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New Yorker: White People Must Start to Realize That Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Wagner, Verdi, Debussy, and Strauss Were All White
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From The New Yorker:

Black Scholars Confront White Supremacy in Classical Music

The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners.

By Alex Ross

September 14, 2020

… What Ewell calls “the white racial frame”—he takes the term from the sociologist Joe Feagin—has the special power of being invisible. Thurman, in her paper “Performing Lieder, Hearing Race,” makes a similar point: “Classical music, like whiteness itself, is frequently racially unmarked and presented as universal—until people of color start performing it.”

The hysterical complaints that Ewell was proposing to “cancel” the classical canon stemmed mainly from a blog post in which he called Beethoven an “above-average composer” who has been “propped up by the white-male frame, both consciously and subconsciously, with descriptors such as genius, master, and masterwork.” … Ewell provokes with a higher purpose: he is goading a classical culture that awards the vast majority of performances to a tight circle of superstars, shutting out female and nonwhite composers who, until the mid-twentieth century, had little chance of making a career. In some ways, that Valhalla mentality is as entrenched as ever.

The whiteness of classical music is, above all, an American problem. …

Classical-music institutions have just begun to work through the racist past. Scores of opera houses, orchestras, chamber-music societies, and early-music ensembles have declared solidarity with Black Lives Matter, in sometimes awkward prose. Because of covid-19, most performance schedules that had been announced for the 2020-21 season have been jettisoned, and the drastically reduced programs that have emerged in their place contain a noticeable uptick in Black names. When the virus hit, we were in the midst of the so-called Beethoven Year—a gratuitously excessive celebration of the two-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday of a composer who hardly needs any extra publicity.

There are always people who haven’t yet been exposed to Beethoven who benefit from anniversary celebrations. I can recall all the publicity given to Beethoven’s 200th birthday in 1970, especially by Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip:

It remains to be seen whether this modest shift toward Black composers will endure beyond the chaotic year 2020. …

In reality, for every worthy black composer of classical music there are probably, say, 1,000 even better white composers who are almost completely forgotten today.

Think about the best athlete you knew growing up. He probably topped out at say Double AA ball in the minor leagues or the like. Well, Europe has had over the last 400 years maybe 100,000 composers of the equivalent skill.

Heck, the European classical heritage is so enormously rich that lots of music even by the immortals has been forgotten. For example, my favorite Pacific Opera Project production of the last few years was Rossini’s La Gazzetta, in what appears to have been only its second production in the United States since the 19th Century. And Rossini is an all-time top half-dozen opera composer. *

In the same vein, mainstream organizations are giving more attention to a Black classical repertory: the elegantly virtuosic eighteenth-century scores of Joseph Bologne; the folkloric symphonies of Price, Still, and Dawson; the African-inflected operas of Harry Lawrence Freeman and Shirley Graham Du Bois. Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer, though a production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is planned for a future season….

That sounds dire. As you may recall, when Spike Lee’s career was briefly on an upward trajectory long ago in the 1980s, he employed his father, a veteran jazz musician, to score his movies. But then his widowed father remarried, to a white Jewish woman, breaking Spike’s heart. He fired his dad and hired the depressing Blanchard, and his movies have mostly been bad ever since.

At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.

But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.

Basically, the Woke argument comes down to: Beethoven couldn’t have been all that: after all, he was white.

But he was.

Between now and Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December, we are going to be told countless times by the Wokely enlightened that Beethoven enjoyed White Privilege.

Next 3 months

You might think that they would strategically decide that it doesn’t help their campaign to diss Beethoven. After all, Beethoven is Beethoven. The smart thing would be to not remind white people that Beethoven was white and they hate him for that. But they are so twisted by ressentiment that they just can’t help themselves.

* Here, via OperaBase, are most performed composers from 2004-2019 of classical vocal works (operas, operettas, oratorios, etc.):

Composer Performances Productions
Verdi 41863 8803
Mozart 34269 6396
Puccini 30802 6282
Rossini 13573 2911
Donizetti 11768 2592
Wagner,Richard 11747 2969
Bizet 9651 1858
Strauss,J 7901 1247
Strauss,R 6944 1438
Offenbach 6471 1114
Tchaikovsky,P 6253 1425
Lehár 5848 821
Handel 5839 1502
Humperdinck 4343 755
Kálmán,E 4226 695
Britten 4128 891
Various 3973 2471
Janáček 3301 670
Bellini 3168 754
Gounod 3090 656
Massenet 2796 583
Leoncavallo 2733 636
Mascagni 2323 580
Gluck 2303 470
Beethoven 2000 462
Dvořák,A 1962 353
Weill 1857 352
Monteverdi 1829 453
Weber 1824 296
Rimsky-Korsakov 1773 508
Purcell 1605 421
Smetana 1584 277
Poulenc 1377 351
Musorgsky 1367 349
Benatzky 1322 152
Prokofiev,S 1313 293
Sullivan,A 1301 239
Stravinsky 1287 301
Berlioz 1103 260
Shostakovich 1073 241
Berg 1037 200
Lortzing 1031 148
Bernstein 945 200
Giordano 917 190
Debussy 859 192
Haydn 850 248
Glass 825 163
Orff 794 206
Ravel 773 166
Menotti 772 203
Zeller,C 770 89
Abraham 748 97
Rameau 716 187
Künneke 682 77
Gershwin 680 114
Millöcker 645 77
Bartók 642 174
Moniuszko 616 154
Saint-Saëns 576 138
Korngold 570 98
Borodin 558 163
Vivaldi 523 164
Nicolai 514 81
Martinů 496 100
Cavalli 487 113
Bach,JS 474 149

It’s a steep pyramid with tough competition: e.g. Bach is barely 1% as popular as Verdi. Two of the top opera composers died young: Mozart at 35, but also Bizet (Carmen) at 36. Here’s a speculative essay on what Mozart would have composed if he’d lived out his three score and ten, such as around 1810 an opera of Faust with a libretto by Goethe himself.

 
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  1. ““the white racial frame”……has the special power of being invisible.”

    And weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes. It is as though the hand of God were at work. Or the Devil. Incarnate themselves but able to manipulate the corporeal realm.

    And, as Descartes argued, being God, and God being All, then he would not deceive us, inasmuch as He is All and not a part of All and the Truth is the Whole and not a Part, therefore, “the white racial frame” must be of that which is not of God, i.e. the Devil.

    Destroying the Devil is God’s work. So for blacks to labor to eliminate “the white racial frame” is to do God’s work here on Earth. Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @ThreeCranes


    It is as though the hand of God were at work.
     
    Indeed. If it is

    weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes.
     
    Doesn't that mean that it must be of God? For, like God, it seeks no deception. White doesn't pretend not to be white. Rather, it is Ross, Ewell, Feagin, and fellow travelers who seek perpetually to deceive, and so must be ... of the devil.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @ThreeCranes

    "Destroying the Devil is God's work."

    The Gnostics are right: the god of this world is the devil.

    , @Richard B
    @ThreeCranes


    Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.
     
    I predict an irony-free reading of your entire comment, culminating in the above.

    Given we know they like to troll TUR in general and Steve in particular, please, don't encourage them.
    , @mn90403
    @ThreeCranes

    “the white racial frame” is to Wokeness as Dark Matter is to the Universe. Live without wokeness. It is not a beneficial or uplifting dogma.

  2. He called Beethoven an “above-average composer” who has been “propped up by the white-male frame, both consciously and subconsciously, with descriptors such as genius, master, and masterwork.

    We almost could have had Kanye, but he went decidedly un-woke on the way toward being in-sane, or at least that’s how the Commissars have it.

    The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer, though a production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is planned for a future season….

    There’s always Porgy and Bess which, despite having been composed by a Jewish guy, stands right up there with the very best Black Music ever.

    I’m glad I attended more than my share of spectacular classical-music concerts in my time. I’ve a feeling that’s going to be all over, even if concerts are one day permitted again.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Mr McKenna

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I've long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for "Summertime:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQQpAZhKXM

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the "and" in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written "Summertime, when the living is easy." But that when implies: "I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime," which is a lot less engaging than "Summertime, and the living is easy," which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    "That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]"

    Replies: @Tim Smith, @Kylie, @syonredux, @James O'Meara

  3. obsessive worship of the past

    Whoa, do the dwellers in the glass houses of Emmet Till, Redlining, and Muh Legacy of Slavery really want to throw that stone?

    from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system

    If only the fascist, white supremacist state would cease barging into Mr. Ross’s upper Manhattan apartment and imposing its musical apartheid to prevent him listening to those talking drums and gamelan recordings.

    Oh wait, nothing is stopping him. Meanwhile, the most musically talented Africans and Indonesians are running in the opposite direction: toward European classical music … until they meet Mr. Ross standing athwart the path, telling them they should stick to their own kind, that is.

  4. @Mr McKenna

    He called Beethoven an “above-average composer” who has been “propped up by the white-male frame, both consciously and subconsciously, with descriptors such as genius, master, and masterwork.
     
    We almost could have had Kanye, but he went decidedly un-woke on the way toward being in-sane, or at least that's how the Commissars have it.


    The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer, though a production of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is planned for a future season….
     
    There's always Porgy and Bess which, despite having been composed by a Jewish guy, stands right up there with the very best Black Music ever.

    I'm glad I attended more than my share of spectacular classical-music concerts in my time. I've a feeling that's going to be all over, even if concerts are one day permitted again.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I’ve long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for “Summertime:”

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the “and” in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an’ the livin’ is easy
    Fish are jumpin’ an’ the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo’ daddy’s rich and yo’ ma is good-lookin’
    So hush, little baby, don’ you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written “Summertime, when the living is easy.” But that when implies: “I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime,” which is a lot less engaging than “Summertime, and the living is easy,” which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    “That “and” is worth a great deal of attention. I would write “Summertime when” but that “and” sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like “My Man’s Gone Now”. It’s the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. “Summertime when the livin’ is easy” is a boring line compared to “Summertime and”. The choices of “ands” [and] “buts” become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]”

    • Replies: @Tim Smith
    @Steve Sailer

    I can never think of Porgy and Bess or even Gershwin without thinking of Jim Bouton's Ball Four tale of an unnamed teammate boarding the team bus and singing "Summertime, and your mother is easy" as he walked to his seat.

    , @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    I’ve long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for 'Summertime'.”

    Right. In the same way, they've claimed "Amazing Grace", belting it out as if it's a Top 40 hit praising their blackness instead of what it is, a hymn of gratitude for being saved by God's grace composed by a former captain of slave ships.

    Not surprisingly, the inherent narcissistic tendency of blacks prevents them from understanding and appreciating classical music. Its forms are complex and abstract and it's both individualistic and universal, rather than tribal.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    , @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    Sondheim on the power of simplicity:


    Oscar dealt in very plain language. He often used simple rhymes like day and May, and a lot of identities like “Younger than springtime am I / Gayer than laughter am I.” If you look at “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” it doesn’t seem like much on paper, but he understood what happens when music is applied to words—the words explode. They have their own rainbows, their own magic. But not on the printed page. Some lyrics read well because they’re conversational lyrics. Oscar’s do not read very well because they’re colloquial but not conversational. Without music, they sound simplistic and written. Yet it’s precisely the hypersimplicity of the language that gives them such force. If you listen to “What’s the Use of Wond’rin’ ” from Carousel, you’ll see what I mean.
     
    And here we also see Sondheim explaining the nature of his appeal. Hammerstein wrote lyrics that function superbly within the reality of the performance but wilt under literary analysis. Hence, the lack of intellectual appeal. No one in a Lit department wants to sit down and analyze “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” It’s meant to be experienced, not read.

    Sondheim, though, is different. You can sit down and find tertiary layers of meaning in the words themselves. Indeed, Sondheim’s lyrics (unlike Hammerstein’s) almost seem to function better when they are seen on the page, as opposed to being heard in performance.

    For a highbrow comparison, one might note the example of Wagner, whose librettos are usually seen as great literary works in their own right….which is not something that can be said for a lot of operatic librettos

    Replies: @obwandiyag

    , @James O'Meara
    @Steve Sailer

    "But that when implies: “I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime,” which is a lot less engaging than “Summertime, and the living is easy,” which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:"

    Perhaps. But perhaps Jew Gershwin was influenced by Hebrew, a surprisingly primitive language which makes do with "and" rather than the elaborate subordinate structure of say, Greek.

    Each 'and' has to be construed in some way when translating into, say, English: so, therefore, because, when, etc. Same with beginning sentences with "And": Hebrew does so in order to use "and" to switch the tense of verbs from past to present. The attempt of the King James translators to be as literal as possible resulted in the fiction of "Biblical English" as exploited by Hemingway.

    So "Summertime and" likely means "Summertime when".

    English proverbs are so old they come from a similarly primitive period, which is why no one understands them anymore:

    Spare the rod and (thus) spoil the child
    Feed a cold and (then you will) starve a fever (You will waste all your food fueling your cold)
    Have your cake and eat it too: NO, it's "(IF) you eat your cake (then) you will not have it, will you?

  5. I enjoy classical music, be it ever so white.

    I also enjoy classical jazz – the jazz of the 20s and 30s, as played by negroes, creoles (the distinction apparently mattered in New Orleans), and whites. Partly it was based on ragtime, of which the great master was Scott Joplin (black). Partly it was based on the blues, of which the first great performer was Bessie Smith, also black. Partly it was based on popular and vaudeville music, marching music, and even operetta, of white origin.

    I suppose I should cancel the black players for cultural appropriation of so much of white music, even the instruments they played.

    But it seems much wiser just to ignore all the crap and say that I enjoy the music of Sid Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and company. I’d enjoy it even if they had been not black but polka-dotted. I enjoy Bix Beiderbecke, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Adrian Rollini and so on – all white.

    Christ, I’m fed up of the Politicisation of Everything.

    • Agree: theMann, Prester John
    • Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin
    @dearieme

    "Christ, I'm fed up of[with] the Politicisation of Everything."

    Welcome to the brave new world brought to you by cultural Marxism.

    (Here's hoping that when the counter revolution comes, it's a really brutal one.)

    Replies: @Lace

    , @AceDeuce
    @dearieme

    Scott Joplin learned piano from, and received the bulk of his music education-5 years worth, from a highly accomplished German-Jewish piano teacher, Julius Weiss.

    This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

  6. While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain’t what they used to be.

    • Replies: @Jake
    @James Braxton

    They are not allowed to be.

    It began with their own rebellions, but over time it became clear that those who are the Elites of the world formed out of the horrors 0f the 19th century and World War 1 demand that the vast majority of whites who are not rich be suppressed to enable the non-whites to replace them in many, or most, ways.

    You cannot have geniuses in Country Music like Hank Williams or Johnny Cash feted because to be heard today they must please those who own and control the business - and those owners are not the sons of farmers and small town business owners, small town cops and firemen. Those who own Country Music are Globalists.

    , @Prester John
    @James Braxton

    They composed for the educated, sophisticated minority of Europe. Modern music is dumbed down to satisfy the tastes of the superficially educated Unwashed Masses who wouldn't know the difference among Baroque music (Bach/Vivaldi), "classical" (Mozart, Haydn), and Romantic (Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky)--in other words the real "98 Percenters."

    , @Gordo
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain’t what they used to be.
     
    How would you know, living as we do in twisted anti-White societies?
    , @Anon7
    @James Braxton

    Aha! I think you've found the answer to all of our problems!

    We'll just agree that "White" people died out sometime in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. They were giants! Their achievements were astonishing in so many fields!

    But alas they are gone now, and all the people left are just regular people. You know, like Steve says, maybe AA ball quality, but that's about it. Not like any of them are about to whip out a new Aida or Marriage of Figaro.

    And they were bad. Very Bad people, with very bad unwoke tendencies. Very bad. But, they're gone now! Just like the Neanderthals.

    Here's a list of paint colors to choose from to describe today's white people.

    https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/color/advice/a3448/the-right-white-a-70889/

    I like "crisp linen' and "swiss coffee" (which would complement BLM black nicely). There's also "historic white" for people who are really good, in a classical kind of way.

    , @Lace
    @James Braxton

    Beethoven was as great as it gets, but no greater then predecessors like Bach and Mozart and successors like Wagner. Anybody saying 'Beethoven was an above-average composer' makes me wonder what the fuck planet this is anymore. They were all WHITE, so blacks don't play them. I'm been a classical pianist and musician all my life--and I'm not talking about an 'unknown musician', but this talk is enough to make anyone sick. That's not even including Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and in the 20th c. (where the emphasis can finally be a little on black composers like Ellington, but not classical ones of great importance) Xenakis, Boulez, Schoenberg, and before them Debussy and Ravel and Faure. I haven't read anything that's made me think people are this stupid since the books that had 'nigger' in the fucking dialogues banned. Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do NOT have Bach or Ravel.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    , @Verymuchalive
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.
     
    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer - indeed the last classical composer ever - was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s - when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you're right: White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Chrisnonymous, @Jimbo in OPKS

  7. @dearieme
    I enjoy classical music, be it ever so white.

    I also enjoy classical jazz - the jazz of the 20s and 30s, as played by negroes, creoles (the distinction apparently mattered in New Orleans), and whites. Partly it was based on ragtime, of which the great master was Scott Joplin (black). Partly it was based on the blues, of which the first great performer was Bessie Smith, also black. Partly it was based on popular and vaudeville music, marching music, and even operetta, of white origin.

    I suppose I should cancel the black players for cultural appropriation of so much of white music, even the instruments they played.

    But it seems much wiser just to ignore all the crap and say that I enjoy the music of Sid Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and company. I'd enjoy it even if they had been not black but polka-dotted. I enjoy Bix Beiderbecke, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Adrian Rollini and so on - all white.

    Christ, I'm fed up of the Politicisation of Everything.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @AceDeuce

    “Christ, I’m fed up of[with] the Politicisation of Everything.”

    Welcome to the brave new world brought to you by cultural Marxism.

    (Here’s hoping that when the counter revolution comes, it’s a really brutal one.)

    • Agree: JimDandy
    • Replies: @Lace
    @Kolya Krassotkin

    And even the Soviets weren't stupid enough to cancel classical ballet, and not just Petipa/Tchaikowsky either.

    Replies: @Muggles

  8. When the virus hit, we were in the midst of the so-called Beethoven Year—a gratuitously excessive celebration of the two-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday of a composer who hardly needs any extra publicity.

    Isn’t there a gratuitously excessive Black Culture Month, followed by six month of Black Lives Matter celebrations every year? Do they really need extra publicity outside of SBPDL blog?

    • Replies: @Alden
    @El Dato

    The public schools celebrate January as MLK month. It begins the first week of January. Then comes February Black history month. It doesn’t end till the second week of March.

    More than 2 months of blackety blackety black.

  9. “The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer”
    If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.

    The OperaBase list of performance frequency is rather interesting, and I wonder if it includes performances in Russia. I suspect not, Russians love their Opera, and especially their Russian Operas. I am also surprised to see so many French composers so far down the list. I get that Berlioz is not easy to put on, but a lot of French language operas are popular enough that they should be performed more often. I suspect that there is a real language barrier – it is expected that every singer and Opera Troupe does Italian and German, but French, and especially Russian, present some obstacles.

    Unfortunately, the ugly reality of CoronaFraud is threatening the livelihoods of Musicians just as much as it is Restaurateurs and Gym owners. Every music venue has a pressing need to worry about surviving as a business, which would, I think, dwarf all other concerns.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    , @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    Scott Joplin was pretty awesome.

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/tennis-talk-with-scott-joplin-agassis-past-present-and-future/2872788

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

    , @James O'Meara
    @theMann

    "If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform."

