraciously went through the 6 books of Harry Potter. (She’s moved on to Nancy Drew.)

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  84. J.Ross says:
    @MEH 0910

    In the commentaries they describe him eating the same candy in the same way I do. Which is encouraging because it is of course the correct way.

  85. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    The question is, was the Parisian audience right to be disgruntled, and was it really a “laborious and puerile barbarity”?

    [MORE]

    OT

    Speaking of South American music, I am very grateful to the Unz Review and to commenter “utu” for introducing me to Paraguayan/Bolivian Baroque music, dating from the era of the Jesuit reductions.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-90/#comment-3483020

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/absolute-state-of-britbongia/#comment-2336919

    Jesuit Legacy in the Bolivian Jungle: A Love of Baroque Music
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/americas/bolivia-baroque-music.html

    “It was about building a different society, a kind of utopia with education, self-sustainability — and of course, with music, which was the way the Jesuits evangelized,” said the Rev. Piotr Nawrot, a Roman Catholic priest from Poland who lives in Bolivia and was involved in recovering some of the original Baroque manuscripts.

    But among the lowland Bolivians, the legacy of Baroque music survived — even centuries after indigenous communities lost the tradition of reading music, learning songs by ear.

    To understand just how powerful the tradition remains today, consider Urubichá, a farming village northwest of Concepción on the end of an unpaved dirt road bordering a swamp reached only after crossing 10 bridges through dense jungle.

    The town of 8,000 has a music school teaching 500 students, nearly every child there. At lunchtime, children wander the village square toting instrument cases on their backs. They speak Guarayo, the native language

    Another collection, over 4,000 pages of music, was found in the Moxos’s reducción, which was part of the Province of Peru. This collection, mostly sacred music, was also composed frequently by converted Indian-americans belonging to music groups. In fact, each mission included between 30 and 40 professional musicians playing during daily masses.

    Speaking seriously, I don’t know if it would be fair to call the Rite of Spring high exactly; in my opinion high art ought to raise the soul above the baser elements of its own nature, but the Rite of Spring, like the Afternoon of a Faun, does nothing of the kind and has, seemingly, no intention of doing so. In that case it is simply entertainment, though very good entertainment– like the bossa nova.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon, Gabe Ruth
    • Replies: @CCG
  86. vinteuil says:
    @Twinkie

    One is elevator music, the other is high art of a (once) great civilization.

    Well, that’s the blunt way to put it.

    I guess the nice way to put it would be to say that Bossa Nova is very pleasant, not exactly to listen to, but to have on in the background, as you attend to more important things, like pulling his or her pants off…

    Le Sacre du printemps, on the other hand, kind of insists that you give it your full attention.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  87. @Single malt

    Nah, Buffalo Joe has misinterpreted (misunderstood?) my words.

    You don’t go from Bossa Nova to Stravinsky (as you go from, say, Rowling to- I don’t know, I don’t know what females read, Little Prince? to Duras, Willa Cather or George Eliot). You listen to -if you listen at all – various stuff in much the same time (of course, not literally). While recovering from Covid, I listened to Shane MacGowan, 2018-2020 Country stuff, Lassus, Incas, Scandinavian folk music, 3 top violin concerts in D major, Caucasian music, Iris DeMent, …

    Steve’s title of the topic is misleading.

    • Replies: @Single malt
  88. Yngvar says:

    Dimitri From Paris – Sacré Français!

  89. Dube says:
    @Narrenspeise

    Not that I would mind [classical] music in an elevator, though.

    Sorry, I can’t get out until the last note of Sibelius 5.

  90. Muggles says:
    @obwandiyag

    Because they never ever heard music played in elevators in their entire short little lives.

    Yes, good point.

    You could call it now, grocery store music. Every grocery store I go to (I do the family shopping) always has SirrusXM channels playing pop or “mild” rock. Not too loud. Sometimes almost dance-able, like in some musical or TV show where normal people start dancing in the aisles.

    As a creature of the 60s-70s I am sometimes stunned at the selections.

    “25 or 6 to four, maybe time to do some more…” was a great LSD song lyric. Trust me, I know. And no, more isn’t better. And you’ll still be wide awake at noon.