    A good point. There's no possible way these unknown operas by blacks are in any way worse than the atonal and general modernist crap that the Met and others routinely program. I must say these blackety-black folks do have a point. As Saul Bellow said 30 years ago, when this whole mess started, "I'm all for multiculturalism. Is there an African Proust? Great, show him to me, that's something I want to read!" [Paraphrase from memory]

    Of course, as so often, these "white" composers are Phoenicians, so it all becomes clear. White audiences would rather hear Scott Joplin than Schoenberg, but they get Schoenberg, whose work, according to fellow Phoenician Adorno, is not only more sophisticated than black music, but more sophisticated than Beethoven et. al. as well. Same as Rothko is more "advanced" than Sargent.

    Karajan once cut short a Berlin PO rehearsal because he was going to hear Louis Armstrong. Someone muttered about this, and Karajan replied "Gentlemen, when I hear Armstrong, at least he is in tune!"

    Replies: @syonredux

    , @Aardvark
    @theMann

    Back in the 16th, 17th, 18th century etc., classical music and opera was a European creation and hence of white people. If the Met wants to put on an opera by someone black, they will be a contemporary composer.

    In my experience, opera houses and orchestras have had to foist the contemporary composer on their unwilling patrons by squeezing it in between two likable pieces because no one wants to listen to some abomination that sounds like a cacophony of random noises.

  10. @theMann
    "The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer"
    If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.



    The OperaBase list of performance frequency is rather interesting, and I wonder if it includes performances in Russia. I suspect not, Russians love their Opera, and especially their Russian Operas. I am also surprised to see so many French composers so far down the list. I get that Berlioz is not easy to put on, but a lot of French language operas are popular enough that they should be performed more often. I suspect that there is a real language barrier - it is expected that every singer and Opera Troupe does Italian and German, but French, and especially Russian, present some obstacles.


    Unfortunately, the ugly reality of CoronaFraud is threatening the livelihoods of Musicians just as much as it is Restaurateurs and Gym owners. Every music venue has a pressing need to worry about surviving as a business, which would, I think, dwarf all other concerns.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @Aardvark

    There’s a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years …

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    George Steiner owns you, Steve. The quote from his "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky" (with my observation- Steiner confused The Princess Casamassima with The Ambassadors, the first one being a political novel, unlike the 2nd).

    We can speak in one breath of the Iliad and War and Peace, of King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov. It is as simple and as complex as that. But I say again that such a statement is not subject to rational proof. There is no conceivable way of demonstrating that someone who places Madame Bovary above Anna Karenina or considers The Ambassadors comparable in authority and magnitude to The Possessed is mistaken—that he has no “ear” for certain essential tonalities. But such “tone-deafness” can never be overcome by consequent argument (who could have persuaded Nietzsche, one of the keenest minds ever to deal with music, that he was perversely in error when he regarded Bizet as superior to Wagner?). There is, moreover, no use lamenting the “non-demonstrability” of critical judgments. Perhaps because they have made life difficult for artists, critics are destined to share something of the fate of Cassandra. Even when they see most clearly, they have no way of proving that they are right and they may not be believed. But Cassandra was right.

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    By, the way... Carmen always reminds of Fun with Dick and Jane, 1977, with Segal losing his welfare check due to his antics during Carmen chorus.

    , @theMann
    @Steve Sailer

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn't died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn't make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn't just Bizet and Berlioz.

    Replies: @Lace, @JerseyJeffersonian, @Jim Don Bob, @CBTerry

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    I have never cared for opera as such, but I like the music. Carmen is great. So is L'arlesienne. On the strength of those two works alone, Bizet belongs in the pantheon.

    Bizet, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel - I'd put french music up against that of any other european nation.

    Replies: @Charles St. Charles

    , @vinteuil
    @Steve Sailer


    It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime.
     
    "Carmen" isn't "close" to the greatest opera ever - it is the greatest opera ever. And it's hard to imagine that Bizet could ever have surpassed it, no matter how long he might have lived. It's the work he was born to create - and, having created it, he died.

    Not only is it great in itself, it was the cause that greatness is in other men. It was the stimulus for Nietzsche's most brilliant & polished work: Nietzsche Contra Wagner.

    Replies: @theMann, @Not Raul, @Lace

    , @Sparkon
    @Steve Sailer


    Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years …
     
    He might have matched Haydn, but probably not.

    Charles St. Charles, #118, gets it. Now you can too.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm4kaagA4hY

    Haydn Symphony #39
    Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española
    Carlos Kalmar, director
    , @Cido
    @Steve Sailer

    I read someday, something like this:
    If you want meat and potatoes listen German classical music. If you want a delicious dessert, listen French classical music. I think the analogy fits very well. Furthermore, meat and potatoes are good, but you can't eat in any part of the day. That's different from a dessert, that you can eat anytime.

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    Nah. Bizet had one idea, but the totality of what he left behind lacked much of interest. Some of his symphonies are too boring to listen to. Can't say that of Bach or Mozart. Bizet was not a first class composer, and I doubt he would have had more such hits as Carmen.

  11. @theMann
    "The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer"
    If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.



    The OperaBase list of performance frequency is rather interesting, and I wonder if it includes performances in Russia. I suspect not, Russians love their Opera, and especially their Russian Operas. I am also surprised to see so many French composers so far down the list. I get that Berlioz is not easy to put on, but a lot of French language operas are popular enough that they should be performed more often. I suspect that there is a real language barrier - it is expected that every singer and Opera Troupe does Italian and German, but French, and especially Russian, present some obstacles.


    Unfortunately, the ugly reality of CoronaFraud is threatening the livelihoods of Musicians just as much as it is Restaurateurs and Gym owners. Every music venue has a pressing need to worry about surviving as a business, which would, I think, dwarf all other concerns.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @Aardvark

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
    @Steve Sailer

    "Scott Joplin was pretty awesome"

    Agreed. He was also an anomaly.

  12. Speaking of Creoles, I do think Gottschalk deserves wider attention. I like his stuff.

    Being from a New Orleans Creole mother makes him at most a quarter black and probably less but more than 1/1024th

  13. This kind of anti-Whitism is actually not that dangerous to Whites. It leads to more racial polarization and that’s a good thing. Plus, it exposes the vile nature of their motivations.

    Sure, it may hurt the feelings of “elite” Whites, but who cares? They always wanted to have their own separate peace, assuming that only the “proles” would pay the price. Golly, did they outsmart themselves?

  14. Three Germans are the Holy Trinity of music. Bach (The Father)- Beethoven (The Son)- Mozart (The Holy Ghost).

    Opera…I’m not much into it. But when you listen even to the oldtimers who are virtually 1000 years removed from us & without organ, piano, violin… nothing to add.

    Blacks? I like Black- Irish combo…

    As for post-modern music torturers, I’d mow them down with WW1 Vickers. White, black, yellow….don’t care.

    • Replies: @Uncle Dan
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Mozart was Austrian.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

  15. Once the CCP consolidates it’s power they can dispense with Ross but they will continue to encourage their ten year olds to master Beethoven.

  16. Within ‘Classical’ music you have the same basic issue with that which is more popular being lesser than much, or most, or the vast majority, of what is less popular. I’ll take Vivldi, Bach and Haydn over any of the top opera composers, except Mozart.

    White Liberals have spent so many decades telling blacks that they are MUCH better than they are, in almost everything, and that they are better in every way than the white trash, that blacks now almost universally believe it. And are ready to sucker punch you to make the point.

    Only a racist would think that Beethoven is better than Michael Jackson. Only a Neanderthal, a retarded racist Neanderthal, would think that Hank Williams is superior to R. Kelly.

  17. All future articles at The New Yorker, until it goes broke: Everything Whites Have Accomplished Is Garbage.

  18. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    They are not allowed to be.

    It began with their own rebellions, but over time it became clear that those who are the Elites of the world formed out of the horrors 0f the 19th century and World War 1 demand that the vast majority of whites who are not rich be suppressed to enable the non-whites to replace them in many, or most, ways.

    You cannot have geniuses in Country Music like Hank Williams or Johnny Cash feted because to be heard today they must please those who own and control the business – and those owners are not the sons of farmers and small town business owners, small town cops and firemen. Those who own Country Music are Globalists.

    • Agree: sayless
    • LOL: Rex Little
  19. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    George Steiner owns you, Steve. The quote from his “Tolstoy or Dostoevsky” (with my observation- Steiner confused The Princess Casamassima with The Ambassadors, the first one being a political novel, unlike the 2nd).

    We can speak in one breath of the Iliad and War and Peace, of King Lear and The Brothers Karamazov. It is as simple and as complex as that. But I say again that such a statement is not subject to rational proof. There is no conceivable way of demonstrating that someone who places Madame Bovary above Anna Karenina or considers The Ambassadors comparable in authority and magnitude to The Possessed is mistaken—that he has no “ear” for certain essential tonalities. But such “tone-deafness” can never be overcome by consequent argument (who could have persuaded Nietzsche, one of the keenest minds ever to deal with music, that he was perversely in error when he regarded Bizet as superior to Wagner?). There is, moreover, no use lamenting the “non-demonstrability” of critical judgments. Perhaps because they have made life difficult for artists, critics are destined to share something of the fate of Cassandra. Even when they see most clearly, they have no way of proving that they are right and they may not be believed. But Cassandra was right.

  20. How long before we get a Jay-Z and Bey-Bey mashup with the NY Philharmonic or, better still, Boston Pops? Sort of an urban André Rieu.

    I mean, there’s plenty of White-folk orchestras appropriating the black culture, but I don’t see many PoCs representing….

  21. Attacking a white European musical tradition for being predominantly white and European is obviously stupid, but so is this remark:

    But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.

    Actually, no, many foreign film industries heavily feature scores from their local musical traditions. Iran is a particular standout in that regard.

    The modal, microtonal, polyrhythmic musical systems found in other parts of the world cannot be fully reduced to the language of traditional western music theory.

    And while you are citing “highly cultured East Asians” on the superiority of western classical music, you might want to notice how many classical trained western composers took inspiration from, and borrowed from, non-western music, including gamelan music (which I wouldn’t call “cute”) in the 20th Century.

    Like a lot of pundits on the right, you tend to be at your worst when talking about the arts and aesthetics (“This painting doesn’t have any representational content! How can it be beautiful!”), and in your case that’s particularly true when you talk about music.

    Nevertheless, it’s good to know I can be some sort of a rebel by embracing the whiteness of classical music. I just wish I liked more of it.

  22. Weren’t they just trying to tell us the other day that Beethoven was black? Make up your minds!

  23. @El Dato

    When the virus hit, we were in the midst of the so-called Beethoven Year—a gratuitously excessive celebration of the two-hundred-and-fiftieth birthday of a composer who hardly needs any extra publicity.
     
    Isn't there a gratuitously excessive Black Culture Month, followed by six month of Black Lives Matter celebrations every year? Do they really need extra publicity outside of SBPDL blog?

    Replies: @Alden

    The public schools celebrate January as MLK month. It begins the first week of January. Then comes February Black history month. It doesn’t end till the second week of March.

    More than 2 months of blackety blackety black.

  24. @dearieme
    I enjoy classical music, be it ever so white.

    I also enjoy classical jazz - the jazz of the 20s and 30s, as played by negroes, creoles (the distinction apparently mattered in New Orleans), and whites. Partly it was based on ragtime, of which the great master was Scott Joplin (black). Partly it was based on the blues, of which the first great performer was Bessie Smith, also black. Partly it was based on popular and vaudeville music, marching music, and even operetta, of white origin.

    I suppose I should cancel the black players for cultural appropriation of so much of white music, even the instruments they played.

    But it seems much wiser just to ignore all the crap and say that I enjoy the music of Sid Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and company. I'd enjoy it even if they had been not black but polka-dotted. I enjoy Bix Beiderbecke, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Adrian Rollini and so on - all white.

    Christ, I'm fed up of the Politicisation of Everything.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @AceDeuce

    Scott Joplin learned piano from, and received the bulk of his music education-5 years worth, from a highly accomplished German-Jewish piano teacher, Julius Weiss.

    This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @AceDeuce

    "This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way."

    Is that supposed to be ironic, a black kid getting musical instruction from a German in Texas in the 1880s? Neither part is unusual, really. Texas had/has a surprisingly large German population; they even have their own German dialect.

    https://youtu.be/2XHHbpG-RnA

    Educationally, Phil Schaap on his Charlie Parker broadcasts on WKCR-FM always points out that while music education programs are constantly being cut back today, they were quite robust in the real "good old days," and even segregated schools had programs that could only be dreamed of today.

    Replies: @AceDeuce

  25. Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    "Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too."

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year's Day to start the year out right:

    https://youtu.be/lcr1LUAYXYY

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Uncle Dan, @slumber_j, @AceDeuce

    , @Lace
    @slumber_j

    Schubert wrote some operas, but none of them are well-known. Schumann wrote one Genoveva, which I've never heard either.

    Replies: @baythoven, @slumber_j

  26. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    By, the way… Carmen always reminds of Fun with Dick and Jane, 1977, with Segal losing his welfare check due to his antics during Carmen chorus.

  27. I wonder if there’s some sort of spiritual energy in life with these young people who die leaving a vast artistic legacy and everyone speculates what they may have achieved. Keats, Shelley, Mozart. The mathematician Patrick Ramsey. Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot simply stopped writing after a certain age. Maybe they burn up their life force and god claims them. They burnt their candles too fast.

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    @Happy Tapir

    I thought it a bit weird that Gershwin died of a brain tumor at 36. Was his brain somehow constructed so thst it could create great music but something about that construction made him vulnerable to a tumor?

  28. Beethoven wrote incidental music for the Goethe play Egmont.

    The overture to Egmont is played very very often, but I don’t recall the whole play with the rest of the music ever being staged, or produced on radio, in London, or even when I lived in West Germany.

    So a work by Beethoven AND Goethe can be relegated to relative obscurity.

  29. The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer

    Their reasons can be discerned by answering two questions.

    1. Would blacks and other minorities buy large numbers of tickets for an opera by a black composer?
    2. Would the usual opera-goers prefer to see an opera by one of the top 100 composers?

  30. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    They composed for the educated, sophisticated minority of Europe. Modern music is dumbed down to satisfy the tastes of the superficially educated Unwashed Masses who wouldn’t know the difference among Baroque music (Bach/Vivaldi), “classical” (Mozart, Haydn), and Romantic (Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky)–in other words the real “98 Percenters.”

  31. Look, why not just be happy with jazz? It’s a stunning, and black, contribution to the world’s music. Whites even invented a pale imitation: swing.

    • Replies: @Malcolm Y
    @Christopher Chantrill

    A band was going to play a jazz piece. One of the musicians didn't realize that the score was printed on both sides of the paper. He played every other sheet; nobody noticed.

    , @sayless
    @Christopher Chantrill

    Jazz, won't work for me. Affects me like a neurotoxin, I absolutely hate it. Even the name. Rap is more tolerable.

    No offense intended, Authentic Jazzman--truly.

  32. No they weren’t! “Copernicus was a woman!” 😉

    But seriously, the Sexmission movie got it right. When you can;t deny white males achievements, you just deny they were white (or male, as in Sexmission). It’s not that improbable that in the future popular culture will have many white composers or other heroes as people of color, even if this won’t be officially sanctioned truth. The historians and those who will want to know, will know the truth, but the popular image could be possibly so altered, so anyone who will find out about truth will be surprised. It’s like with the average brain sizes. It’s not denied in a science. But in popular culture of course everyone knows it’s false!

  33. Regarding the OperaBase performance list, many symphony orchestras around the country canceled Beethoven tribute concerts this year due to Covid. I wonder if they hadn’t been performing Beethoven the last couple of years in anticipation of doing multiple performances of him in 2020. Handel seems kind of low considering there are hundreds of performances of Messiah every year. I wonder what percentage of his total is from Messiah compared to his other works?

  34. White Scholars should Confront Black Supremacy in African Music.

    And when will Black “Scholars” Confront Arab Supremacy in Arabic Music, Persian Supremacy in Iranian Music, Chinese Supremacy in Classical Chinese Music, Indian Supremacy in Indian Music?

  35. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet’s not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn’t died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn’t make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn’t just Bizet and Berlioz.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @theMann

    Carmen is a great opera along the lines of other very popular ones like La Boheme, Tosca, Don Carlo, Aida. Not that I don't love them all (esp. Tosca--almost more than any other), but I think Mozart's Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Wagner's Die Meistersinger and The Ring Cycle and Parsifal may be the very top objectively. Lots of people don't know Pelleas et Melisande, Debussy's one, strange beautiful opera. It takes some patience.

    But as for tunes, Carmen can't be beat, and Leontyne Price did them better than anybody.

    , @JerseyJeffersonian
    @theMann

    That being said, there are two major works of Berlioz that straddle or transcend the genre of opera with which many may be unfamiliar, but which I heartily commend; these works are Romeo and Juliet, and The Damnation of Faust. The first of these drew its inspiration from Shakespeare, and the second from Goethe. They are a mix of pure orchestral music, vocal/orchestral, and choral/orchestral. Le Damnation du Faust is particularly brilliant in its overall design, as well as in its constituent parts. For full comprehension, it were best to have the libretto to hand.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @theMann


    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet’s not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work.
     
    The Pearl Fishers first act has this, the most beautiful duet ever written.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV5zUa4zMnw

    Replies: @Lace, @Kylie

    , @CBTerry
    @theMann

    And of course Rameau, who succeeded and, I believe, surpassed Lully. Don't confine yourself to just Rameau's ballet-operas; here is the world's greatest living pianist playing his keyboard music.
    https://youtu.be/mLmbZJAjeoI

    And thanks for the suggestions; I will have to check out Boieldieu.

    When Sailer wrote: "Heck, the European classical heritage is so enormously rich that lots of music even by the immortals has been forgotten," he scored a bullseye.

    Replies: @Lace

  36. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:

    The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners.

    The “field,” in the sense of academics, can do whatever it wants. But classical music is a business, and what is performed, in the end, will be what audience members buy tickets for. And that’s not some unknown black composer.

    • Replies: @martin_2
    @Anon

    Exactly.Which is why we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts on the radio. Beethoven's sixth, Bruch's violin concerto, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etcetera. I much prefer something a bit more modern and exciting like Janacek or Scriabin or Lutoslawski or Messiaen. If they play Bartok its always the bloody Concerto for Orchestra. Someone told me once its all about bums on seats, and if prospective concert goers see "Beethoven" or "Mozart" on the bill they know what to expect.

    Its funny how I know that Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, are the greatest composers but I never listen to them.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Uncle Dan, @Anon

  37. I think the Left’s hatred for Beethoven has less to do with him being white and more to do with him not being Jewish.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Joe Walker

    Ummm...first I thought you wrote nonsense, but it seems you're onto something....

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/wasbachjewish

    Was Bach Jewish?

    Bach was quintessentially Jewish. And in seeking to break free from these laws, Beethoven was the true Christian. Might the gulf between Bach and Beethoven mirror that between Judaism and Christianity?

    , @utu
    @Joe Walker

    Maybe you are onto something. Think the Mahler phenomenon.


    https://floridaorchestra.org/why-would-anyone-mess-beethoven/
    So, why would anyone in their right mind mess with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the famed Eroica, one of the supreme creations of Western art, a work that simultaneously summarized a passing era and launched a new one? Why would someone tamper with such an iconic score?

    Well, somebody did, and The Florida Orchestra’s latest Masterworks program offers a seldom-performed version of the symphony by Gustav Mahler, the brilliant composer and conductor who died in 1911 in Vienna. Mahler believed Beethoven could use a little help from a friend, so he “retouched’’ not only the Third, but the Fifth, Seven and Ninth symphonies and the Coriolan Overture. But why fix what isn’t broken?