    Obviously there is also a lot of sexual content in such song lyrics. But no, Kroger still isn’t a good pick-up joint. Not for me anyway.

    “Now, what kind of cereal do we need?”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  91. @Bardon Kaldian

    I recommend the classical guitar performances of virtuoso Ana Vidovic (available on YouTube)

  92. @Prof. Woland

    At my brokerage they play songs which are allthemed around money, like Money Can’t Buy Me Love.

    Most likely company executives cannot be bothered with this and the music played in most cases is just whatever comes with the software program or is in the public domain.

    Many companies can’t even be bothered to get somebody who can speak Spanish properly to do the Spanish voice announcements.

  93. @Anonymous

    Bossa Nova is a pop music genre, which is more rhythmic.

    Good bossa is a lot more melodic than rhythmic. There hasn’t been much as tuneful as Baden Powell’s “O Astronauta” coming from the Anglosphere in the last 50 years:

    You might recognize this tune from US elevators. The composer sings; the late lyricist, Ronaldo Bôscoli, had the largest collection of Sinatra records in Latin America. Then he spent the night with a showgirl and put it on his wife’s Diner’s Club card. The collection went to the Copacabana– quite literally, off their high-rise balcony and onto the beach.

    Os Gatos put Frank’s “do-be-do-be-do” to shame in this one. You can see Mrs Bôscoli at 2:44:

    One thing that bossa nova desperately needed and rarely got was first-rate English lyrics. That’s because Latin America was trapped in BMI, while our greats were all with ASCAP. “Ipanema” and “Summer Samba” was about as good as they got. Jobim just gave up and wrote his own English lyrics. (He was quite fluent.)

    A rare and lucky exception is Dori Caymmi, son of the samba king Dorival (“And Roses and Roses”.) He got Alan and Marilyn Bergman, she the president of ASCAP, to set this. It’s hands-down the best English version of any Brazilian song, with a bridge Johnny Mercer would have been proud of.

    Bossa unmelodic? Cabeça-dura! Se manda daqui!

    • Thanks: AndrewR
    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    , @Anonymous
  94. CCG says:
    @RSDB

    Brazil also had its own Baroque music:

    • Agree: RSDB
  95. AndrewR says:
    @Narrenspeise

    You act like Twinkie knows anything about music…

  96. AndrewR says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Stravinsky is terrible, you dumb boomer.

  97. @ringo starr search

    Noyce invented the silicon ship as we know it. Kilby is a fraud and a patent troll who invented something utterly impractical and nothing like the Fairchild Planar Process that rules the known tech world. Kilby is honored at the University of Morally Superior-Randolph as a Famous Alumnus, which tells you something.

  98. Digby says:

    Tudo Bem you Samba SOBs

    Give a listen up to:

    Trio Mocoto

    Old school Samba rockers. Start with the tune “0lha eu ai.”

    Carumba

    Paco at Down Valley Scum

  99. AceDeuce says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Bergmans (both still around in their 90s) sure got around–They also wrote “The Way We Were”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, ‘What are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life”, and the themes to “Maude”, “Good Times”, and “Alice”.

  100. @vinteuil

    I can understand that Le Sacre du printemps, is ahem, a little too direct, but it is certainly about pants pulling? Or maybe, pants ripping?

  101. @Five Bell's Watch

    No mentions of Fado music yet.

    Here’s a Luso-Italian duet:

    British Columbia boasts a killer fadista, Sara Marreiros, who is sadly in bad health. Wish I could link to her first album, but it’s hard to find any videos of her.

    Fado singer Sara Marreiros gets back in the groove

    (There’s a paper called the Times Colonist?)

    Fado: The Saddest Music in the World has beautiful music but a jam-packed plot

    The only fado I know of that has come into the Anglophone world is known to us as “April in Portugal”. Here is the late, great Amália Rodrigues with the original “Coimbra”, which is the equivalent of naming a song “Oxford”, “Cambridge”, “New Haven”, or “Ann Arbor”:

  102. @Rockford Tyson

    His most famous track ever, for instance, “Girl From Ipanema” is about the hesitations of a shy young man…

    Or shy old man. Vinicius de Moraes wrote the words. However, Jobim would have been with him in the bar when the teenager was sent alone by her mother to fetch cigarettes. (How many laws would that break in your state?)

    The girl herself, Helô Pinto, later Pinheiro, became quite a celebrity herself. Starting off, no surprise, as a model.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

  103. @Muggles

    Because they never ever heard music played in elevators in their entire short little lives.

    Yes, good point.

    Suburbs are literally one-story towns. (Okay, two-story at home, but who has a home elevator?) We’d see families waiting for the lift back down to the parking garage at the science museum, and the kids would be standing right in front of the door, bursting to get in. No city kid would ever do that. Someone is sure to be bursting to get out!

    You could call it now, grocery store music.

    I pay close attention to background music everywhere. I once suggested an old tune to a young jazz pianist, telling him I’d just heard it on the Muzak at the airport. He said, “It has to be good, if you can remember it from Muzak.”

    One night they were playing Steve Miller’s “Jet Airliner” in the grocery, and I got to thinking. Sure, it sounds like Miller, but it’s also different in other ways. It lacks his trademark deliberate stupidity (something he shares with John Mellencamp), and what’s a Texan doing singing about a “New England town”? So I looked it up, and got the whole story about Miller and a former bandmate rescuing the song from Paul Pena’s suppressed album, which the bandmate had produced.

    I mentioned this in a comment, and what do you know?, within a year or two Steve did a whole post about Pena and his throat-singing. I like to think I planted the seed in his mind, as more recently with Richard Mentor Johnson.

    Pena was the grandson of an immigrant from Cape Verde. All the Portuguese colonies appear to have a thriving musical tradition. Don’t let the childish covers of Putumayo’s “world music” collections put you off. Every one I’ve bought has been quite well selected. They know what they’re doing.

    https://www.putumayo.com/

    • Thanks: RSDB
  104. @Anon

    I saw a video of a man in Alaska shooting a charging grizzly bear in his yard. With each shotgun blast the bear was knocked back and stumbled, but then got up and kept charging. The black criminals we keep seeing in videos resisting arrest are at that level of animal reaction and stupidity. They don’t understand basic concepts like “gun” and “out-numbered”. Just no human intelligence to size up the situation they are in.

  105. @Old Palo Altan

    Politically at least so were Stravinsky’s. If you don’t get my point, then start reading about the man’s splendidly ultra-Right views. He was a man of the Tradition and a hater of all that opposed it. He loathed Bolshevism, liberalism, democracy, atheism: everything that has ruined our world.

    Wasn’t this true of Schoenberg as well? That won’t inspire me to put on some twelve-tone. (Other than the middle eight of “One Note Samba”.)

    I used to respect Ani DiFranco for staying home in Buffalo. But that’s different from actually listening to her music.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  106. Malla says:
    @Anon

    is while the world burns?

    The people who are burning the world hate this kind of music and the civilization it represents for some reason.

  107. Twinkie says:
    @AndrewR

    Stravinsky is terrible, you dumb boomer.

    It’s still better than the elevator music. And I am an early Gen-Xer.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  108. Twinkie says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    A Chinese friend of mine, a STEM person but a civilised one, said to me only the other day that compared to Europe’s musical tradition that of his own country counts for nothing.

    Indeed, European classical music is without a peer in the world.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @RSDB
  109. @Anonymous

    Some later Godley and Creme….

  110. Twinkie says:
    @Not only wrathful

    Do you also refuse to wear shorts in the heat, as real men wear trousers?

    Indeed, grown men SHOULD wear trousers. Shorts are for children.

    This is what my family and I listened the other evening as we had our dinner:

    I bought it on Amazon some time back (sadly no longer available for purchase for others).

    • Agree: JMcG
  111. dearieme says:
    @personfellowindividual

    Come on, chaps. Not all music needs to be Mozart and Beethoven. There’s room for Rossini and Bossa Nova.

  112. Anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Godley & Creme were more or less the undisputed kings of the pop video during that particular genre’s golden age in the mid ’80s.
    The video of ‘An Englishman in New York’ should be required viewing in every school of film or cinematography forever in the future, as a text book example of what creativity and originality and stunning spectacle actually means.