    Let’s look into Mahler’s logic. From the early 19th century, when Beethoven composed these works, to the dawn of the 20th century, lots had changed. Instruments improved, orchestras grew in size, and concert halls expanded to accommodate more people. Beethoven’s music, Mahler believed, needed to catch up with the times.

    In his own defense, Mahler explained that “this is in no way a case of re-instrumentation or alteration, let alone improvement of the work of Beethoven.’’ He said his views were less about arbitrary change than playing the music as Beethoven would have wanted had he lived 75 or 100 years later – with the formidable Vienna Philharmonic (or TFO) at his disposal.

     


    Why Has Mahler Become a Cultural Icon?
    https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2010/02/14/kevin-macdonald-why-is-mahler-so-popular/

    "The Mahler symphonies … get me out of here. I keep surreptitiously cheering Kingsley Amis’s verdict “Mahler lacks talent even more spectacularly than he lacks genius.” …"

     

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  38. At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language.

    I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means. The tonality of Western music evolved over 1000 years and produced over a hundred tuning systems. What is forgotten in the age of the modern piano is that equal temperament is a relatively recent thing (Early 19th C). In Europe, tonality evolved for deep and complex mathematical, emotional, and religious reasons which are heavily documented. In the rest of the world, music didn’t evolve at all. Only when Africans in America were exposed to the music of the Irish did they come up with a Blues style. Only when Scott Joplin was exposed to Beethoven did he come up with Ragtime. In other words, black music is improvisational but highly suggested by Western folk and classical idioms. Blacks contributed nothing to music theory. Compared to the western canon, other music traditions are thin gruel. At its heart, all attacks on Western art tradition are an attack on the ideal of beauty itself.

    • Agree: 3g4me
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @JimB

    So well said. Thank you.

    , @Peter D. Bredon
    @JimB

    "I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means."

    No a good way to start a disquisition on tonality.

    You make a good point about equal temperament being a recent innovation and by no means equivalent to "Western music" as such. But that somewhat relativizes your disdain for non-Western traditions.

    The "thin gruel" of non-Western traditions preserves musical traditions more like our own, pre-equal temperament tradition, which can be accessed for renewal (archeofuturism); hence the interest of Bartok in Hungarian folk music, Debussy in Japanese (or was it Javanese?)

    In the same way, you make a good point about African-American music being a reaction to Western genres. But the appeal of that music to Whites (so that it is now the dominant "popular" music) lies in its very reaction: the attempt to assimilate equal tempered music to their own, more natural systems: the famous "blue" notes of jazz are attempts to locate microtones, for example, and are perceived as "more emotional" than equal tempered music.

    The real strength of Western culture is less in its "essential" nature but rather in its ability to use and re-use other traditions, likely due to our unique ability to be conscious of ourselves (see Richardo Duquesne)

    Replies: @DextersLabRat

  39. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.

    Funny, my (early 80’s) musical education included both talking drums and gamelan.

  40. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain’t what they used to be.

    How would you know, living as we do in twisted anti-White societies?

  41. Tune in tomorrow boys and girls for another never ending episode of,

    WHITE SUPREMACY VS melanin mediocrity. Small case intended.

    • Agree: Lace
  42. the voices in the peanuts beethoven video are terrible. Not that I know how they could be more interesting or compelling. Just a bit surprised there are not more intelligent people in the TV business. Even back in the day.
    Listen to Sherwood Schwartz talking about how scripts that were going to be used in My Favorite Martian were poorly thought out.

  43. Who was Various? He’s about two-thirds of the way up the list, so he must be pretty good. I feel like I’ve heard of him, but I can’t name any particular opera. I assume his name is pronounced “var-ee-oos” because he’s white and European.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    @Anon7

    He had a very creative relationship with his librettist, Anon.

    , @Badger Down
    @Anon7

    Stradi Various, the famous luthier from Italy, a white man from Italy. Famous for the sound of music. Played at Carnegie Hall.

  44. I have always resented how, when a Guatemalan tries to listen to Fasch or St Colombe, the sound waves stop in the air.

  45. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    Aha! I think you’ve found the answer to all of our problems!

    We’ll just agree that “White” people died out sometime in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. They were giants! Their achievements were astonishing in so many fields!

    But alas they are gone now, and all the people left are just regular people. You know, like Steve says, maybe AA ball quality, but that’s about it. Not like any of them are about to whip out a new Aida or Marriage of Figaro.

    And they were bad. Very Bad people, with very bad unwoke tendencies. Very bad. But, they’re gone now! Just like the Neanderthals.

    Here’s a list of paint colors to choose from to describe today’s white people.

    https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/color/advice/a3448/the-right-white-a-70889/

    I like “crisp linen’ and “swiss coffee” (which would complement BLM black nicely). There’s also “historic white” for people who are really good, in a classical kind of way.

  46. How many people know the Swedish composer Tor Aulin? Yet his Master Olof: The Matron and the Child composition is far more beautiful than 99 percent of all classical compositions. It would be an Oscar contending film score if composed today.

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    @tanabear

    Yes, I have heard some of his works on the Music Choice tier of music channels that is included in our Comcast cable level of subscription, specifically on the "Light Classical" channel, and they are quite striking, indeed.

  47. The adaptation of “Carmen” into “Carmen Jones” was another example, like P &B, of white music performed by a black cast. In the ‘40’s Oscar Hammerstein II adapted Bizet, setting the opera in a WWII army camp. The performers were minimally trained with almost no stage experience. The lyrics, to my mind, were brilliant in updating the libretto to the environment of a black world, without condescension. The movie version is shown on TCM occasionally (so far), with Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte (both dubbed) and Pearl Bailey.
    There’s an interposed high note at the end of Michaela’s song that I haven’t heard in any performance of the aria, and it’s tremendously appealing.

    Regarding the example of thinking of the best athlete you knew when younger, I guess I’m an outlier, since I went to the same school as Reggie Jackson, whose talent was so extraordinary that he was scouted for 2 sports in 8th grade.

  48. Wait until they realize that the very popularity of symphonic metal in Europe oppresses Negroes and is literally another holocaust etc.
    But kidding aside, symphonic metal should aggressively be promoted to kids as a “lowbrow” way of maintaining a connection to their cultural heritage through a pop music filter. It’s vastly easier evolve to Vivaldi when starting from Rhapsody of Fire as opposed to starting from the Grammy brainrot shit.

    • Agree: 3g4me
  49. I take solace in the certainty that White Western art music will be preserved because our future East Asian overlords appreciate it even more than we do.

    • LOL: HammerJack
  50. Anon[803] • Disclaimer says:

    Classical music was certain musical stylisms that came from a certain time and place. Outside those parameters, it’s not classical music. You can’t play atonal music today on a gamelan and call it classical music. It may be experimental, it may be folk music, but it can never be called European classical music. It didn’t come from that time and place.

    The main problem with blacks and classical music is that you have to be able to read and write music if you want to be a composer. Most black musicians can’t read music. They do everything by ear.

    I’m extremely dubious about the value of any art that hasn’t been already incorporated into the Western Canon, because westerners are pretty good at assimilating anything of any value. People of foreign countries tend to overrate what they produce. I was reading a description by Harold Acton about Chinese opera, and it struck me as being more closely related to vaudeville than anything else, which is why it never spread over here. It was just awfully darn silly stuff.

  51. Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.

    Folks starting to get the logical necessity of my separationism?

    The basic decency required for civilized life–“Oh you got something nice going on over there, great. Good luck with it”–is beyond these people.

    Minoritarianism *must* wreck everything. It’s the “you must let me in” ideology of the barbarian, the robber, the rapist. Breaking into–and hence wrecking–everything is what the basic logic of minoritarianism demands. That is it’s purpose. Destruction is what minoritarianism is.

    Anything that Western Christian civilization–i.e. the white man–has produced, must be “opened up” and given to minorities–jobs and industries, schools and country clubs, music and movies, math and science, law and order, logic and reason, truth and beauty, neighborhoods and nations.

    Either we stand up and simply say, “No. No, this is our stuff–we built it, we like it, it belongs to us … you are free to go build your own stuff.” … or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    • Agree: Kylie, Lace
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @AnotherDad

    https://imgur.com/nKhnEUD

    Replies: @ziggurat

    , @anon
    @AnotherDad

    A.D. - very spot on comment. Pretty much distills and sums up the entire discussion, simplifies what appears to be complex but is not.

    , @ATBOTL
    @AnotherDad


    Either we stand up and simply say, “No. No, this is our stuff–we built it, we like it, it belongs to us … you are free to go build your own stuff.” … or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.
     
    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world. We are the problem and we have to change. We need to become more like other peoples. White inventions and knowledge should be kept secret from other races. We have to become tribal people.

    It's sad to see so many of the "race realist" commenters here don't get it. They have the opposite response that we need to do more to "civilize" other races that are being aggressive and hostile to us. That the problem is not enough contact rather than too much.

    The desire to help or "fix" other races is cause of white self hatred. There is a very thin line between the missionary, the colonialist, the empire builder and the modern self hating white man. Self hatred is simply what white men do when the first round of helping and fixing doesn't work. White men blame their own race for the failure to assimilate others, blame their own people for not being welcoming enough.

    No doubt, this comment thread will be filled with idiotic posts where white male race realists debate the best way to help or fix blacks.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @James O'Meara

    , @Anon7
    @AnotherDad

    "Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old."

    Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “Dogmatism And ‘Freedom of Criticism’” (1901)

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

  52. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr McKenna

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I've long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for "Summertime:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQQpAZhKXM

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the "and" in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written "Summertime, when the living is easy." But that when implies: "I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime," which is a lot less engaging than "Summertime, and the living is easy," which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    "That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]"

    Replies: @Tim Smith, @Kylie, @syonredux, @James O'Meara

    I can never think of Porgy and Bess or even Gershwin without thinking of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four tale of an unnamed teammate boarding the team bus and singing “Summertime, and your mother is easy” as he walked to his seat.

  53. But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.

    Holst’s MARS, BRINGER OF WAR

    Holst, JUPITER

    Conan the Barbarian , Basil Poledouris

    John Boorman’s use of Wagner in EXCALIBUR:

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    @syonredux

    You forgot that fucking ubiquitous Carmina Burana. (I sure am a dumb negro.)

    , @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    https://youtu.be/aBAW8fsyeuw

    Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    https://youtu.be/2KYf9Le0Hdw

    Franz Schubert's Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I've seen. Here are a few other examples.

    https://youtu.be/f8PGKB3GKeQ

    Dmitri Shostakovich's Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don't want to see Nicole Kidman's glorious ass.)

    https://youtu.be/gSCr_q71ZtE?t=116

    Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz's music in a creepy Julia Roberts' movie (forgive the annoying video).

    https://youtu.be/FFOS1gG2b34

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    https://youtu.be/Jgza7PwUr6k

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach's Goldberg Variations.

    Replies: @syonredux, @James O'Meara, @syonredux, @utu

    , @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some others:

    https://youtu.be/QhRrw3ePBvI

    Radetzky's March by Strauss I, and then the Emperor Waltz by Strauss II, in Scorsese's The Age of Innocence as Newland Archer takes in Beaufort's Ball.

    https://youtu.be/roeKtHFlxYI

    The great scene with Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken in True Romance has Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakmé playing in the background.

    https://youtu.be/lCubTHR5vpY

    Some use of classical music in the movies is surprising. Even the light comedy hit Trading Places starts off with Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.

    https://youtu.be/SQLhORPoUJs

    Bill Murray uses eternity to learn how to play Rachmaninoff - or a variation thereof - by the end of Groundhog Day.

    https://youtu.be/aGunIlPrelk

    The library scene from Se7en has Bach's Suite 3, Air on G String playing in the background (video is taken from the French version of the movie, but the music is also in the English version).

  54. Not sure how your athlete analogy works. My grandfather played pro ball, my mom competed nationally in two sports and my son fought in international competitions.

    Went to school with two Olympic athletes one who got gold.

    Maybe my experience was skewed because I had a pro athlete for a grandfather.

    On the other hand only one of those people got the gold and she’s still on tv commentating last time I saw tv.

  55. There was a time when afrocentrists claimed that Beethoven and Mozart were black. I guess the party line has changed.

  56. Kevin Volans is my favorite African composer:

  57. Does the left not realize that they are engaging in the EXACT SAME RACISM (AND SEXISM) they’ve decried for the past century? Apparently It’s ok to be Racist and sexist towards the one sub group who built the modern world.

    Think how many of JS Bach’s own babies he had to bury? But apparently he deserves cancellation cause of his skin color. Nice

  58. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr McKenna

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I've long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for "Summertime:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQQpAZhKXM

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the "and" in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written "Summertime, when the living is easy." But that when implies: "I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime," which is a lot less engaging than "Summertime, and the living is easy," which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    "That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]"

    Replies: @Tim Smith, @Kylie, @syonredux, @James O'Meara

    I’ve long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for ‘Summertime’.”

    Right. In the same way, they’ve claimed “Amazing Grace”, belting it out as if it’s a Top 40 hit praising their blackness instead of what it is, a hymn of gratitude for being saved by God’s grace composed by a former captain of slave ships.

    Not surprisingly, the inherent narcissistic tendency of blacks prevents them from understanding and appreciating classical music. Its forms are complex and abstract and it’s both individualistic and universal, rather than tribal.

    • Agree: Lace, HammerJack, Pheasant
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @Kylie

    " Prevents them from understanding and appreciating classical music"

    Dead wrong as black musical geniuses starting with Charlie Parker most certainly "understood "Classical" music namely their own classical music otherwise known as : Jazz, and Bird was quite well known as a profound fan of the white classical masters.

    Parkers breathtaking improvisational excursions are every bit a match for the greatest of the white classical masters. Just listen to his short solo on Summertime recorded with strings. This stroke of genius still makes me shiver after fifty-plus years of contemplation thereof.

    I must add however that there is an element of white influence regarding the black Jazz masters with such historical figures as Bix, Trumbauer, Venuti/Lang, J Dorsey etc, these white innovators having been a model for such jazz greats as Prez, and others.

    AJM, "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

  59. @AnotherDad

    Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.
     
    Folks starting to get the logical necessity of my separationism?

    The basic decency required for civilized life--"Oh you got something nice going on over there, great. Good luck with it"--is beyond these people.

    Minoritarianism *must* wreck everything. It's the "you must let me in" ideology of the barbarian, the robber, the rapist. Breaking into--and hence wrecking--everything is what the basic logic of minoritarianism demands. That is it's purpose. Destruction is what minoritarianism is.

    Anything that Western Christian civilization--i.e. the white man--has produced, must be "opened up" and given to minorities--jobs and industries, schools and country clubs, music and movies, math and science, law and order, logic and reason, truth and beauty, neighborhoods and nations.

    Either we stand up and simply say, "No. No, this is our stuff--we built it, we like it, it belongs to us ... you are free to go build your own stuff." ... or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @anon, @ATBOTL, @Anon7

    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @ziggurat
    @Almost Missouri

    It's like they're having this conversation:

    Minority #1: The majority is so cruel.
    Minority #2: Yea, and they make it so difficult to be with them.

  60. @slumber_j
    Schubert's many song settings don't get him on the list I guess, but I'm a fan. Anyway, he died really young too.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Lace

    “Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too.”

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert’s Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year’s Day to start the year out right:

    • Agree: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Kylie

    Schubert wrote Ave Maria, IMHO, the most beautiful piece of music ever written. Take that, BIPOCs!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpYGgtrMTYs

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Uncle Dan
    @Kylie

    Elly Ameling’s not bad: https://youtu.be/GwZYiZdPMqk

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @slumber_j
    @Kylie

    Yeah, that's great. Thanks.

    I really love Cheryl Studer's interpretation of Im Frühling. Sorry, I don't seem to be able to get this to start at the beginning, but it's the first one on this record:

    https://youtu.be/mx5wvA5RR1Q?list=RDmx5wvA5RR1Q

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @AceDeuce
    @Kylie

    BTW--"Starting the year out right" didn't work this year....

  61. @ThreeCranes
    "“the white racial frame”......has the special power of being invisible."

    And weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes. It is as though the hand of God were at work. Or the Devil. Incarnate themselves but able to manipulate the corporeal realm.

    And, as Descartes argued, being God, and God being All, then he would not deceive us, inasmuch as He is All and not a part of All and the Truth is the Whole and not a Part, therefore, "the white racial frame" must be of that which is not of God, i.e. the Devil.

    Destroying the Devil is God's work. So for blacks to labor to eliminate "the white racial frame" is to do God's work here on Earth. Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @SunBakedSuburb, @Richard B, @mn90403

    It is as though the hand of God were at work.

    Indeed. If it is

    weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes.

    Doesn’t that mean that it must be of God? For, like God, it seeks no deception. White doesn’t pretend not to be white. Rather, it is Ross, Ewell, Feagin, and fellow travelers who seek perpetually to deceive, and so must be … of the devil.

  62. In reality, for every worthy black composer of classical music there are probably, say, 1,000 even better white composers who are almost completely forgotten today.

    You are so right, Steve, the big names – Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. – represent the very highest peaks of the rich and varied landscape that is European art music. If you start from the Renaissance moving forward to the early 20th century, and make study of each period and country and genre and explore the contemporaries of the great names, you will discover that the White Male Composer bench was very, very deep. The so-called “Black Mozarts” just don’t measure up to even the third-tier forgotten contemporaries of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.

  63. But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.

    Noted East Asia scholar Edwin O. Reischauer once commented that the Japanese were always willing to acknowledge the supremacy of the Western symphonic tradition.

    Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.

    Amy Chua has a fun section in her Tiger Mother book where she slams the gamelan when her White Jewish mother-in-law suggests that Chua’s daughters should learn it:

    Maybe the reason I can’t appreciate gamelan music , which I heard when we visited Indonesia in 1992, is that I fetishize difficulty and accomplishment [……]Gamelan music is mesmerizing because it is simple, unstructured, and repetitious. By contrast, Debussy’s brilliant compositions reflect complexity, ambition, ingenuity, design, conscious harmonic exploration-and, yes, gamelan influences, at least in some of his works. It’s like the difference between a bamboo hut, which has its charm, and the Palace of Versailles.

    • Replies: @Escher
    @syonredux

    In this brave new world we are slouching towards, the African talking drums will be as loud as the martial drumbeat in “Mars” by Holst.

  64. Speaking of Amy Chua, I always love her de haut en bas dismissal of lesser breeds of Asian (“I’m Chinese. Don’t confuse me with jungle-dwelling savages like the Filipinos”), and her need to emphasize that her husband isn’t some pathetic loser who can only get ugly Asian chicks.

    Personally, I think that Debussy [a noted fan of the gamelan] was just going through a phase, fetishizing the exotic.The same thing happened to Debussy’s fellow Frenchmen Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin, who started painting Polynesian natives all the time. A particularly disgusting variation of the phenomenon can be found in modern-day California: men with Yellow Fever, who only date Asian women-sometimes dozens in a row-no matter how ugly or which kind of Asian. For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @syonredux

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton, @Muggles, @Not Raul

    , @Charles St. Charles
    @syonredux

    Haha - Amy Chua is sassy - I need to read more of her, I think.

    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @syonredux

    "Debussy ... gamelan ... fetishizing the exotic"

    Debussy used Western tones and instruments to conjure "exotic" soundscapes. His interest in Indonesian music was a variation of his theme.

    , @AnotherDad
    @syonredux


    For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.
     
    Key word there: "before".
  65. @AnotherDad

    Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.
     
    Folks starting to get the logical necessity of my separationism?

    The basic decency required for civilized life--"Oh you got something nice going on over there, great. Good luck with it"--is beyond these people.

    Minoritarianism *must* wreck everything. It's the "you must let me in" ideology of the barbarian, the robber, the rapist. Breaking into--and hence wrecking--everything is what the basic logic of minoritarianism demands. That is it's purpose. Destruction is what minoritarianism is.