  113. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    Europe’s musical tradition

    Of which Brazil inherits liberally, as see the pieces posted above by CCG.

    Stravinsky would probably have liked Jobim; he liked ragtime and jazz and composed ragtime-inspired pieces:

  114. @AndrewR

    Well, Wikipedia can at least tell him which is which.

  115. @Anon

    “upper class wankers who make six figures while working from home doing nothing”

    Why thank you – that’s a major upgrade from “jobless incel losers living in your parents basement”. Hawkins? Light me a Romeo y Julieta and pour another brandy, there’s a good chap – and have one yourself, you deserve it.

    • LOL: Old Palo Altan
  116. @AndrewR

    The Rite of Spring is music by Stravinsky for a ballet. It is also performed independently in the concert hall. It is not a symphony. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of classical music should know this.

  117. Who’s That Girl?

    Harry

  118. camons says:

    As more than one commenter already mentioned, it is comparing apples to carts. Bossa Nova is originally a genre part of MPB (that is to say, Brazilian Popular Music). Emphasis in “popular”. It should be compared to American popular music of the 50s and 60s, not Western classical music, which is inevitably more complex. If the proper comparison is made, Bossa Nova comes out as pretty sophisticated musically.

    As far as classical music according to the Western canon, Brazil actually has a pretty storied tradition, starting with purely religious music in colonial times, passing through Carlos Gomes and his successful opera works in the 19th c. (Il Guarany) and culminating in Heitor Villa Lobos in the first half of the 20th century, who used folk influences in his works, similar to what 19th century Central European composers did. See his “Chorinhos”, actually a genre similar to jazz in some of its premisses (instrumental improvisation), although melodically, of course, quite different. In the second half of the 20th century, most Brazilian classical composers followed the trends of the era and are therefore similarly unlistenable to.

  119. vinteuil says:
    @Anon

    Stravinsky once said, why was it when he heard something boring, it was always by Villa-Lobos?

    Stravinsky never seemed to have anything good to say about any of his contemporaries. The trouble with his barbs is that you never know whether it’s really him or just something Robert Craft invented.

  120. vinteuil says:
    @AndrewR

    That Stravinsky symphony is cacophonous and very unpleasant to listen to.

    Just wait until you hear the Symphony in 3 Movements!

    In a way, I envy you. You can still discover these pinnacles of Western achievement for the first time.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  121. Anonymous[437] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Bossa unmelodic?

    It’s a matter of degree, of course. Even contemporary pop and rap music are melodic to a degree.

    What makes bossa nova, bossa nova, is its characteristic beat and rhythm derived from samba. The rhythms played by the tamborine and other percussive instruments in samba are played by the guitar in bossa nova.

  122. What about the incredible music of ACJ’s countryman
    Radomes Gnattali? Surely his music is more creative and
    Listenable!

  123. AndrewR says:
    @vinteuil

    Stravinsky is anything but a pinnacle. I’ll take Bach, Brahms, the Bee Gees or even the Backstreet Boys over Stravinsky lmao

  124. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Stravinsky is one of the last flowerings of our tradition. Grounded in it like few others, he could spread his wings and fly far afield, but never lose his way.

    …until Robert Craft wormed his way in.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  125. vinteuil says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Wasn’t this true of Schoenberg as well?

    Not so far as I know. Did Schoenberg loathe “Bolshevism, liberalism, democracy, atheism?”

    Cites, please?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  126. @Old Palo Altan

    “This Brazilian is of no importance”

    This is one of the dumbest comments I have read, and it comes from a plance of pure racism. Let me guess, Classical Music is great because it was created by white people, and Jobim sucks because he is a non-white Brazilian. Putting aside the fact that Jobim is actually a white man, your criticism holds no weight because the creators of the music you praise so much, Europeans, regard Jobim as a genius. Go to France, Germany and England, and Jobim is *highly* respected for his music. You are an ignoramus, and a racist one at that.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @JMcG
  127. @vinteuil

    Did Schoenberg loathe “Bolshevism, liberalism, democracy, atheism?”

    Cites, please?

    Apparently he loathed republicanism, though he loved the California Republic, comparing it to all his favorite places in Europe put together.

    I suppose you won’t accept “a friend at a Rockford Institute function” as a source, so how about the New York Times?

    There is no doubt that Schoenberg was an elitist and his politics authoritarian and pro-monarchy (despite his professed apolitical stance). Nonetheless, he is best described as a Jew who struggled with multiple tensions in his identity and beliefs.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/06/arts/l-tangled-links-schoenberg-s-anguish-951288.html

  128. @Rockford Tyson

    Putting aside the fact that Jobim is actually a white man…

    The name is of French extraction, so he said. Likely Jobin in the old country.

  129. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    “”On the one hand Brazilian music might be ‘the most listenable genre ever’, but on the other hand there’s no actual ‘meat’ to it, and it soon gets tiresome.”

    They’re called women. You dance with them. It doesn’t get tiresome.

  130. @dearieme

    Thanks!

    Just to make this more of a comment, I think Steve ought to make his thought a little more clear, otherwise it’s like a troll trap for commenters. What is the meaning of this?!

    As for me I just appreciate the musical post and I don’t feel trolled, just tickled.

  131. JMcG says:
    @The Alarmist

    Imagine is the elevator music version of Imagine.

  132. JMcG says:
    @Rockford Tyson

    You are so far out of your league, you have no idea.

  133. @vinteuil

    No, no need for another stiff drink (although surely one never needs an excuse for one).

    From me just a question, and an earnest one: I can see that Craft might well have exercised a malign influence over Stravinsky in his daily life, but how did he lead him astray musically?

  134. vinteuil says:

    I can see that Craft might well have exercised a malign influence over Stravinsky in his daily life, but how did he lead him astray musically?

    Craft was a hard line partisan of the most extreme form of serialism – Webern’s.

    Somehow, he got his hooks into the guy, so we’re stuck with all that crap he wrote in the 60’s, instead of what might have been.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  135. @vinteuil

    Now that’s remarkable.

    Only yesterday I decided to listen seriously to Webern – his ten minute symphony as it turned out.

    I shocked myself by rather liking it (not that I will ever listen to it again). I suppose I mean no more than that I could see what he was doing, and that it takes someone blind to anything but the theory to carry it out “successfully”. And Webern was obviously a naive obsessive about everything.

    One knows immediately that Stravinsky wasn’t, so it is clear that Craft’s influence in this direction was both malign and fruitless. Perhaps not intentionally the first, but how could the result of this violence to the man’s true musical nature have been anything but the second?

    Another point perhaps: every time I watch the two together I get the creeps.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  136. RSDB says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    This Brazilian is of no importance

    In the happy phrase of Capt. Willard, it is certainly not rational in a man to praise or decry any thing before he is perfectly acquainted with its various excellencies or imperfections.

    I am not sure in any case exactly how your friend’s characterization of Chinese music, whatever its merits, reflects on “this Brazilian”, who comes from a country with a rich inheritance of the European tradition, and whose own early training was entirely within that tradition.

    I suppose though that considered under a certain aspect popular music can be thought of as entirely unimportant: Foster, Yradier– perhaps even Bizet is to be blamed for considering a habanera of Yradier worth putting in an opera.

    I don’t know, and I certainly don’t claim to be much of a connoisseur; I can only say that I personally derive far more benefit from some of these than from what seems to me the depraved and contorted Rite of Spring. As I said, though, I don’t claim myself to have much of an ear.

    [MORE]

    Unimportant:

    Important? :

    On the other hand, to use your own excellent phrase, some would say that those who can find nothing in the “Nidichala Sukhama” (“Does wealth give comfort?”) of Tyagaraj are not among those who can “listen rather than merely hear”. I am not among those who would say that, though.

  137. RSDB says:

    By the way, why does every piece of text in this article post link to the same video?

    • Agree: Dissident
  138. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    De gustibus non disputandum, but I’m not sure why you think music being pleasant enough that one might want to listen to it in a confined space without shooting out the speakers is a strike against it. Perhaps you could explain?

    I am wondering, given the nature of this objection, if what you object to is not so much the music itself, but the style in which it is played, which perhaps reminds you of music you heard in an elevator somewhere long ago when music was still being played in elevators.

    Supposing you hear a different bossa nova standard played a little differently, by a symphony orchestra this time, does your impression change?