    Anything that Western Christian civilization--i.e. the white man--has produced, must be "opened up" and given to minorities--jobs and industries, schools and country clubs, music and movies, math and science, law and order, logic and reason, truth and beauty, neighborhoods and nations.

    Either we stand up and simply say, "No. No, this is our stuff--we built it, we like it, it belongs to us ... you are free to go build your own stuff." ... or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @anon, @ATBOTL, @Anon7

    A.D. – very spot on comment. Pretty much distills and sums up the entire discussion, simplifies what appears to be complex but is not.

  66. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    Alex Ross has a traditional background for a classical music critic. You wouldn’t think he’d give a damn about the microscopic contribution of blacks to classical music, if there’s even any to be found. But he’s gay and married to Jonathan Lisecki, a Jewish guy who does something or other, and then Ross starts spouting blithering SJW nonsense. Not a surprise. Ross is just a puppet with that nauseating reptile Lisecki pulling his strings.

    https://twitter.com/jonnynyc?lang=en

    • Agree: Lace
  67. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr McKenna

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I've long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for "Summertime:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQQpAZhKXM

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the "and" in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written "Summertime, when the living is easy." But that when implies: "I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime," which is a lot less engaging than "Summertime, and the living is easy," which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    "That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]"

    Replies: @Tim Smith, @Kylie, @syonredux, @James O'Meara

    Sondheim on the power of simplicity:

    Oscar dealt in very plain language. He often used simple rhymes like day and May, and a lot of identities like “Younger than springtime am I / Gayer than laughter am I.” If you look at “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” it doesn’t seem like much on paper, but he understood what happens when music is applied to words—the words explode. They have their own rainbows, their own magic. But not on the printed page. Some lyrics read well because they’re conversational lyrics. Oscar’s do not read very well because they’re colloquial but not conversational. Without music, they sound simplistic and written. Yet it’s precisely the hypersimplicity of the language that gives them such force. If you listen to “What’s the Use of Wond’rin’ ” from Carousel, you’ll see what I mean.

    And here we also see Sondheim explaining the nature of his appeal. Hammerstein wrote lyrics that function superbly within the reality of the performance but wilt under literary analysis. Hence, the lack of intellectual appeal. No one in a Lit department wants to sit down and analyze “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” It’s meant to be experienced, not read.

    Sondheim, though, is different. You can sit down and find tertiary layers of meaning in the words themselves. Indeed, Sondheim’s lyrics (unlike Hammerstein’s) almost seem to function better when they are seen on the page, as opposed to being heard in performance.

    For a highbrow comparison, one might note the example of Wagner, whose librettos are usually seen as great literary works in their own right….which is not something that can be said for a lot of operatic librettos

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    @syonredux

    You guys making these vague pronunciamentatoes about the nature of lyrics have no clue about the wit and sophisticated wordplay and mastery of intricate and bizarre rhyming of the Great American Songbook (which has no Sondheim in it). Try "Lush Life" or "Let's Do It," or "The Lady is a Tramp," (Hart kicks Hammerstein's ass), or "Baby, It's Cold Outside," or "Makin' Whoopee," or "I Get a Kick Out of You," just for starters.

  68. Those dang White people!

  69. Spike’s movies may have dropped in quality since firing his father, but Blanchard has put out some good stuff. On par with Beethoven? Eh, different genre.

  70. @syonredux
    Speaking of Amy Chua, I always love her de haut en bas dismissal of lesser breeds of Asian ("I'm Chinese. Don't confuse me with jungle-dwelling savages like the Filipinos"), and her need to emphasize that her husband isn't some pathetic loser who can only get ugly Asian chicks.

    Personally, I think that Debussy [a noted fan of the gamelan] was just going through a phase, fetishizing the exotic.The same thing happened to Debussy's fellow Frenchmen Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin, who started painting Polynesian natives all the time. A particularly disgusting variation of the phenomenon can be found in modern-day California: men with Yellow Fever, who only date Asian women-sometimes dozens in a row-no matter how ugly or which kind of Asian. For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.
     

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @Charles St. Charles, @SunBakedSuburb, @AnotherDad

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    Do you mean that they are good at moving to a new place and making money, but occasionally have to flee a murderous mob with a small bag of diamonds wedged between their lower cheeks?

    Replies: @AceDeuce

    , @Ancient Briton
    @AceDeuce

    But with much better buffets!

    , @Muggles
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    I'm not sure I get your point.

    I would say more like the Germans of Asia (Germanic peoples). Far more numerous than other Asia ethnics. Maybe more Han Chinese than most of the others combined.

    "Jews" however defined are a small minority other than in Israel, their "homeland" from which they all left millennia ago. Not at all like Germans, who not only never left, but took big chunks of other parts of Europe and tried to make them "German."

    Generally very smart, though other than German Jews, not very funny.

    There are a large number of "German Americans" of ancestry, many in high leadership positions or very successful in other ways. Somewhat like Jews, only more of them here.

    Few complain about the "German American" influence, controlling the banks, media, etc. though I would suspect a thorough accounting would find more influence than numbers alone would suggest.

    Of course "German" isn't a religion or quasi religious clan cult. Only for a brief time a while back, only in Germany. Didn't last. Many Chinese do believe in their racial superiority.

    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren't known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @International Jew

    , @Not Raul
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    Especially the Hakka.
  71. I’m very proud of my kinfolk’s, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven’t made the list. The music composed by Spanish Baroque masters is sadly underrated, as is the Italian born, French composer, Lully.

    Perhaps I’ve just tired of the same old and I simply crave something new, even if the “new” is more ancient than the “old.”

    I’m grateful to youtube. Not only has it allowed me to listen to as much classical music as I want, but it has also introduced me to many composers, as well as little known pieces of more well-known composers, that I didn’t know existed. Handel’s “Sweet Bird,” for example, I will never hear in my local classical music station. But it is still one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever head.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @op

    "I’m very proud of my kinfolk’s, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven’t made the list."

    As well you should be. Spanish and Cuban composers have much magnificent music to offer and should be much better known than they are. (I have no Spanish or Cuban blood.)


    https://youtu.be/F2ksNyyuViQ

    Replies: @Lace, @Steve in Greensboro

    , @Not Raul
    @op

    Dowland is pretty underrated, too.

    https://youtu.be/fZYzuIGDYGs

  72. @ThreeCranes
    "“the white racial frame”......has the special power of being invisible."

    And weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes. It is as though the hand of God were at work. Or the Devil. Incarnate themselves but able to manipulate the corporeal realm.

    And, as Descartes argued, being God, and God being All, then he would not deceive us, inasmuch as He is All and not a part of All and the Truth is the Whole and not a Part, therefore, "the white racial frame" must be of that which is not of God, i.e. the Devil.

    Destroying the Devil is God's work. So for blacks to labor to eliminate "the white racial frame" is to do God's work here on Earth. Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @SunBakedSuburb, @Richard B, @mn90403

    “Destroying the Devil is God’s work.”

    The Gnostics are right: the god of this world is the devil.

  73. @AnotherDad

    Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.
     
    Folks starting to get the logical necessity of my separationism?

    The basic decency required for civilized life--"Oh you got something nice going on over there, great. Good luck with it"--is beyond these people.

    Minoritarianism *must* wreck everything. It's the "you must let me in" ideology of the barbarian, the robber, the rapist. Breaking into--and hence wrecking--everything is what the basic logic of minoritarianism demands. That is it's purpose. Destruction is what minoritarianism is.

    Anything that Western Christian civilization--i.e. the white man--has produced, must be "opened up" and given to minorities--jobs and industries, schools and country clubs, music and movies, math and science, law and order, logic and reason, truth and beauty, neighborhoods and nations.

    Either we stand up and simply say, "No. No, this is our stuff--we built it, we like it, it belongs to us ... you are free to go build your own stuff." ... or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @anon, @ATBOTL, @Anon7

    Either we stand up and simply say, “No. No, this is our stuff–we built it, we like it, it belongs to us … you are free to go build your own stuff.” … or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world. We are the problem and we have to change. We need to become more like other peoples. White inventions and knowledge should be kept secret from other races. We have to become tribal people.

    It’s sad to see so many of the “race realist” commenters here don’t get it. They have the opposite response that we need to do more to “civilize” other races that are being aggressive and hostile to us. That the problem is not enough contact rather than too much.

    The desire to help or “fix” other races is cause of white self hatred. There is a very thin line between the missionary, the colonialist, the empire builder and the modern self hating white man. Self hatred is simply what white men do when the first round of helping and fixing doesn’t work. White men blame their own race for the failure to assimilate others, blame their own people for not being welcoming enough.

    No doubt, this comment thread will be filled with idiotic posts where white male race realists debate the best way to help or fix blacks.

    • Agree: 3g4me
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @ATBOTL


    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world.
     
    TAKE up the White Man's burden -
    Send forth the best ye breed -
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' need;
    To wait in heavy harness
    On fluttered folk and wild -
    Your new-caught sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.


    Take up the White Man's burden -
    In patience to abide
    To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;
    By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain,
    To seek another's profit,
    And work another's gain.

    Take up the White Man's burden -
    The savage wars of peace -
    Fill full the mouth of famine
    And bid the sickness cease;
    And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
    Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.


    Take up the White Man's burden -
    No tawdry rule of kings,
    But toil of serf and sweeper -
    The tale of common things.
    The ports ye shall not enter,
    The roads ye shall not tread,
    Go make them with your living,
    And mark them with your dead !


    Take up the White Man's burden -
    And reap his old reward,
    The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard -
    The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah slowly !) towards the light:-
    "Why brought ye us from bondage,
    "Our loved Egyptian night ?"


    Take up the White Man's burden -
    Ye dare not stoop to less -
    Nor call too loud on Freedom
    To cloak your weariness;
    By all ye cry or whisper,
    By all ye leave or do,
    The silent sullen peoples
    Shall weigh your Gods and you.


    Take up the White Man's burden -
    Have done with childish days -
    The lightly proffered laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
    Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years,
    Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgement of your peers.

    , @James O'Meara
    @ATBOTL

    We need to build a dome of our own. White Wakanda!

  74. @syonredux

    But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.
     
    Noted East Asia scholar Edwin O. Reischauer once commented that the Japanese were always willing to acknowledge the supremacy of the Western symphonic tradition.

    Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.
     
    Amy Chua has a fun section in her Tiger Mother book where she slams the gamelan when her White Jewish mother-in-law suggests that Chua's daughters should learn it:

    Maybe the reason I can't appreciate gamelan music , which I heard when we visited Indonesia in 1992, is that I fetishize difficulty and accomplishment [......]Gamelan music is mesmerizing because it is simple, unstructured, and repetitious. By contrast, Debussy's brilliant compositions reflect complexity, ambition, ingenuity, design, conscious harmonic exploration-and, yes, gamelan influences, at least in some of his works. It's like the difference between a bamboo hut, which has its charm, and the Palace of Versailles.

     

    Replies: @Escher

    In this brave new world we are slouching towards, the African talking drums will be as loud as the martial drumbeat in “Mars” by Holst.

  75. @syonredux

    But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.
     
    Holst's MARS, BRINGER OF WAR

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bcRCCg01I


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pM2SozsyPE

    Holst, JUPITER

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu77Vtja30c


    Conan the Barbarian , Basil Poledouris


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOUs6er51bI

    John Boorman's use of Wagner in EXCALIBUR:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxSeeN03Xfg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt8Dt9rXl3I

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @Pincher Martin, @Pincher Martin

    You forgot that fucking ubiquitous Carmina Burana. (I sure am a dumb negro.)

  76. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    Beethoven was as great as it gets, but no greater then predecessors like Bach and Mozart and successors like Wagner. Anybody saying ‘Beethoven was an above-average composer’ makes me wonder what the fuck planet this is anymore. They were all WHITE, so blacks don’t play them. I’m been a classical pianist and musician all my life–and I’m not talking about an ‘unknown musician’, but this talk is enough to make anyone sick. That’s not even including Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and in the 20th c. (where the emphasis can finally be a little on black composers like Ellington, but not classical ones of great importance) Xenakis, Boulez, Schoenberg, and before them Debussy and Ravel and Faure. I haven’t read anything that’s made me think people are this stupid since the books that had ‘nigger’ in the fucking dialogues banned. Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do NOT have Bach or Ravel.

    • Thanks: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @Lace

    "Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do not have Bach or Ravel"

    Sir or Madame, I will not go into a diatribe regarding your tin ears, however be advised of this FACT:

    Bird's (Charlie Parker's) lines, when scrutanized and disected, aside from the aestethic value inherent, most certainly match and equal the melodic inventions of one JSB, WAM, LVB, Ravel, period.

    AJM "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz performer of fifty years plus.

    Replies: @Lace

  77. @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    I’ve long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for 'Summertime'.”

    Right. In the same way, they've claimed "Amazing Grace", belting it out as if it's a Top 40 hit praising their blackness instead of what it is, a hymn of gratitude for being saved by God's grace composed by a former captain of slave ships.

    Not surprisingly, the inherent narcissistic tendency of blacks prevents them from understanding and appreciating classical music. Its forms are complex and abstract and it's both individualistic and universal, rather than tribal.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    ” Prevents them from understanding and appreciating classical music”

    Dead wrong as black musical geniuses starting with Charlie Parker most certainly “understood “Classical” music namely their own classical music otherwise known as : Jazz, and Bird was quite well known as a profound fan of the white classical masters.

    Parkers breathtaking improvisational excursions are every bit a match for the greatest of the white classical masters. Just listen to his short solo on Summertime recorded with strings. This stroke of genius still makes me shiver after fifty-plus years of contemplation thereof.

    I must add however that there is an element of white influence regarding the black Jazz masters with such historical figures as Bix, Trumbauer, Venuti/Lang, J Dorsey etc, these white innovators having been a model for such jazz greats as Prez, and others.

    AJM, “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

  78. @syonredux
    Speaking of Amy Chua, I always love her de haut en bas dismissal of lesser breeds of Asian ("I'm Chinese. Don't confuse me with jungle-dwelling savages like the Filipinos"), and her need to emphasize that her husband isn't some pathetic loser who can only get ugly Asian chicks.

    Personally, I think that Debussy [a noted fan of the gamelan] was just going through a phase, fetishizing the exotic.The same thing happened to Debussy's fellow Frenchmen Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin, who started painting Polynesian natives all the time. A particularly disgusting variation of the phenomenon can be found in modern-day California: men with Yellow Fever, who only date Asian women-sometimes dozens in a row-no matter how ugly or which kind of Asian. For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.
     

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @Charles St. Charles, @SunBakedSuburb, @AnotherDad

    Haha – Amy Chua is sassy – I need to read more of her, I think.

  79. @Kolya Krassotkin
    @dearieme

    "Christ, I'm fed up of[with] the Politicisation of Everything."

    Welcome to the brave new world brought to you by cultural Marxism.

    (Here's hoping that when the counter revolution comes, it's a really brutal one.)

    Replies: @Lace

    And even the Soviets weren’t stupid enough to cancel classical ballet, and not just Petipa/Tchaikowsky either.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Lace


    And even the Soviets weren’t stupid enough to cancel classical ballet, and not just Petipa/Tchaikowsky either.
     
    Quite the contrary. They promoted ballet, classical music, opera, etc.

    Most of the early Soviet leadership and nomenklatura elites were extremely well read in the classical literature of Russia and Europe. They were, aside from religion, great fans of the products and art of Western civilization. You had to be that to be considered an intellectual. Artists and the like were usually exempt from the usual demands for ruthless obedience to Party dogma. (You just had to keep quiet about it.)

    Not at all fans of modern art or music.

    Even now Russia is more hospitable to legacy and classic Western art, music, literature.

    Perhaps another reason why the crazed Woke/prog left hates Russia so much. It's not just Putin.
  80. Alex Ross has just published a book on Wagner. After reading one of his recent New Yorker articles on the German composer – How Wagner Shaped Hollywood – I’m hesitant to purchase his book even though I do enjoy reading about Wagner. Ross writes about the controversial composer, his music and his influence as if they are modern problems we must come to grips with if we are ever to walk again in the sun.

    Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s “Matrix” trilogy (1999-2003) brushes against “Parsifal,” Wagner’s mystical final opera, with its themes of initiation and enlightenment. In the first film, the young computer hacker Neo is drawn into an underground movement led by a man named Morpheus, who divulges that the everyday world is an illusion manufactured by a master race of machines. Morpheus’s summary of the Matrix—“It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”—invokes the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, who had an immense influence on Wagner’s later work. As Žižek points out, Morpheus’s concept of the “desert of the real” is equivalent to the wasteland that lies behind Klingsor’s seductive magic garden in “Parsifal.” Morpheus is like the sage old Gurnemanz in the opera, leading an adept into secret knowledge. The science-fiction commentator Andrew May pinpoints the apparent clincher: at the climax of the film, Neo stops bullets in midair, reënacting Parsifal’s feat of arresting Klingsor’s spear mid-flight.

    Democratic mass culture prefers to consider itself exempt from the forces that made Wagner vulnerable to exploitation by the Nazis. Fantasy artists like to believe that they are creating allegories of liberal good versus reactionary evil. A scene in the 2011 Marvel Studios film “Captain America: The First Avenger” explicitly inserts Wagner into that binary opposition. Johann Schmidt, a Nazi operative turned global terrorist known as the Red Skull, is working away in his mountain laboratory, with bits of the “Ring” playing on a Victrola. As at Hitler’s Bavarian retreat, alpine peaks are visible through massive windows. Captain America, a scrawny kid who has been scientifically beefed up to superhero proportions, hunts down the Red Skull, laying waste to his laboratory. Wagner is a monster from the European past who must be ejected, but only after the sound designers have obtained a thrill or two from the roar of the “Ring” orchestra—much the same trick that Capra pulled in “Why We Fight.”

    Any myth is vulnerable to ideological simplification and distortion, as the political scientist Herfried Münkler has argued. Superhero narratives in which unheralded individuals acquire exceptional abilities can speak for marginalized communities, but they may also encourage the sort of grandiose self-projection that the Wagner operas inculcated in the hordes of fin-de-siècle youth who daydreamed about fulfilling Lohengrin, Siegfried, or Brünnhilde roles. In “The Matrix,” the newly enlightened Neo is given a choice between two pills: a red pill, which will make his knowledge permanent, and a blue pill, which will restore the veil of illusion. Members of the American far right, who have a few Wagnerites in their midst, have made that fable their own: their “red-pill moment” is when they cast aside multicultural liberalism.

    Well, okay.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Pincher Martin

    So many words, just to say "We won the war so our interpretations rule, yours are dismissed without discussion because evil, OK?"

    , @Herzog
    @Pincher Martin

    Mr. Ross seems quite worried whether next month he'll still have enough food to put on the table. Alternatively, he might just be a mediocrity.

  81. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    Scott Joplin was pretty awesome.

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/tennis-talk-with-scott-joplin-agassis-past-present-and-future/2872788

    Replies: @SunBakedSuburb

    “Scott Joplin was pretty awesome”

    Agreed. He was also an anomaly.

  82. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer

    Sondheim on the power of simplicity:


    Oscar dealt in very plain language. He often used simple rhymes like day and May, and a lot of identities like “Younger than springtime am I / Gayer than laughter am I.” If you look at “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” it doesn’t seem like much on paper, but he understood what happens when music is applied to words—the words explode. They have their own rainbows, their own magic. But not on the printed page. Some lyrics read well because they’re conversational lyrics. Oscar’s do not read very well because they’re colloquial but not conversational. Without music, they sound simplistic and written. Yet it’s precisely the hypersimplicity of the language that gives them such force. If you listen to “What’s the Use of Wond’rin’ ” from Carousel, you’ll see what I mean.
     
    And here we also see Sondheim explaining the nature of his appeal. Hammerstein wrote lyrics that function superbly within the reality of the performance but wilt under literary analysis. Hence, the lack of intellectual appeal. No one in a Lit department wants to sit down and analyze “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’! / Oh, what a beautiful day!” It’s meant to be experienced, not read.

    Sondheim, though, is different. You can sit down and find tertiary layers of meaning in the words themselves. Indeed, Sondheim’s lyrics (unlike Hammerstein’s) almost seem to function better when they are seen on the page, as opposed to being heard in performance.

    For a highbrow comparison, one might note the example of Wagner, whose librettos are usually seen as great literary works in their own right….which is not something that can be said for a lot of operatic librettos

    Replies: @obwandiyag

    You guys making these vague pronunciamentatoes about the nature of lyrics have no clue about the wit and sophisticated wordplay and mastery of intricate and bizarre rhyming of the Great American Songbook (which has no Sondheim in it). Try “Lush Life” or “Let’s Do It,” or “The Lady is a Tramp,” (Hart kicks Hammerstein’s ass), or “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” or “Makin’ Whoopee,” or “I Get a Kick Out of You,” just for starters.

  83. –you realize Bach is at the bottom of the opera list because opera as such was barely getting developed, with Handel doing the lion’s share of the beginnings, and I’m not big fan of his stilted things. With Mozart you get the first really great operas, and on from there. Beethoven wrote only the one opera, and it’s not nearly as popular as any of Mozart’s great ones, but that hardly makes him a merely ‘above-average composer’, which you know, of course. You probably also knew that about Bach, but others might not. There IS no greater composer than Bach. Also, if ‘gamelan is cute’, some of the South Indian music danced to by Bharatya Natyam is pretty great, but I’m not going to say it’s up there with Palestrina or Monteverdi, much less Haydn and Schubert.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    @Lace

    "With Mozart you get the first really great operas..."

    No, there are many really great operas prior to Mozart. And funny you mention Monteverdi, for certainly his towering achievement is The Coronation of Poppea, arguably the first "really great" opera. Many of the Handel operas are top tier masterworks. I would most especially recommend Alcina, Rodelinda, Giulio Cesare, and Serse. Happily, Rameau is enjoying a renaissance these days. He a great composer, nearly equal to Bach and Handel, and certainly superior to Vivaldi. Check out in particular his operas Hippolyte et Aricie and Castor et Pollux. Then to Gluck... Orpheo ed Euridice, Alceste, Iphigenia en Tauride -- great operas. Check out in particular the Alceste recording with Jessye Norman. She was never better, except maybe with the R. Strauss Late Songs. No one who loves Mozart could fail to enjoy this.

  84. @syonredux
    Speaking of Amy Chua, I always love her de haut en bas dismissal of lesser breeds of Asian ("I'm Chinese. Don't confuse me with jungle-dwelling savages like the Filipinos"), and her need to emphasize that her husband isn't some pathetic loser who can only get ugly Asian chicks.

    Personally, I think that Debussy [a noted fan of the gamelan] was just going through a phase, fetishizing the exotic.The same thing happened to Debussy's fellow Frenchmen Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin, who started painting Polynesian natives all the time. A particularly disgusting variation of the phenomenon can be found in modern-day California: men with Yellow Fever, who only date Asian women-sometimes dozens in a row-no matter how ugly or which kind of Asian. For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.
     

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @Charles St. Charles, @SunBakedSuburb, @AnotherDad

    “Debussy … gamelan … fetishizing the exotic”

    Debussy used Western tones and instruments to conjure “exotic” soundscapes. His interest in Indonesian music was a variation of his theme.

  85. @AnotherDad

    Yet such activity goes only so far in challenging an obsessive worship of the past. These works remain largely within the boundaries of the Western European tradition: … Furthermore, this programming leaves intact the assumption that musical greatness resides in a bygone golden age. White Europeans remain in the majority, with Beethoven retaining pride of place in the lightly renovated, diversified pantheon. …

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language. Vast tracts of the world’s music, from West African talking drums to Indonesian gamelan, fall outside that system, and African-American traditions have played in its interstices.
     
    Folks starting to get the logical necessity of my separationism?

    The basic decency required for civilized life--"Oh you got something nice going on over there, great. Good luck with it"--is beyond these people.

    Minoritarianism *must* wreck everything. It's the "you must let me in" ideology of the barbarian, the robber, the rapist. Breaking into--and hence wrecking--everything is what the basic logic of minoritarianism demands. That is it's purpose. Destruction is what minoritarianism is.

    Anything that Western Christian civilization--i.e. the white man--has produced, must be "opened up" and given to minorities--jobs and industries, schools and country clubs, music and movies, math and science, law and order, logic and reason, truth and beauty, neighborhoods and nations.

    Either we stand up and simply say, "No. No, this is our stuff--we built it, we like it, it belongs to us ... you are free to go build your own stuff." ... or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @anon, @ATBOTL, @Anon7

    “Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old.”

    Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “Dogmatism And ‘Freedom of Criticism’” (1901)

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @Anon7

    Well, he's right, at least descriptively. Not many Lamarckians in biology departments. I believe it was Galbraith who said Keynesianism took over solely by old professors dying off.

  86. I suspect Wagner will eventually be cancelled, with future performances only taking place in Japan, China, or Hungary, maybe Russia. Although Wagner had negative thoughts about Jews, he worked with Jewish associates and colleagues all his life. He compartmentalized. Isn’t that what we want? It’s the only way civilization can function.

    Cancel warriors want to control thoughts, not just actions.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Scott in PA

    Of course Wagner's always been cancelled in Israel, although I think Daniel Barenboim managed to slip one in about 15 years ago.

    , @James O'Meara
    @Scott in PA

    The thing about opera is that, at least as an interim step, you can keep the music but "implicitly critique" it via the production; hence all the Wagner operas set in Nazi Germany, Wall St., Southern plantations, Trump's White House, etc. Since these productions are lousy anyway, it's also a way to sh*t on great art whose very existence is a rebuke to your petty self.

    , @Father O'Hara
    @Scott in PA

    Wagner will always be played in Israel.

    , @Herzog
    @Scott in PA

    Okay, I assume Wagner really had unfriendly thoughts about Jews, as everybody says. So, what about it? Perhaps some Poles of his times had unfriendly thoughts about the Russians, or the Lithuanians, or, heaven forbid, the Germans? Maybe some Italians didn't like the French, or some Iranians didn't appreciate Turkmens too much? It's not entirely unheard of that Fulani didn't like Igbo either.

    Is everybody under an obligation to like each other, all the time? Rumor even has it that's still not the case today, even though I have a hard time believing it.

    As long as Wagner didn't call for repression of the Jews, let alone outright for violence against them, why should it have been verboten for him to lack fondness for them as a group?

    Replies: @vinteuil

  87. @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    "Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too."

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year's Day to start the year out right:

    https://youtu.be/lcr1LUAYXYY

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Uncle Dan, @slumber_j, @AceDeuce

    Schubert wrote Ave Maria, IMHO, the most beautiful piece of music ever written. Take that, BIPOCs!

    • Disagree: Lace
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Jim Don Bob

    Decades after I first heard it, Schubert's "Ellens dritter Gesang", better known as "Ave Maria", still astonishes me with its beauty.

    That's not the original text, though. Here's Barbara Bonney singing the complete Lied with the original German text:

    https://youtu.be/xDyiYEdTp-U

    Replies: @Uncle Dan

  88. I really do not care what the composer looks like. My only concern is the music. I love classical. I hate all rap. I’m a big fan of soul, blues, and jazz. I really like country and ole time rockn’roll, but I’m not much of a fan of bluegrass. I say I love most music, even show tunes. I say my tastes tell you nothing about my race or the race of the people whose music I love.

  89. Anonymous[508] • Disclaimer says:

    But they are so twisted by ressentiment that they just can’t help themselves.

    Taking into consideration black behavior over the years, and the black psychological profile e.g. highest degree of self-esteem among all groups, overinflated egos and self-confidence, extreme extraversion, etc., it may be that another Nietzschean oncept, namely the Will to Power, is driving this, rather than ressentiment.

    Ressentiment presumes a degree of self-reflection and self-awareness that seems wholly lacking blacks. Having imposed their Will to Power on popular culture and dominating its musical scene, blacks with their extreme self-esteem really seem to believe that they are musically and artistically supreme. They simply can’t imagine other genres, corridors of society not being dominated by blacks. This Will to Power is now spilling over from pop culture into higher culture and other parts of society like academia, journalism, and politics.

    • Agree: ATBOTL
    • Replies: @anon
    @Anonymous

    We IZ Kangz and sheeeit! The Black Ego. Something like copulati, ergo sum.

    But it is useful to think of a multiracial society as several unrelated male egotists and their families trying to live in the same house.

    None wants to be second banana. They will all want to make it their home and will rewrite, reshape and renovate as necessary to make it so. Conflict ensues.

  90. @syonredux

    But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.
     
    Holst's MARS, BRINGER OF WAR

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bcRCCg01I


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pM2SozsyPE

    Holst, JUPITER

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu77Vtja30c


    Conan the Barbarian , Basil Poledouris


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOUs6er51bI

    John Boorman's use of Wagner in EXCALIBUR:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxSeeN03Xfg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt8Dt9rXl3I

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @Pincher Martin, @Pincher Martin

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    Franz Schubert’s Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I’ve seen. Here are a few other examples.

    Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don’t want to see Nicole Kidman’s glorious ass.)

    Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz’s music in a creepy Julia Roberts’ movie (forgive the annoying video).

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Pincher Martin


    Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don’t want to see Nicole Kidman’s glorious ass.)
     
    I've long theorized that the real reason why Kubrick made Eyes Wide Shut (easily his worst film) is because he wanted to capture Kidman's backside at its absolute peak.
    , @James O'Meara
    @Pincher Martin

    To pick a nit, that's really the Dies Irae in The Shining, although distorted electronically the way Berlioz did (somewhat) in SF.

    Kubrick apparently thought "classical" meant that the composer was dead or at least the music was public domain, and was surprised to be sued by G. Ligeti for "distorting" recordings of his work for 2001. They reached an amiable settlement. Kubrick used Ligeti again in The Shining (when Scatman talks to Danny) and in Eyes Wide Shut.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin

    , @syonredux
    @Pincher Martin

    As a side note, the person who did the scores for Kubrick's The Shining and A Clockwork Orange was an M-to-F trans:


    Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos; November 14, 1939) is an American musician and composer best known for her electronic music and film scores. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University.
     

    Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer, which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards. Its commercial success led to several more albums, including further synthesized classical music adaptations, and experimental and ambient music. She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films – A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980) – and also Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.
     

    In 1979, Carlos was one of the first public figures to disclose having undergone sex reassignment surgery.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Carlos



    Here’s Carlos’ adaptation of Purcell’s Funeral Sentences and Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHrryY5UL0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWRcx9LHBJU

    Replies: @Pincher Martin

    , @utu
    @Pincher Martin

    Handel in Barry Lyndon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RahYPd-i8k

    Replies: @Sparkon

  91. @syonredux
    Speaking of Amy Chua, I always love her de haut en bas dismissal of lesser breeds of Asian ("I'm Chinese. Don't confuse me with jungle-dwelling savages like the Filipinos"), and her need to emphasize that her husband isn't some pathetic loser who can only get ugly Asian chicks.

    Personally, I think that Debussy [a noted fan of the gamelan] was just going through a phase, fetishizing the exotic.The same thing happened to Debussy's fellow Frenchmen Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin, who started painting Polynesian natives all the time. A particularly disgusting variation of the phenomenon can be found in modern-day California: men with Yellow Fever, who only date Asian women-sometimes dozens in a row-no matter how ugly or which kind of Asian. For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.
     

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @Charles St. Charles, @SunBakedSuburb, @AnotherDad

    For the record, Jed did not date any Asian women before me.

    Key word there: “before”.

  92. This Ewell bozo gets cut down to size in several articles here…
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dTOWwlIsuiwsgAa4f1N99AlvG3-ngnmG/view
    Especially Timothy Jackson’s.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @International Jew

    I just read the NYer article. And Ross compares Ewell's assessment of Beethoven to Debussy's, who had real creds, including for also idolizing and then turning on Wagner. Although who really cares what whiny Ned Rorem says? He spent half his life trying to crucify Pierre Boulez, who was the infinitely more important composer. You've heard Rorem, you've heard them all. I used to play his Second Piano Sonata, because it was amusing that the 3rd movement sounds straight out of a Lana Turner soaper form the 40s, but one was enough. But Ewell being compared even to Rorem for saying such insipid and ill-informed nonsense is what the culture IS now. Rorem's remark about the 9th Symphony I hadn't heard, but we hadn't heard, but we heard all about his sodomy as far bad as The Paris Diary, and it was not that much of a turn-on. Still, better than Ewell. But Debussy is MAJOR, not some little nobody who managed a job at Hunter College.

    Alex Ross is a spineless, white-ally writer, just as is Anthony Tomassini, but Ross is much worse. The article could not have been sillier.

  93. @Scott in PA
    I suspect Wagner will eventually be cancelled, with future performances only taking place in Japan, China, or Hungary, maybe Russia. Although Wagner had negative thoughts about Jews, he worked with Jewish associates and colleagues all his life. He compartmentalized. Isn’t that what we want? It’s the only way civilization can function.

    Cancel warriors want to control thoughts, not just actions.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Father O'Hara, @Herzog

    Of course Wagner’s always been cancelled in Israel, although I think Daniel Barenboim managed to slip one in about 15 years ago.

  94. Bach is barely 1% as popular as Verdi. </blockquote

    It's puzzling why Bach is on the list at all, since he didn't compose any operas. So what's he doing there?

    Did somebody mount a staged performance of one of the Passions? Could you even get away with that, these days, what with all the stuff about Die Jüden?

    • Agree: Lace
  95. @syonredux

    But of course Western classical music is the master language of music. For example, gamelan music, while cute, isn’t exactly Beethoven or Wagner. We have the judgment both of highly cultured East Asians and of the world’s movie fans, who expect film scores based on the 19th Century Romantic tradition.
     
    Holst's MARS, BRINGER OF WAR

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bcRCCg01I


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pM2SozsyPE

    Holst, JUPITER

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu77Vtja30c


    Conan the Barbarian , Basil Poledouris


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOUs6er51bI

    John Boorman's use of Wagner in EXCALIBUR:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxSeeN03Xfg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt8Dt9rXl3I

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @Pincher Martin, @Pincher Martin

    Some others:

    Radetzky’s March by Strauss I, and then the Emperor Waltz by Strauss II, in Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence as Newland Archer takes in Beaufort’s Ball.

    The great scene with Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken in True Romance has Delibes’ Flower Duet from Lakmé playing in the background.

    Some use of classical music in the movies is surprising. Even the light comedy hit Trading Places starts off with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

    Bill Murray uses eternity to learn how to play Rachmaninoff – or a variation thereof – by the end of Groundhog Day.

    The library scene from Se7en has Bach’s Suite 3, Air on G String playing in the background (video is taken from the French version of the movie, but the music is also in the English version).

  96. @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    https://youtu.be/aBAW8fsyeuw

    Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    https://youtu.be/2KYf9Le0Hdw

    Franz Schubert's Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I've seen. Here are a few other examples.

    https://youtu.be/f8PGKB3GKeQ

    Dmitri Shostakovich's Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don't want to see Nicole Kidman's glorious ass.)

    https://youtu.be/gSCr_q71ZtE?t=116

    Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz's music in a creepy Julia Roberts' movie (forgive the annoying video).

    https://youtu.be/FFOS1gG2b34

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    https://youtu.be/Jgza7PwUr6k

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach's Goldberg Variations.

    Replies: @syonredux, @James O'Meara, @syonredux, @utu

    Dmitri Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don’t want to see Nicole Kidman’s glorious ass.)

    I’ve long theorized that the real reason why Kubrick made Eyes Wide Shut (easily his worst film) is because he wanted to capture Kidman’s backside at its absolute peak.

    • LOL: Pincher Martin
  97. @James Braxton
    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Despite having Beethoven as an example to learn from, there is no worthy successor to Beethoven walking among us.

    White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Jake, @Prester John, @Gordo, @Anon7, @Lace, @Verymuchalive

    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.

    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer – indeed the last classical composer ever – was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s – when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you’re right: White people ain’t what they used to be.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Verymuchalive

    The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you’re right: White people ain’t what they used to be.


    That's total garbage. Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis were great composers, as was Messiaen and numerous others. You don't know what you're talking about. Period.

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    , @James O'Meara
    @Verymuchalive

    "Messiaen ... is classical music in name only."

    Dude, that is old school harsh.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @Verymuchalive, @Lace

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @Verymuchalive


    The last major classical composer – indeed the last classical composer ever – was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 )...
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s...
    White people ain’t what they used to be.
     
    I think it's likely that society was uniquely arranged to allow people with great potential as composers to thrive up until modern education began to supplant the ad hoc systems of the past. The creation of an education system that was meant to raise up average people and at the same time create rounded educations probably destroyed the freedom for the musically gifted to pursue music that was needed for great composers.
    , @Jimbo in OPKS
    @Verymuchalive

    I’m not sure I agree that there are no great composers around now, but I am familiar with the argument.

    One of the most heated discussions I ever had with my late ex-Mother-In-Law (much nicer than her spawn) was whether Philip Glass was a great composer. I’m definitely in the yes category. She wasn’t. It went downhill from there.

  98. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr McKenna

    I watched Porgy and Bess on the Met Opera channel recently:

    https://www.metopera.org/season/on-demand/

    I've long felt that African-Americans feel that they, rather than the Gershwin and Dubose heirs, deserve royalty checks for "Summertime:"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXQQpAZhKXM

    Stephen Sondheim points out that the "and" in the first line is great:

    Summertime, an' the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high.
    Oh, yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

    Sondheim points out that he would have written "Summertime, when the living is easy." But that when implies: "I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime," which is a lot less engaging than "Summertime, and the living is easy," which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:

    "That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much.[10]"

    Replies: @Tim Smith, @Kylie, @syonredux, @James O'Meara

    “But that when implies: “I have been doing some thinking about summertime and here are my conclusions on the subject of summertime,” which is a lot less engaging than “Summertime, and the living is easy,” which implies that you are just expressing your feelings as they occur to you in this moment:”

    Perhaps. But perhaps Jew Gershwin was influenced by Hebrew, a surprisingly primitive language which makes do with “and” rather than the elaborate subordinate structure of say, Greek.

    Each ‘and’ has to be construed in some way when translating into, say, English: so, therefore, because, when, etc. Same with beginning sentences with “And”: Hebrew does so in order to use “and” to switch the tense of verbs from past to present. The attempt of the King James translators to be as literal as possible resulted in the fiction of “Biblical English” as exploited by Hemingway.

    So “Summertime and” likely means “Summertime when”.

    English proverbs are so old they come from a similarly primitive period, which is why no one understands them anymore:

    Spare the rod and (thus) spoil the child
    Feed a cold and (then you will) starve a fever (You will waste all your food fueling your cold)
    Have your cake and eat it too: NO, it’s “(IF) you eat your cake (then) you will not have it, will you?

    • Thanks: Pheasant
  99. Has anyone else noticed that Schroeder is both German-named and, not only white, but blond?

    So is Schulz telling us that high culture and the Nordic race go hand in hand?

    Well, if he didn’t, he should have.

  100. @theMann
    "The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer"
    If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.



    The OperaBase list of performance frequency is rather interesting, and I wonder if it includes performances in Russia. I suspect not, Russians love their Opera, and especially their Russian Operas. I am also surprised to see so many French composers so far down the list. I get that Berlioz is not easy to put on, but a lot of French language operas are popular enough that they should be performed more often. I suspect that there is a real language barrier - it is expected that every singer and Opera Troupe does Italian and German, but French, and especially Russian, present some obstacles.