    [MORE]

    Or would you describe this other piece of Jobim as “elevator music” as well?

    Music of this sort is situational.

    Suppose for the moment you are sitting out on a porch, or in a well-windowed room, at night, in the rain which splashes on the roof and spatters on the windows, perhaps with a book, or perhaps without one, with a personal orchestra at command (which you practically have nowadays): would you have them play the music for the Rite of Spring? I doubt it.

    You might want in such an instance the Traumerei of Schumann you linked above, or, perhaps you might even want a good rendition of Desafinado or Corcovado:

    One might even ask for something in Tansen’s raag Malhar:

    On the other hand, if you want music by which to watch Nijinsky cavort across the stage, bossa nova simply won’t do; you had better have the music written for that purpose: in this case, Stravinsky’s music for the Rite of Spring.

    If now you suppose yourself in a gazebo on a hot tropical beach, with no dance troupe in sight, you will probably find samba or bossa nova more congenial than this particular ballet score.

    Supposing you are in the mood to do some wild and riotous dancing yourself, or you are perhaps marching somewhere in a troop of soldiers, neither the Rite of Spring nor the bossa nova will suit your turn; you must find other music. And so on.

    Also, while “dumb boomer” was an entirely unwarranted insult, it was not referring to you, as you will find if you reread the previous comment.

  139. @AndrewR

    No he’s not, although the Rite of Spring isn’t his best.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  140. CJ says:
    @Lodewijk

    I was a Boy Scout in Canada in a troop led by an Englishman who had been a Scout under the movement’s founder Baden Powell. Later I was surprised to learn that there was a Brazilian guitarist named Baden Powell. I was even more surprised to find out how good he was.

  141. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Only yesterday I decided to listen seriously to Webern – his ten minute symphony as it turned out.

    I shocked myself by rather liking it

    OK, so Old Palo Altan has been replaced by some sort of pod person.

    • LOL: Old Palo Altan
    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  142. Dissident says:
    @AceDeuce

    The benchmark version, for a lot of people, is the duet by Jobim and Elis Regina on their terrific 1970s album Elis & Tom.

    Studio performance:
    Elis Regina & Tom Jobim – Aguas de Março (subtítulos castellano y portugués)

    Live performance:
    Tom Jobim & Elis Regina – Aguas de Março Ao VIVO
    ~ ~ ~
    152 comments and not one mention of Toquinho?

    Live performances:
    Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Toquinho e Miucha (Ao Vivo na Itália) (Milan, 1978)

    Vinicius de Moraes Ao Vivo Parigi Olympia 1978

    Studio Album:
    Vinícius / Toquinho – 1975

    Below are selected excerpts from comments posted to the Eddie Van Halen, RIP thread from October that are germane here.

    AndrewR:

    Girl from Ipanema is a good song but it’s not exactly groundbreaking. It was written a number of years into the bossa nova era, and it’s musically quite simple.

    Kgaard:

    Girl from Ipanema is not simple! It is a very sophisticated and subtle chord progression. And the lyrics in Portuguese are mesmerizing. Tom Jobim was a great man. He also wrote Agua de Beber — the lyrics for which also are just stunning.

    It is worth learning Portuguese just to learn those songs in the original language.

    Dissident:

    Don’t forget Águas de Março (Waters of March), perhaps my favorite.

    I’m sure that just as with a work of literature, there can be no true substitute for being able to understand the lyrics of a song in the original language in which they were composed. That said, the lyrics to Jobim’s songs are so auricularly (i.e., just in how they sound) well-fitted to the music, and Portuguese such a mellifluous language, that even without understanding it…

    Additionally, the English lyrics are quite beautiful in their own right as well.

    Some wonderful performances with Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Gilberto, Toquinho, et al. can be easily found on YouTube.

    • Thanks: RSDB, AceDeuce
  143. @vinteuil

    We must none of us succumb to self-caricature.

    • Replies: @Dissident
    , @vinteuil
  144. Dissident says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Twinkie says:
    May 2, 2021 at 10:39 am GMT • 5.4 days ago
    One is elevator music, the other is high art of (once) a great civilization.
    […]

    Old Palo Altan says:
    May 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm GMT • 5.1 days ago • 100 Words ↑
    @Twinkie

    There is the classical tradition of the West and, in comparison, nothing else.
    […]

    This Brazilian is of no importance,[…]
    […] to those who can listen rather than merely hear.