    Unfortunately, the ugly reality of CoronaFraud is threatening the livelihoods of Musicians just as much as it is Restaurateurs and Gym owners. Every music venue has a pressing need to worry about surviving as a business, which would, I think, dwarf all other concerns.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @Aardvark

    “If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.”

    A good point. There’s no possible way these unknown operas by blacks are in any way worse than the atonal and general modernist crap that the Met and others routinely program. I must say these blackety-black folks do have a point. As Saul Bellow said 30 years ago, when this whole mess started, “I’m all for multiculturalism. Is there an African Proust? Great, show him to me, that’s something I want to read!” [Paraphrase from memory]

    Of course, as so often, these “white” composers are Phoenicians, so it all becomes clear. White audiences would rather hear Scott Joplin than Schoenberg, but they get Schoenberg, whose work, according to fellow Phoenician Adorno, is not only more sophisticated than black music, but more sophisticated than Beethoven et. al. as well. Same as Rothko is more “advanced” than Sargent.

    Karajan once cut short a Berlin PO rehearsal because he was going to hear Louis Armstrong. Someone muttered about this, and Karajan replied “Gentlemen, when I hear Armstrong, at least he is in tune!”

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I'd be happy to read them.”

    ― Saul Bellow

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  101. Is the world of Mexican music in urgent need of being diversified with, say, lots of Asians? Does the world of hiphop need more Peruvians in it? Is Indian raga music racist for not having a bunch of West Virginia hillbillies taking part? Why, among all the world’s musics, is it only Western classical music that needs to confront its racism, feel guilty for being exclusive, make big outreach efforts, etc?

    I think this point can be made well even without the “Western classical music is the world’s best!” rationalization. Western classical music is the classical music of Euro and Euro-descended people. Why shouldn’t we feel attached to it and proud of it, and want to educate ourselves (and our neighbors and friends) in it, the same way other peoples and cultures feel attached to and enthusiastic about their own music? After all, Western classical music isn’t preventing other peoples (or just people generally who don’t care for it) from producing, enjoying and distributing their own music. Last I checked the black music, Hispanic music and Indian music worlds are huge and thriving. The world of music is already a big, hyper-diverse one. Since we’ve already got (and can enjoy) immense diversity, what’s really the complaint? And why does only this one particular music-world deserve to be subjected to having a crisis about race?

    I say all this as someone who’s gotten a lot out of exploring non-Western — we used to call it “world” — music, btw.

    If we’re playing the game of designing a sensible curriculum, I’d suggest a semester’s intro to the musics of the world (classical, popular and folk), followed by a semester’s intro to the musics of the U.S. (classical, popular and folk). Then I’d let people who want to explore further delve deeper into whatever appeals to them: Western classical, jazz, ragas, rhythms of Africa, Latino music, etc. But I’m someone who tends to get a lot out of an anthropological approach to subjects. YMMV, and even if they took my sage advice academics would ruin things somehow anyway.

    A political conundrum in the U.S. has to do with public funding. Although our basic cultural/political framework is white/Euro, it’s just a fact that Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics have been a standard part of our nation from the start, and that we’ve invited an awful lot of Asians to the party too. If someone out there in our motley country wants to argue that public funding shouldn’t go only to supporting Western Classical music and that some of our public funds should go to recognizing and promoting our other kinds of music too, I think they’ve got a legit point. On the other hand, maybe that’s an argument for not supporting music with public funds at all. On the third hand, if we do that, most opera houses and symphonies wouldn’t survive …

    The late black intellectual and novelist Albert Murray is worth looking into. He (and his buddy Ralph Ellison) made the argument that jazz is the classical music of black Americans, he was the mind behind the Wynton Marsalis-driven neoclassical revival of jazz back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and his ideas informed the creation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Don’t tear down the glories of Western Civ. Benefit from them and add to them.

    “Stomping the Blues” is the book of Murray’s to start with. (I knew Mr. Murray — and you called him Mr. Murray, not Albert — a little and have stolen a lot of ideas and attitudes from him.) Mr. Murray was by no means an HBD kinda guy and politically he was probably a center-lib, but he was very earthy and realistic about what black people and white people are like, and he took a refreshingly upbeat view of these differences.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @Paleo Retiree

    "Is the world of Mexican music in urgent need of being diversified....."

    Uh, it WAS diversified. By Central European settlers in Texas and Mexico, which is why norteno and Tejano music is essentially polka music with the same instruments.

    I've read Stomping the Blues and other things by Murray. He was smarter and somewhat less full of schitt than most blacks, which is a low bar. I love the homoerotic cuckifying: "You called him Mister Tibbs-er, I mean Murray" Jesus, dude, get a grip. LOL.

  102. @International Jew
    This Ewell bozo gets cut down to size in several articles here...
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dTOWwlIsuiwsgAa4f1N99AlvG3-ngnmG/view
    Especially Timothy Jackson's.

    Replies: @Lace

    I just read the NYer article. And Ross compares Ewell’s assessment of Beethoven to Debussy’s, who had real creds, including for also idolizing and then turning on Wagner. Although who really cares what whiny Ned Rorem says? He spent half his life trying to crucify Pierre Boulez, who was the infinitely more important composer. You’ve heard Rorem, you’ve heard them all. I used to play his Second Piano Sonata, because it was amusing that the 3rd movement sounds straight out of a Lana Turner soaper form the 40s, but one was enough. But Ewell being compared even to Rorem for saying such insipid and ill-informed nonsense is what the culture IS now. Rorem’s remark about the 9th Symphony I hadn’t heard, but we hadn’t heard, but we heard all about his sodomy as far bad as The Paris Diary, and it was not that much of a turn-on. Still, better than Ewell. But Debussy is MAJOR, not some little nobody who managed a job at Hunter College.

    Alex Ross is a spineless, white-ally writer, just as is Anthony Tomassini, but Ross is much worse. The article could not have been sillier.

  103. Great works of music are not creations, so much as they are discoveries. Calling classical music white music is like calling the Theory of General Relativity Jewish science.

  104. …he called Beethoven an “above-average composer” who has been “propped up by the white-male frame, both consciously and subconsciously, with descriptors such as genius, master, and masterwork…

    OK. Let me see if I have this straight.

    –Blacks on average underperform in society on almost every measure, not because of their inherent shortcomings, but because of systemic racism.

    –Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, Mozart, Schubert, all white, are all valued above black composers because of systemic racism.

    Doesn’t the obvious silliness of the second statement expose the silliness of the first? Put another way, aren’t the SJWs taking this insanity way too far.

  105. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    I have never cared for opera as such, but I like the music. Carmen is great. So is L’arlesienne. On the strength of those two works alone, Bizet belongs in the pantheon.

    Bizet, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel – I’d put french music up against that of any other european nation.

    • Agree: Lace
    • Replies: @Charles St. Charles
    @Mr. Anon


    Bizet, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel – I’d put french music up against that of any other european nation.
     
    Agreed. I had long been underestimating the French, as against the Germans, until I spent some time deeply exploring French music. I’m converted.
  106. @AceDeuce
    @dearieme

    Scott Joplin learned piano from, and received the bulk of his music education-5 years worth, from a highly accomplished German-Jewish piano teacher, Julius Weiss.

    This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    “This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way.”

    Is that supposed to be ironic, a black kid getting musical instruction from a German in Texas in the 1880s? Neither part is unusual, really. Texas had/has a surprisingly large German population; they even have their own German dialect.

    Educationally, Phil Schaap on his Charlie Parker broadcasts on WKCR-FM always points out that while music education programs are constantly being cut back today, they were quite robust in the real “good old days,” and even segregated schools had programs that could only be dreamed of today.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Of course, Texas has a large German population-duh. What's your point? The Pacific Ocean is big and wet, did you know that? I'm part German and I've lived in Texas. Plenty of Czechs, Poles, etc too. Why do you think the tacobreaths make music that sounds like polkas, or brew beer, or make sausages?

    I was being a bit sarcastic at the fact that a kneegarow boy in Texas in the 1870s/1880s was able to afford private piano lessons (Weiss wasn't his schoolteacher). I thought blacks were being crucified back then 24/7-y'know, like Auschwitz with suntans. Of course Duke Ellington and Miles Davis came from rich families and had years of private lessons as well.

  107. @theMann
    @Steve Sailer

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn't died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn't make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn't just Bizet and Berlioz.

    Replies: @Lace, @JerseyJeffersonian, @Jim Don Bob, @CBTerry

    Carmen is a great opera along the lines of other very popular ones like La Boheme, Tosca, Don Carlo, Aida. Not that I don’t love them all (esp. Tosca–almost more than any other), but I think Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger and The Ring Cycle and Parsifal may be the very top objectively. Lots of people don’t know Pelleas et Melisande, Debussy’s one, strange beautiful opera. It takes some patience.

    But as for tunes, Carmen can’t be beat, and Leontyne Price did them better than anybody.

  108. @JimB

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language.
     
    I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means. The tonality of Western music evolved over 1000 years and produced over a hundred tuning systems. What is forgotten in the age of the modern piano is that equal temperament is a relatively recent thing (Early 19th C). In Europe, tonality evolved for deep and complex mathematical, emotional, and religious reasons which are heavily documented. In the rest of the world, music didn’t evolve at all. Only when Africans in America were exposed to the music of the Irish did they come up with a Blues style. Only when Scott Joplin was exposed to Beethoven did he come up with Ragtime. In other words, black music is improvisational but highly suggested by Western folk and classical idioms. Blacks contributed nothing to music theory. Compared to the western canon, other music traditions are thin gruel. At its heart, all attacks on Western art tradition are an attack on the ideal of beauty itself.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Peter D. Bredon

    So well said. Thank you.

  109. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime.

    “Carmen” isn’t “close” to the greatest opera ever – it is the greatest opera ever. And it’s hard to imagine that Bizet could ever have surpassed it, no matter how long he might have lived. It’s the work he was born to create – and, having created it, he died.

    Not only is it great in itself, it was the cause that greatness is in other men. It was the stimulus for Nietzsche’s most brilliant & polished work: Nietzsche Contra Wagner.

    • Replies: @theMann
    @vinteuil

    I consider Nozze De Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Carmen, Boris Godunov, and La Traviata to be equals.

    Don Giovanni surpasses them all.

    Replies: @vinteuil

    , @Not Raul
    @vinteuil

    Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

    If Beethoven had died shortly after composing the 5th, people might be saying the same thing about him.

    I’m in awe of Bizet.

    , @Lace
    @vinteuil

    No, it's like La Boheme, great but also the two most popular. There are operas by Verdi and Wagner that are objectively greater, and certainly Mozart's Don Giovanni. I love Carmen, except she turns out to not be a terribly sympathetic heroine. Prefer Tosca.

    Replies: @vinteuil

  110. @slumber_j
    Schubert's many song settings don't get him on the list I guess, but I'm a fan. Anyway, he died really young too.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Lace

    Schubert wrote some operas, but none of them are well-known. Schumann wrote one Genoveva, which I’ve never heard either.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    @Lace

    Genoveva is actually quite good. If you are interested, there is a creditable recording of it done some years ago, with Eda Moser very good in the title role, also with Fischer-Dieskau and Peter Schreier.

    , @slumber_j
    @Lace

    I don't think I knew that. Thanks: I'll look into them.

    Replies: @baythoven

  111. @JimB

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language.
     
    I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means. The tonality of Western music evolved over 1000 years and produced over a hundred tuning systems. What is forgotten in the age of the modern piano is that equal temperament is a relatively recent thing (Early 19th C). In Europe, tonality evolved for deep and complex mathematical, emotional, and religious reasons which are heavily documented. In the rest of the world, music didn’t evolve at all. Only when Africans in America were exposed to the music of the Irish did they come up with a Blues style. Only when Scott Joplin was exposed to Beethoven did he come up with Ragtime. In other words, black music is improvisational but highly suggested by Western folk and classical idioms. Blacks contributed nothing to music theory. Compared to the western canon, other music traditions are thin gruel. At its heart, all attacks on Western art tradition are an attack on the ideal of beauty itself.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Peter D. Bredon

    “I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means.”

    No a good way to start a disquisition on tonality.

    You make a good point about equal temperament being a recent innovation and by no means equivalent to “Western music” as such. But that somewhat relativizes your disdain for non-Western traditions.

    The “thin gruel” of non-Western traditions preserves musical traditions more like our own, pre-equal temperament tradition, which can be accessed for renewal (archeofuturism); hence the interest of Bartok in Hungarian folk music, Debussy in Japanese (or was it Javanese?)

    In the same way, you make a good point about African-American music being a reaction to Western genres. But the appeal of that music to Whites (so that it is now the dominant “popular” music) lies in its very reaction: the attempt to assimilate equal tempered music to their own, more natural systems: the famous “blue” notes of jazz are attempts to locate microtones, for example, and are perceived as “more emotional” than equal tempered music.

    The real strength of Western culture is less in its “essential” nature but rather in its ability to use and re-use other traditions, likely due to our unique ability to be conscious of ourselves (see Richardo Duquesne)

    • Replies: @DextersLabRat
    @Peter D. Bredon

    Do you know in which of his books Duquense touched upon this? I'd love to read more about that subject

  112. @Anon7
    Who was Various? He's about two-thirds of the way up the list, so he must be pretty good. I feel like I've heard of him, but I can't name any particular opera. I assume his name is pronounced "var-ee-oos" because he's white and European.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Badger Down

    He had a very creative relationship with his librettist, Anon.

  113. @Jim Don Bob
    @Kylie

    Schubert wrote Ave Maria, IMHO, the most beautiful piece of music ever written. Take that, BIPOCs!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpYGgtrMTYs

    Replies: @Kylie

    Decades after I first heard it, Schubert’s “Ellens dritter Gesang”, better known as “Ave Maria”, still astonishes me with its beauty.

    That’s not the original text, though. Here’s Barbara Bonney singing the complete Lied with the original German text:

    • Replies: @Uncle Dan
    @Kylie

    https://youtu.be/EiBOTtQ-ofw

  114. @AceDeuce
    @syonredux

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton, @Muggles, @Not Raul

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Do you mean that they are good at moving to a new place and making money, but occasionally have to flee a murderous mob with a small bag of diamonds wedged between their lower cheeks?

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @Anonymous

    As they might say in their broken English--Egg-zachery.

  115. Anonymous[287] • Disclaimer says:
    @ATBOTL
    @AnotherDad


    Either we stand up and simply say, “No. No, this is our stuff–we built it, we like it, it belongs to us … you are free to go build your own stuff.” … or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.
     
    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world. We are the problem and we have to change. We need to become more like other peoples. White inventions and knowledge should be kept secret from other races. We have to become tribal people.

    It's sad to see so many of the "race realist" commenters here don't get it. They have the opposite response that we need to do more to "civilize" other races that are being aggressive and hostile to us. That the problem is not enough contact rather than too much.

    The desire to help or "fix" other races is cause of white self hatred. There is a very thin line between the missionary, the colonialist, the empire builder and the modern self hating white man. Self hatred is simply what white men do when the first round of helping and fixing doesn't work. White men blame their own race for the failure to assimilate others, blame their own people for not being welcoming enough.

    No doubt, this comment thread will be filled with idiotic posts where white male race realists debate the best way to help or fix blacks.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @James O'Meara

    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world.

    TAKE up the White Man’s burden –
    Send forth the best ye breed –
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;
    To wait in heavy harness
    On fluttered folk and wild –
    Your new-caught sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    In patience to abide
    To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;
    By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain,
    To seek another’s profit,
    And work another’s gain.

    [MORE]

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    The savage wars of peace –
    Fill full the mouth of famine
    And bid the sickness cease;
    And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
    Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    No tawdry rule of kings,
    But toil of serf and sweeper –
    The tale of common things.
    The ports ye shall not enter,
    The roads ye shall not tread,
    Go make them with your living,
    And mark them with your dead !

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    And reap his old reward,
    The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard –
    The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah slowly !) towards the light:-
    “Why brought ye us from bondage,
    “Our loved Egyptian night ?”

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    Ye dare not stoop to less –
    Nor call too loud on Freedom
    To cloak your weariness;
    By all ye cry or whisper,
    By all ye leave or do,
    The silent sullen peoples
    Shall weigh your Gods and you.

    Take up the White Man’s burden –
    Have done with childish days –
    The lightly proffered laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
    Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years,
    Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgement of your peers.

  116. anon[720] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    But they are so twisted by ressentiment that they just can’t help themselves.
     
    Taking into consideration black behavior over the years, and the black psychological profile e.g. highest degree of self-esteem among all groups, overinflated egos and self-confidence, extreme extraversion, etc., it may be that another Nietzschean oncept, namely the Will to Power, is driving this, rather than ressentiment.

    Ressentiment presumes a degree of self-reflection and self-awareness that seems wholly lacking blacks. Having imposed their Will to Power on popular culture and dominating its musical scene, blacks with their extreme self-esteem really seem to believe that they are musically and artistically supreme. They simply can't imagine other genres, corridors of society not being dominated by blacks. This Will to Power is now spilling over from pop culture into higher culture and other parts of society like academia, journalism, and politics.

    Replies: @anon

    We IZ Kangz and sheeeit! The Black Ego. Something like copulati, ergo sum.

    But it is useful to think of a multiracial society as several unrelated male egotists and their families trying to live in the same house.

    None wants to be second banana. They will all want to make it their home and will rewrite, reshape and renovate as necessary to make it so. Conflict ensues.

  117. @ATBOTL
    @AnotherDad


    Either we stand up and simply say, “No. No, this is our stuff–we built it, we like it, it belongs to us … you are free to go build your own stuff.” … or Western Civilization, Western man is destroyed.
     
    The root of the problem is the universalizing drive that white men themselves have. We have been the ones who for thousands of years have tried to force our culture on the world. We are the problem and we have to change. We need to become more like other peoples. White inventions and knowledge should be kept secret from other races. We have to become tribal people.

    It's sad to see so many of the "race realist" commenters here don't get it. They have the opposite response that we need to do more to "civilize" other races that are being aggressive and hostile to us. That the problem is not enough contact rather than too much.

    The desire to help or "fix" other races is cause of white self hatred. There is a very thin line between the missionary, the colonialist, the empire builder and the modern self hating white man. Self hatred is simply what white men do when the first round of helping and fixing doesn't work. White men blame their own race for the failure to assimilate others, blame their own people for not being welcoming enough.

    No doubt, this comment thread will be filled with idiotic posts where white male race realists debate the best way to help or fix blacks.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @James O'Meara

    We need to build a dome of our own. White Wakanda!

  118. I’ve been professional musician for several decades. My most treasured music is European Art Music from the 16th-19th century – Haydn is my favorite composer of all, and no one is more “classical” than Haydn.

    But I have always had a curiosity for different musics of the world. Fortunately, growing up, my public library had a huge number of Naxos World Music LPs. Naxos was renowned for recording every type of music from every people in every location on the globe. I checked out several records each week and took daily exotic musical trips around the planet.

    All regions of Europe, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, India, the Middle East, and many other places all have rich musical traditions in both art and folk music. The various ethnic/geographic populations of Europe produced a staggering and varied amount of folk music traditions.

    Sub-Saharan Africa? Not so much. Just grab any Naxos recording (YouTube?) of Sub-Saharan traditional music from any tribe or region and be astonished by how primitive it sounds, compared to any of the countries and regions listed above.

    As in technology, philosophy, literature, and mathematics, and much more, the African contribution to world musical culture, rounded to the nearest whole number, is Zero.

    (Before someone brings up Scott Joplin, Ellington, or jazz, or that mediocre Black Mozart character – I would ascribe their achievements to their proximity to Whites and their music – no Black Debussy sprung up in the Congo in the late 19th Century – and no Joplin or Ellington either.)

    • Replies: @3g4me
    @Charles St. Charles

    @118 Charles St. Charles: This. I have never been a big Beethovan/romantic music afficionado, but I adore early European music - which is far more than Gregorian chants, lovely as they are. Listen to the Kynge's Music, court music played on original instruments. I think the hackbutt is terrific. Henry the VIII wrote some nice songs. Early chamber music. Mozart sonnets for lute and harpsichord.

    Blacks are wrongly credited with jazz, when its inspiration was the folk songs of the Scotts-Irish they lived amongst and all of the instruments used were created by Whites. Even drums - the Africans never moved past the basics. Their music is as primitive as everything else about them.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

  119. @Mr. Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    I have never cared for opera as such, but I like the music. Carmen is great. So is L'arlesienne. On the strength of those two works alone, Bizet belongs in the pantheon.

    Bizet, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel - I'd put french music up against that of any other european nation.

    Replies: @Charles St. Charles

    Bizet, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Ravel – I’d put french music up against that of any other european nation.

    Agreed. I had long been underestimating the French, as against the Germans, until I spent some time deeply exploring French music. I’m converted.

    • Agree: Lace
  120. @Pincher Martin
    Alex Ross has just published a book on Wagner. After reading one of his recent New Yorker articles on the German composer - How Wagner Shaped Hollywood - I'm hesitant to purchase his book even though I do enjoy reading about Wagner. Ross writes about the controversial composer, his music and his influence as if they are modern problems we must come to grips with if we are ever to walk again in the sun.

    Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s “Matrix” trilogy (1999-2003) brushes against “Parsifal,” Wagner’s mystical final opera, with its themes of initiation and enlightenment. In the first film, the young computer hacker Neo is drawn into an underground movement led by a man named Morpheus, who divulges that the everyday world is an illusion manufactured by a master race of machines. Morpheus’s summary of the Matrix—“It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”—invokes the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, who had an immense influence on Wagner’s later work. As Žižek points out, Morpheus’s concept of the “desert of the real” is equivalent to the wasteland that lies behind Klingsor’s seductive magic garden in “Parsifal.” Morpheus is like the sage old Gurnemanz in the opera, leading an adept into secret knowledge. The science-fiction commentator Andrew May pinpoints the apparent clincher: at the climax of the film, Neo stops bullets in midair, reënacting Parsifal’s feat of arresting Klingsor’s spear mid-flight.

    Democratic mass culture prefers to consider itself exempt from the forces that made Wagner vulnerable to exploitation by the Nazis. Fantasy artists like to believe that they are creating allegories of liberal good versus reactionary evil. A scene in the 2011 Marvel Studios film “Captain America: The First Avenger” explicitly inserts Wagner into that binary opposition. Johann Schmidt, a Nazi operative turned global terrorist known as the Red Skull, is working away in his mountain laboratory, with bits of the “Ring” playing on a Victrola. As at Hitler’s Bavarian retreat, alpine peaks are visible through massive windows. Captain America, a scrawny kid who has been scientifically beefed up to superhero proportions, hunts down the Red Skull, laying waste to his laboratory. Wagner is a monster from the European past who must be ejected, but only after the sound designers have obtained a thrill or two from the roar of the “Ring” orchestra—much the same trick that Capra pulled in “Why We Fight.”

    Any myth is vulnerable to ideological simplification and distortion, as the political scientist Herfried Münkler has argued. Superhero narratives in which unheralded individuals acquire exceptional abilities can speak for marginalized communities, but they may also encourage the sort of grandiose self-projection that the Wagner operas inculcated in the hordes of fin-de-siècle youth who daydreamed about fulfilling Lohengrin, Siegfried, or Brünnhilde roles. In “The Matrix,” the newly enlightened Neo is given a choice between two pills: a red pill, which will make his knowledge permanent, and a blue pill, which will restore the veil of illusion. Members of the American far right, who have a few Wagnerites in their midst, have made that fable their own: their “red-pill moment” is when they cast aside multicultural liberalism.

     

    Well, okay.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @Herzog

    So many words, just to say “We won the war so our interpretations rule, yours are dismissed without discussion because evil, OK?”

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  121. @AceDeuce
    @syonredux

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton, @Muggles, @Not Raul

    But with much better buffets!

  122. @Anon7
    @AnotherDad

    "Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old."

    Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “Dogmatism And ‘Freedom of Criticism’” (1901)

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon

    Well, he’s right, at least descriptively. Not many Lamarckians in biology departments. I believe it was Galbraith who said Keynesianism took over solely by old professors dying off.

  123. Unfortunately for the Culture Commissars, you can’t cancel music. If Western institutions substitute Mozart for Maya Angelou: The Musical, then Asians will preserve the tradition of European classical music.

  124. @Scott in PA
    I suspect Wagner will eventually be cancelled, with future performances only taking place in Japan, China, or Hungary, maybe Russia. Although Wagner had negative thoughts about Jews, he worked with Jewish associates and colleagues all his life. He compartmentalized. Isn’t that what we want? It’s the only way civilization can function.

    Cancel warriors want to control thoughts, not just actions.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Father O'Hara, @Herzog

    The thing about opera is that, at least as an interim step, you can keep the music but “implicitly critique” it via the production; hence all the Wagner operas set in Nazi Germany, Wall St., Southern plantations, Trump’s White House, etc. Since these productions are lousy anyway, it’s also a way to sh*t on great art whose very existence is a rebuke to your petty self.

  125. @op
    I'm very proud of my kinfolk's, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven't made the list. The music composed by Spanish Baroque masters is sadly underrated, as is the Italian born, French composer, Lully.

    Perhaps I've just tired of the same old and I simply crave something new, even if the "new" is more ancient than the "old."

    I'm grateful to youtube. Not only has it allowed me to listen to as much classical music as I want, but it has also introduced me to many composers, as well as little known pieces of more well-known composers, that I didn't know existed. Handel's "Sweet Bird," for example, I will never hear in my local classical music station. But it is still one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever head.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Not Raul

    “I’m very proud of my kinfolk’s, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven’t made the list.”

    As well you should be. Spanish and Cuban composers have much magnificent music to offer and should be much better known than they are. (I have no Spanish or Cuban blood.)

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Lace
    @Kylie

    And don't forget Granados and De Falla. There must be many more.

    , @Steve in Greensboro
    @Kylie

    Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" and "Fantasia para un Gentilhomme" are two of my favorites. My father loved those two and Manuel de Falla's "Three Cornered Hat".

  126. @Peter D. Bredon
    @JimB

    "I don’t even know what the fuck Schenkerian means."

    No a good way to start a disquisition on tonality.

    You make a good point about equal temperament being a recent innovation and by no means equivalent to "Western music" as such. But that somewhat relativizes your disdain for non-Western traditions.

    The "thin gruel" of non-Western traditions preserves musical traditions more like our own, pre-equal temperament tradition, which can be accessed for renewal (archeofuturism); hence the interest of Bartok in Hungarian folk music, Debussy in Japanese (or was it Javanese?)

    In the same way, you make a good point about African-American music being a reaction to Western genres. But the appeal of that music to Whites (so that it is now the dominant "popular" music) lies in its very reaction: the attempt to assimilate equal tempered music to their own, more natural systems: the famous "blue" notes of jazz are attempts to locate microtones, for example, and are perceived as "more emotional" than equal tempered music.

    The real strength of Western culture is less in its "essential" nature but rather in its ability to use and re-use other traditions, likely due to our unique ability to be conscious of ourselves (see Richardo Duquesne)

    Replies: @DextersLabRat

    Do you know in which of his books Duquense touched upon this? I’d love to read more about that subject

  127. Alex Ross:

    At bottom, the entire music-education system rests upon the Schenkerian assumption that the Western tonality, with its major-minor harmony and its equal-tempered scale, is the master language.

    Ross doesn’t get it that classical music is like anything else known as classical. That is, it’s based on certain traditions and styles — assumptions, if you want — that have prevailed over many generations. No classical art pretends anything is everything and everything is anything, despite the efforts of many poseurs. One characteristic of decadent minds is the urge to wipe out all limits or rules: playing tennis without a net and with a mortar to launch a volley.

    Interestingly, modern audiences (who are on the whole exceedingly open-minded and have embraced groundbreaking composers like Mahler, Shostakovich, and Bartók) don’t fall for it despite having had their ears boxed constantly demanding that they embrace the avant-garde. Producers need to place new music as the first item in a concert; if it were last, most of the seats would be empty for it. I say this as a listener who enjoys some contemporary “out there” music, like Rautavaara. But most of the rest could be used as an anti-personnel weapon.

    Alex Ross can’t seem to stand the idea that different people have different tastes. Many would rather hear rap or acid jazz or salsa than classical, and while society should try at least to see to it that youngsters are exposed to classical, that’s as far as it should go. Whatever anyone feels about a genre, it has its own place. There’s nothing to be gained and much to be lost by trying to inject every other genre into classical, which is what insisting on a quota of minorities amounts to.

    Oh, and Alex? Your phrases “the Schenkerian assumption” and “played in its interstices” make you a front runner for inhabiting this week’s Intellectual Pseuds Corner.

  128. @ThreeCranes
    "“the white racial frame”......has the special power of being invisible."

    And weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes. It is as though the hand of God were at work. Or the Devil. Incarnate themselves but able to manipulate the corporeal realm.

    And, as Descartes argued, being God, and God being All, then he would not deceive us, inasmuch as He is All and not a part of All and the Truth is the Whole and not a Part, therefore, "the white racial frame" must be of that which is not of God, i.e. the Devil.

    Destroying the Devil is God's work. So for blacks to labor to eliminate "the white racial frame" is to do God's work here on Earth. Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @SunBakedSuburb, @Richard B, @mn90403

    Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    I predict an irony-free reading of your entire comment, culminating in the above.

    Given we know they like to troll TUR in general and Steve in particular, please, don’t encourage them.

  129. @Joe Walker
    I think the Left's hatred for Beethoven has less to do with him being white and more to do with him not being Jewish.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @utu

    Ummm…first I thought you wrote nonsense, but it seems you’re onto something….

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/wasbachjewish

    Was Bach Jewish?

    Bach was quintessentially Jewish. And in seeking to break free from these laws, Beethoven was the true Christian. Might the gulf between Bach and Beethoven mirror that between Judaism and Christianity?

  130. I’m surprised that Franz Lehár was so high on the list. I had never heard of him.

    Beethoven was Black. Keep repeating that, and his music might not get canceled.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Not Raul

    "Merry Widow" -- I went with the broad definition, leaving out only musicals like West Side Story put on by opera companies.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Kolya Krassotkin
    @Not Raul

    Because he's "black", Beethoven is all they'll play on their flights once Boeing gets the pyramids flying again, with all the new black engineers they're going to hire.

    Replies: @Not Raul

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Not Raul

    Never heard of Lehar? Well, you've a treat in store: one of the allerbeste tunesmiths.

    Start with The Land of Smiles.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Not Raul, @Lace

  131. “Black Scholar.”

    With rare exception there’s still a lot of oxymoron in that one.

    Oh, and cultural appropriation too.

  132. The “thin gruel” of non-Western traditions preserves musical traditions more like our own, pre-equal temperament tradition, which can be accessed for renewal (archeofuturism); hence the interest of Bartok in Hungarian folk music, Debussy in Japanese (or was it Javanese?)

    I’m not sure Debussy or Bartok played any role in renewing Western pre-equal temperament traditions. There is a widespread early music community in the US and Europe who have been resurrecting and reintroducing old western tonal traditions since the late fifties. Amateur (white male) harpsichord builders and modern spectrum analysis techniques for tuning instruments probably sparked this revival.

  133. @Verymuchalive
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.
     
    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer - indeed the last classical composer ever - was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s - when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you're right: White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Chrisnonymous, @Jimbo in OPKS

    The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you’re right: White people ain’t what they used to be.

    That’s total garbage. Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis were great composers, as was Messiaen and numerous others. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Period.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    @Lace

    You're in a very,very small minority. This is not the view of concertgoers, like myself, music graduates or the musicians themselves. Any serious historian would dismiss your ignorant assertions.
    It is revealing that you consider Boulez to be a great composer. He was a minor composer who used his control of the French State Subsidy machine to promote himself and his works. Since his death, his works have been almost entirely forgotten.

    Replies: @Lace

  134. @vinteuil
    @Steve Sailer


    It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime.
     
    "Carmen" isn't "close" to the greatest opera ever - it is the greatest opera ever. And it's hard to imagine that Bizet could ever have surpassed it, no matter how long he might have lived. It's the work he was born to create - and, having created it, he died.

    Not only is it great in itself, it was the cause that greatness is in other men. It was the stimulus for Nietzsche's most brilliant & polished work: Nietzsche Contra Wagner.

    Replies: @theMann, @Not Raul, @Lace

    I consider Nozze De Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Carmen, Boris Godunov, and La Traviata to be equals.

    Don Giovanni surpasses them all.

    • Agree: Lace
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @theMann


    Don Giovanni surpasses them all.
     
    I've often quoted, and agreed with, Kierkegaard's dictum that it is with Don Giovanni that Mozart not only joins the company of the immortals, but becomes first among them.

    And, if you catch me on just the right day, in just the right mood, I'll be naming as greatest any of the others you mention - to say nothing of Tristan, or Meistersinger, or even, God help me, Così - which shares with Carmen & Don Giovanni a clear-eyed view of the relations between the sexes.
  135. @Kylie
    @op

    "I’m very proud of my kinfolk’s, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven’t made the list."

    As well you should be. Spanish and Cuban composers have much magnificent music to offer and should be much better known than they are. (I have no Spanish or Cuban blood.)


    https://youtu.be/F2ksNyyuViQ

    Replies: @Lace, @Steve in Greensboro

    And don’t forget Granados and De Falla. There must be many more.

  136. @vinteuil
    @Steve Sailer


    It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime.
     
    "Carmen" isn't "close" to the greatest opera ever - it is the greatest opera ever. And it's hard to imagine that Bizet could ever have surpassed it, no matter how long he might have lived. It's the work he was born to create - and, having created it, he died.

    Not only is it great in itself, it was the cause that greatness is in other men. It was the stimulus for Nietzsche's most brilliant & polished work: Nietzsche Contra Wagner.

    Replies: @theMann, @Not Raul, @Lace

    Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

    If Beethoven had died shortly after composing the 5th, people might be saying the same thing about him.

    I’m in awe of Bizet.

  137. @vinteuil
    @Steve Sailer


    It’s not unreasonable to guess that if he’d lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. “Carmen,” which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime.
     
    "Carmen" isn't "close" to the greatest opera ever - it is the greatest opera ever. And it's hard to imagine that Bizet could ever have surpassed it, no matter how long he might have lived. It's the work he was born to create - and, having created it, he died.

    Not only is it great in itself, it was the cause that greatness is in other men. It was the stimulus for Nietzsche's most brilliant & polished work: Nietzsche Contra Wagner.

    Replies: @theMann, @Not Raul, @Lace

    No, it’s like La Boheme, great but also the two most popular. There are operas by Verdi and Wagner that are objectively greater, and certainly Mozart’s Don Giovanni. I love Carmen, except she turns out to not be a terribly sympathetic heroine. Prefer Tosca.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Lace


    [Carmen is] like La Boheme...
     
    It sure is. Short, dramatically gripping, & stuffed with great tunes.

    I love Carmen, except she turns out to not be a terribly sympathetic heroine.
     
    She is the very devil. But sexy as hell.
  138. @op
    I'm very proud of my kinfolk's, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven't made the list. The music composed by Spanish Baroque masters is sadly underrated, as is the Italian born, French composer, Lully.

    Perhaps I've just tired of the same old and I simply crave something new, even if the "new" is more ancient than the "old."

    I'm grateful to youtube. Not only has it allowed me to listen to as much classical music as I want, but it has also introduced me to many composers, as well as little known pieces of more well-known composers, that I didn't know existed. Handel's "Sweet Bird," for example, I will never hear in my local classical music station. But it is still one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever head.

    Replies: @Kylie, @Not Raul

    Dowland is pretty underrated, too.

  139. @James O'Meara
    @theMann

    "If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform."

    A good point. There's no possible way these unknown operas by blacks are in any way worse than the atonal and general modernist crap that the Met and others routinely program. I must say these blackety-black folks do have a point. As Saul Bellow said 30 years ago, when this whole mess started, "I'm all for multiculturalism. Is there an African Proust? Great, show him to me, that's something I want to read!" [Paraphrase from memory]

    Of course, as so often, these "white" composers are Phoenicians, so it all becomes clear. White audiences would rather hear Scott Joplin than Schoenberg, but they get Schoenberg, whose work, according to fellow Phoenician Adorno, is not only more sophisticated than black music, but more sophisticated than Beethoven et. al. as well. Same as Rothko is more "advanced" than Sargent.

    Karajan once cut short a Berlin PO rehearsal because he was going to hear Louis Armstrong. Someone muttered about this, and Karajan replied "Gentlemen, when I hear Armstrong, at least he is in tune!"

    Replies: @syonredux

    “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be happy to read them.”

    ― Saul Bellow

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @syonredux


    The Proust of the Papuans?
     
    Madeleines are tastier than long pig. Or so I'm told.


    https://gatheringbooks.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/img_6412.jpg?w=950
  140. @AceDeuce
    @syonredux

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton, @Muggles, @Not Raul

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    I’m not sure I get your point.

    I would say more like the Germans of Asia (Germanic peoples). Far more numerous than other Asia ethnics. Maybe more Han Chinese than most of the others combined.

    “Jews” however defined are a small minority other than in Israel, their “homeland” from which they all left millennia ago. Not at all like Germans, who not only never left, but took big chunks of other parts of Europe and tried to make them “German.”

    Generally very smart, though other than German Jews, not very funny.

    There are a large number of “German Americans” of ancestry, many in high leadership positions or very successful in other ways. Somewhat like Jews, only more of them here.

    Few complain about the “German American” influence, controlling the banks, media, etc. though I would suspect a thorough accounting would find more influence than numbers alone would suggest.

    Of course “German” isn’t a religion or quasi religious clan cult. Only for a brief time a while back, only in Germany. Didn’t last. Many Chinese do believe in their racial superiority.

    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren’t known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Muggles


    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren’t known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).
     
    https://www.southchinasea.org/files/2011/08/Overlapping-EEZ-Claims-and-Oil-Fields.png
    , @International Jew
    @Muggles

    He would have been more correct if he'd said the Chinese are the Jews of Singapore.

  141. And Rossini is an all-time top half-dozen opera composer… *

    Between now and Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December…

    Steve will celebrate his 62nd birthday in December. In contrast, we only celebrated Rossini’s 55th back in February. Along with Jimmy Dorsey’s 29th (his “golden”) and Dinah Shore’s 26th.

  142. @Peter D. Bredon
    @AceDeuce

    "This was in Texas in the 1870s-1880s by the way."

    Is that supposed to be ironic, a black kid getting musical instruction from a German in Texas in the 1880s? Neither part is unusual, really. Texas had/has a surprisingly large German population; they even have their own German dialect.

    https://youtu.be/2XHHbpG-RnA

    Educationally, Phil Schaap on his Charlie Parker broadcasts on WKCR-FM always points out that while music education programs are constantly being cut back today, they were quite robust in the real "good old days," and even segregated schools had programs that could only be dreamed of today.

    Replies: @AceDeuce

    Of course, Texas has a large German population-duh. What’s your point? The Pacific Ocean is big and wet, did you know that? I’m part German and I’ve lived in Texas. Plenty of Czechs, Poles, etc too. Why do you think the tacobreaths make music that sounds like polkas, or brew beer, or make sausages?