    One might have wondered whether OPA, Twinkie, and one or two others who made similarly contemptuous comments were filling-in for a certain rather colorful character whose contributions we have not been graced with since late February…

    We must none of us succumb to self-caricature.

    Or perhaps OPA, at least, was impersonating said individual, by dasein

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  145. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    We must none of us succumb to self-caricature.

    Well, yeah, sure.

    So what’s your point?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  146. @vinteuil

    My point merely is that I will not allow myself to become a caricature of OPA.

  147. @Dissident

    I greatly miss ID – where are you brother?

    I am mightily puzzled by the fierce reaction to my views about what is significant music and what is not.

    Note that I wrote what I did in the context of Steve’s original article and its provocative title Brazilian vs European Musical Geniuses.

    It is clear to me that there are no Brazilian musical geniuses, and precious few European ones (with emphasis on the word “precious”).

    Jobim is not Bach; he is not Schumann; he is not even Stravinsky.

    My only point, and hardly a controversial one.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    , @Dissident
  148. RSDB says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but what puzzled me was not so much the expression of your tastes and opinions, which are after all your prerogative, but the argument you seemed to advance, which linked the asserted unimportance of Chinese traditional music to … what exactly? I couldn’t quite make out whether you were attempting to make an argument at all, or simply expressing several largely unconnected opinions in a row, in a sort of free association.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  149. Dissident says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    It is clear to me that there are no Brazilian musical geniuses, and precious few European ones (with emphasis on the word “precious”).

    1.) That genius is an overused characterization would seem difficult, if not impossible, to credibly dispute. (And not just with regard to musical ability but to most, if not at all, creative endeavors.)

    2.) Even with that caveat, the argument that musical genius is found solely and exclusively within the European classical genre would seem little more than a subjective, even tendentious assertion.

    Jobim is not Bach; he is not Schumann; he is not even Stravinsky.

    The George Gershwin of Brazil is what Antonio Carlos Jobim has been called. Individuals and the work they produce should be appreciated and judged within their respective genres.As was already noted by more than one individual in this thread, this was one of Mr. Sailer’s more odd posts.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  150. @Dissident

    Yes, composers and other artists should indeed be judged within their respective genres.

    My point is that some genres, indeed most, are incapable of offering the material necessary for genius at its highest level to express itself.

    This was exactly the point too of my Chinese friend.

    It might even have been the point, politely expressed to be sure, of Ravel’s famous remark to Gershwin.

  151. @RSDB

    “There is the classical tradition of the West and, in comparison, nothing else.

    A Chinese friend of mine, a STEM person but a civilised one, said to me only the other day that compared to Europe’s musical tradition that of his own country counts for nothing.”

    The second sentence calls up a cultured non-European to strengthen the impact of my first.

    Then I go on to point out the implications of this general truth to an individual case.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  152. RSDB says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    OK, but I do not see how your friend’s being non-European by birth or culture is relevant here, as I am not sure in any case exactly how your friend’s characterization of Chinese music, whatever its merits, reflects on “this Brazilian”, who comes from a country with a rich inheritance of the European tradition, and whose own early training was entirely within that tradition.

    However, leaving his ethnicity aside, you are giving Chinese traditional music merely as an example of one particular sort (or several sorts; I am not familiar enough with Chinese music to know if it should be so divided) of music you feel is unconducive to the expression of genius, in order to demonstrate that such sorts might exist? That makes a degree of sense, I suppose, and thanks for the clarification.

    As for me, I would say that it is certainly not rational in a man to praise or decry any thing before he is perfectly acquainted with its various excellencies or imperfections, but, after all, de gustibus non est disputandum.

    I would only wonder, though, given the tastes you seem to express, whether you think Stravinsky’s “importance” should be “taken negatively”, as another commenter points out it was at first, considering some of the influence he has had:

    [MORE]

    This interpretation is rather curious:

  153. RSDB says:
    @Paperback Writer

    What works of his would you recommend in preference to it?

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