    I was being a bit sarcastic at the fact that a kneegarow boy in Texas in the 1870s/1880s was able to afford private piano lessons (Weiss wasn’t his schoolteacher). I thought blacks were being crucified back then 24/7-y’know, like Auschwitz with suntans. Of course Duke Ellington and Miles Davis came from rich families and had years of private lessons as well.

  143. @Muggles
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    I'm not sure I get your point.

    I would say more like the Germans of Asia (Germanic peoples). Far more numerous than other Asia ethnics. Maybe more Han Chinese than most of the others combined.

    "Jews" however defined are a small minority other than in Israel, their "homeland" from which they all left millennia ago. Not at all like Germans, who not only never left, but took big chunks of other parts of Europe and tried to make them "German."

    Generally very smart, though other than German Jews, not very funny.

    There are a large number of "German Americans" of ancestry, many in high leadership positions or very successful in other ways. Somewhat like Jews, only more of them here.

    Few complain about the "German American" influence, controlling the banks, media, etc. though I would suspect a thorough accounting would find more influence than numbers alone would suggest.

    Of course "German" isn't a religion or quasi religious clan cult. Only for a brief time a while back, only in Germany. Didn't last. Many Chinese do believe in their racial superiority.

    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren't known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @International Jew

    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren’t known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).

  144. Beethoven only wrote one opera. Don’t know about oratorios etc.

  145. @Lace
    @Kolya Krassotkin

    And even the Soviets weren't stupid enough to cancel classical ballet, and not just Petipa/Tchaikowsky either.

    Replies: @Muggles

    And even the Soviets weren’t stupid enough to cancel classical ballet, and not just Petipa/Tchaikowsky either.

    Quite the contrary. They promoted ballet, classical music, opera, etc.

    Most of the early Soviet leadership and nomenklatura elites were extremely well read in the classical literature of Russia and Europe. They were, aside from religion, great fans of the products and art of Western civilization. You had to be that to be considered an intellectual. Artists and the like were usually exempt from the usual demands for ruthless obedience to Party dogma. (You just had to keep quiet about it.)

    Not at all fans of modern art or music.

    Even now Russia is more hospitable to legacy and classic Western art, music, literature.

    Perhaps another reason why the crazed Woke/prog left hates Russia so much. It’s not just Putin.

  146. @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    https://youtu.be/aBAW8fsyeuw

    Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    https://youtu.be/2KYf9Le0Hdw

    Franz Schubert's Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I've seen. Here are a few other examples.

    https://youtu.be/f8PGKB3GKeQ

    Dmitri Shostakovich's Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don't want to see Nicole Kidman's glorious ass.)

    https://youtu.be/gSCr_q71ZtE?t=116

    Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz's music in a creepy Julia Roberts' movie (forgive the annoying video).

    https://youtu.be/FFOS1gG2b34

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    https://youtu.be/Jgza7PwUr6k

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach's Goldberg Variations.

    Replies: @syonredux, @James O'Meara, @syonredux, @utu

    To pick a nit, that’s really the Dies Irae in The Shining, although distorted electronically the way Berlioz did (somewhat) in SF.

    Kubrick apparently thought “classical” meant that the composer was dead or at least the music was public domain, and was surprised to be sued by G. Ligeti for “distorting” recordings of his work for 2001. They reached an amiable settlement. Kubrick used Ligeti again in The Shining (when Scatman talks to Danny) and in Eyes Wide Shut.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    @James O'Meara


    To pick a nit, that’s really the Dies Irae in The Shining, although distorted electronically the way Berlioz did (somewhat) in SF.
     
    Yeah, you're right, but there are so many versions of Dies Irae that I don't really think of that particular version as Dies Irae. I think of it as Berlioz

    For what it's worth, The Shining soundtrack identifies it as "Based on "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath" from Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz and traditional requiem "Dies Irae""

    Kubrick apparently thought “classical” meant that the composer was dead or at least the music was public domain, and was surprised to be sued by G. Ligeti for “distorting” recordings of his work for 2001. They reached an amiable settlement. Kubrick used Ligeti again in The Shining (when Scatman talks to Danny) and in Eyes Wide Shut.
     
    I was surprised to see Kubrick's "mistake" cost him so little. Just a few thousand dollars.
  147. @Verymuchalive
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.
     
    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer - indeed the last classical composer ever - was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s - when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you're right: White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Chrisnonymous, @Jimbo in OPKS

    “Messiaen … is classical music in name only.”

    Dude, that is old school harsh.

    • Agree: Lace
    • Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin
    @James O'Meara

    Turangalîla: 1) a symphony by Messiaen; 2) the lead female character in "Futurama," a Matt Groening cartoon.

    , @Verymuchalive
    @James O'Meara

    It may be harsh, but it's true.

    , @Lace
    @James O'Meara

    Yes, it's 'little old lady' talk.

  148. @syonredux
    @James O'Meara

    “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I'd be happy to read them.”

    ― Saul Bellow

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The Proust of the Papuans?

    Madeleines are tastier than long pig. Or so I’m told.

  149. @Paleo Retiree
    Is the world of Mexican music in urgent need of being diversified with, say, lots of Asians? Does the world of hiphop need more Peruvians in it? Is Indian raga music racist for not having a bunch of West Virginia hillbillies taking part? Why, among all the world’s musics, is it only Western classical music that needs to confront its racism, feel guilty for being exclusive, make big outreach efforts, etc?

    I think this point can be made well even without the “Western classical music is the world’s best!” rationalization. Western classical music is the classical music of Euro and Euro-descended people. Why shouldn’t we feel attached to it and proud of it, and want to educate ourselves (and our neighbors and friends) in it, the same way other peoples and cultures feel attached to and enthusiastic about their own music? After all, Western classical music isn’t preventing other peoples (or just people generally who don’t care for it) from producing, enjoying and distributing their own music. Last I checked the black music, Hispanic music and Indian music worlds are huge and thriving. The world of music is already a big, hyper-diverse one. Since we’ve already got (and can enjoy) immense diversity, what’s really the complaint? And why does only this one particular music-world deserve to be subjected to having a crisis about race?

    I say all this as someone who’s gotten a lot out of exploring non-Western — we used to call it “world” — music, btw.

    If we’re playing the game of designing a sensible curriculum, I’d suggest a semester’s intro to the musics of the world (classical, popular and folk), followed by a semester’s intro to the musics of the U.S. (classical, popular and folk). Then I’d let people who want to explore further delve deeper into whatever appeals to them: Western classical, jazz, ragas, rhythms of Africa, Latino music, etc. But I’m someone who tends to get a lot out of an anthropological approach to subjects. YMMV, and even if they took my sage advice academics would ruin things somehow anyway.

    A political conundrum in the U.S. has to do with public funding. Although our basic cultural/political framework is white/Euro, it’s just a fact that Native Americans, blacks and Hispanics have been a standard part of our nation from the start, and that we’ve invited an awful lot of Asians to the party too. If someone out there in our motley country wants to argue that public funding shouldn’t go only to supporting Western Classical music and that some of our public funds should go to recognizing and promoting our other kinds of music too, I think they’ve got a legit point. On the other hand, maybe that’s an argument for not supporting music with public funds at all. On the third hand, if we do that, most opera houses and symphonies wouldn’t survive ...

    The late black intellectual and novelist Albert Murray is worth looking into. He (and his buddy Ralph Ellison) made the argument that jazz is the classical music of black Americans, he was the mind behind the Wynton Marsalis-driven neoclassical revival of jazz back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and his ideas informed the creation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Don’t tear down the glories of Western Civ. Benefit from them and add to them.

    “Stomping the Blues” is the book of Murray’s to start with. (I knew Mr. Murray — and you called him Mr. Murray, not Albert — a little and have stolen a lot of ideas and attitudes from him.) Mr. Murray was by no means an HBD kinda guy and politically he was probably a center-lib, but he was very earthy and realistic about what black people and white people are like, and he took a refreshingly upbeat view of these differences.

    Replies: @AceDeuce

    “Is the world of Mexican music in urgent need of being diversified…..”

    Uh, it WAS diversified. By Central European settlers in Texas and Mexico, which is why norteno and Tejano music is essentially polka music with the same instruments.

    I’ve read Stomping the Blues and other things by Murray. He was smarter and somewhat less full of schitt than most blacks, which is a low bar. I love the homoerotic cuckifying: “You called him Mister Tibbs-er, I mean Murray” Jesus, dude, get a grip. LOL.

  150. Since iSteve’s topic is music, just two brief thoughts.

    1) While black contributions to American music are undeniable (Blacks!) and positive, the latest popular trend is quite sad in my view.

    Rap isn’t actual music. Yes, heavy and varied beats, but mainly spoken word “poetry.” I’m no expert because I don’t listen or follow it, but it seems a retrograde development. Like sea chanteys or prison gang work songs (or older, railroad gang chants/songs.)

    Some “hip hop” or rap does have sung music, but a lot doesn’t. Subject matter is banal at best, IQ lowering at worst. So is this what we are now going to have to listen to? “Rise Up” the BLM anthem is music, not rap. So worse may be coming.

    2) Speaking of worse, “Arabic music” with the very strange tonality, etc. is painful to Western ears. I used to have to listen to it (mostly female singers) in various taxis while working in the Middle East. Though eventually, while “sing-song” and lyrically impossible for me to understand (my problem, not the music’s) sometimes it did grow on me. To the point I didn’t hate it.

    Still, be thankful you don’t hear that on your kid’s music stream. That might drive you to start going to church again.

  151. @Christopher Chantrill
    Look, why not just be happy with jazz? It's a stunning, and black, contribution to the world's music. Whites even invented a pale imitation: swing.

    Replies: @Malcolm Y, @sayless

    A band was going to play a jazz piece. One of the musicians didn’t realize that the score was printed on both sides of the paper. He played every other sheet; nobody noticed.

  152. @Not Raul
    I’m surprised that Franz Lehár was so high on the list. I had never heard of him.

    Beethoven was Black. Keep repeating that, and his music might not get canceled.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Kolya Krassotkin, @Old Palo Altan

    “Merry Widow” — I went with the broad definition, leaving out only musicals like West Side Story put on by opera companies.

    • Thanks: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Steve Sailer

    There is a 2014 production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn that is quite good. I am hoping it comes back on the Met's weekly streams.

    Replies: @Lace, @Jimbo in OPKS

  153. @Happy Tapir
    I wonder if there’s some sort of spiritual energy in life with these young people who die leaving a vast artistic legacy and everyone speculates what they may have achieved. Keats, Shelley, Mozart. The mathematician Patrick Ramsey. Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot simply stopped writing after a certain age. Maybe they burn up their life force and god claims them. They burnt their candles too fast.

    Replies: @Father O'Hara

    I thought it a bit weird that Gershwin died of a brain tumor at 36. Was his brain somehow constructed so thst it could create great music but something about that construction made him vulnerable to a tumor?

  154. @Lace
    @slumber_j

    Schubert wrote some operas, but none of them are well-known. Schumann wrote one Genoveva, which I've never heard either.

    Replies: @baythoven, @slumber_j

    Genoveva is actually quite good. If you are interested, there is a creditable recording of it done some years ago, with Eda Moser very good in the title role, also with Fischer-Dieskau and Peter Schreier.

    • Thanks: Lace
  155. @Scott in PA
    I suspect Wagner will eventually be cancelled, with future performances only taking place in Japan, China, or Hungary, maybe Russia. Although Wagner had negative thoughts about Jews, he worked with Jewish associates and colleagues all his life. He compartmentalized. Isn’t that what we want? It’s the only way civilization can function.

    Cancel warriors want to control thoughts, not just actions.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Father O'Hara, @Herzog

    Wagner will always be played in Israel.

  156. @AceDeuce
    @syonredux

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Ancient Briton, @Muggles, @Not Raul

    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.

    Especially the Hakka.

  157. Who is/was the iSteve commenter who used to be an opera singer? Is he still around?

  158. Anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    I would say classical music & opera are safe. Apart from psychically conflicted biracial intellectuals from upper-mid-class affluent Black backgrounds, no Blacks care about it. Of the NAMs, Hispanics don’t hate it (or actually enjoy passionate/overweening dramatic singing about how you’re going to go stab your wife’s secret trysting lover in the courtyard at midnight).

    People into classical are today like rock-collecting buffs or baseball stat addicts– they aren’t happy from the dilettantes streaming into their niche hobby to rhapsodize about social justice. It’s the GamerGate thing writ small.

    One thing many Blacks tend to enjoy, along with tons of whites of course, is gladiatorial sportsball mass-entertainment, and *THAT* pastime is in trouble: https://ibb.co/MgyLkbk

  159. @Pincher Martin
    Alex Ross has just published a book on Wagner. After reading one of his recent New Yorker articles on the German composer - How Wagner Shaped Hollywood - I'm hesitant to purchase his book even though I do enjoy reading about Wagner. Ross writes about the controversial composer, his music and his influence as if they are modern problems we must come to grips with if we are ever to walk again in the sun.

    Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s “Matrix” trilogy (1999-2003) brushes against “Parsifal,” Wagner’s mystical final opera, with its themes of initiation and enlightenment. In the first film, the young computer hacker Neo is drawn into an underground movement led by a man named Morpheus, who divulges that the everyday world is an illusion manufactured by a master race of machines. Morpheus’s summary of the Matrix—“It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”—invokes the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, who had an immense influence on Wagner’s later work. As Žižek points out, Morpheus’s concept of the “desert of the real” is equivalent to the wasteland that lies behind Klingsor’s seductive magic garden in “Parsifal.” Morpheus is like the sage old Gurnemanz in the opera, leading an adept into secret knowledge. The science-fiction commentator Andrew May pinpoints the apparent clincher: at the climax of the film, Neo stops bullets in midair, reënacting Parsifal’s feat of arresting Klingsor’s spear mid-flight.

    Democratic mass culture prefers to consider itself exempt from the forces that made Wagner vulnerable to exploitation by the Nazis. Fantasy artists like to believe that they are creating allegories of liberal good versus reactionary evil. A scene in the 2011 Marvel Studios film “Captain America: The First Avenger” explicitly inserts Wagner into that binary opposition. Johann Schmidt, a Nazi operative turned global terrorist known as the Red Skull, is working away in his mountain laboratory, with bits of the “Ring” playing on a Victrola. As at Hitler’s Bavarian retreat, alpine peaks are visible through massive windows. Captain America, a scrawny kid who has been scientifically beefed up to superhero proportions, hunts down the Red Skull, laying waste to his laboratory. Wagner is a monster from the European past who must be ejected, but only after the sound designers have obtained a thrill or two from the roar of the “Ring” orchestra—much the same trick that Capra pulled in “Why We Fight.”

    Any myth is vulnerable to ideological simplification and distortion, as the political scientist Herfried Münkler has argued. Superhero narratives in which unheralded individuals acquire exceptional abilities can speak for marginalized communities, but they may also encourage the sort of grandiose self-projection that the Wagner operas inculcated in the hordes of fin-de-siècle youth who daydreamed about fulfilling Lohengrin, Siegfried, or Brünnhilde roles. In “The Matrix,” the newly enlightened Neo is given a choice between two pills: a red pill, which will make his knowledge permanent, and a blue pill, which will restore the veil of illusion. Members of the American far right, who have a few Wagnerites in their midst, have made that fable their own: their “red-pill moment” is when they cast aside multicultural liberalism.

     

    Well, okay.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @Herzog

    Mr. Ross seems quite worried whether next month he’ll still have enough food to put on the table. Alternatively, he might just be a mediocrity.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  160. @Scott in PA
    I suspect Wagner will eventually be cancelled, with future performances only taking place in Japan, China, or Hungary, maybe Russia. Although Wagner had negative thoughts about Jews, he worked with Jewish associates and colleagues all his life. He compartmentalized. Isn’t that what we want? It’s the only way civilization can function.

    Cancel warriors want to control thoughts, not just actions.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Father O'Hara, @Herzog

    Okay, I assume Wagner really had unfriendly thoughts about Jews, as everybody says. So, what about it? Perhaps some Poles of his times had unfriendly thoughts about the Russians, or the Lithuanians, or, heaven forbid, the Germans? Maybe some Italians didn’t like the French, or some Iranians didn’t appreciate Turkmens too much? It’s not entirely unheard of that Fulani didn’t like Igbo either.

    Is everybody under an obligation to like each other, all the time? Rumor even has it that’s still not the case today, even though I have a hard time believing it.

    As long as Wagner didn’t call for repression of the Jews, let alone outright for violence against them, why should it have been verboten for him to lack fondness for them as a group?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Herzog


    I assume Wagner really had unfriendly thoughts about Jews...
     
    Like any reasonably intelligent and observant gentile, Wagner had complicated - dare I even say, nuanced - views about The Chosen People. On the one hand, he was friendly with, and promoted the careers of, various Jewish performers whose talent he recognized and admired. On the other hand, he could veer into frank anti-Semitism in ways that shocked and alienated his young friend Friedrich Nietzsche.

    His notorious essay "Das Judenthum in der Musik" ("Jewishness in Music") is actually kind of interesting to read - far from the looney rant that one might expect. Unfortunately, the only easily available English translation, by a certain William Ashton Ellis, is all but unreadable.

  161. @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    https://youtu.be/aBAW8fsyeuw

    Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    https://youtu.be/2KYf9Le0Hdw

    Franz Schubert's Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I've seen. Here are a few other examples.

    https://youtu.be/f8PGKB3GKeQ

    Dmitri Shostakovich's Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don't want to see Nicole Kidman's glorious ass.)

    https://youtu.be/gSCr_q71ZtE?t=116

    Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz's music in a creepy Julia Roberts' movie (forgive the annoying video).

    https://youtu.be/FFOS1gG2b34

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    https://youtu.be/Jgza7PwUr6k

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach's Goldberg Variations.

    Replies: @syonredux, @James O'Meara, @syonredux, @utu

    As a side note, the person who did the scores for Kubrick’s The Shining and A Clockwork Orange was an M-to-F trans:

    Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos; November 14, 1939) is an American musician and composer best known for her electronic music and film scores. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University.

    Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer, which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards. Its commercial success led to several more albums, including further synthesized classical music adaptations, and experimental and ambient music. She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films – A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980) – and also Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.

    In 1979, Carlos was one of the first public figures to disclose having undergone sex reassignment surgery.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Carlos

    Here’s Carlos’ adaptation of Purcell’s Funeral Sentences and Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary:

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux


    As a side note, the person who did the scores for Kubrick’s The Shining and A Clockwork Orange was an M-to-F trans:
     
    Interesting.

    And yeah I can see it.

    https://www.thewire.co.uk/img/scale/940/736/2020/01/16/CARLOS-Wendy.jpg

    *****

    http://www.elespectadorimaginario.com/assets/Wendy2.jpg
  162. Here, via OperaBase, are most performed composers from 2004-2019 of classical vocal works (operas, operettas, oratorios, etc.):

    I’m not woke. I’m Baroque.

  163. This is so pathetic. While the black composer, Terence Blanchard, wrote an opera about himself, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” the supposedly Eurocentrics like Puccini we’re composing operas set in Japan, China, America, and Gershwin and Stephen Foster imagined into their music the lives of black people. Irving Berlin wrote a Christmas song and an Easter song!

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is played in the Menuhin violin competition by a Chinese boy who grew up in Germany!

    The great music belongs to everyone who has ears and sensibility to hear and understand it. It has no color.

  164. @Kylie
    @op

    "I’m very proud of my kinfolk’s, the Spanish and Cuban composers, even if they haven’t made the list."

    As well you should be. Spanish and Cuban composers have much magnificent music to offer and should be much better known than they are. (I have no Spanish or Cuban blood.)


    https://youtu.be/F2ksNyyuViQ

    Replies: @Lace, @Steve in Greensboro

    Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Fantasia para un Gentilhomme” are two of my favorites. My father loved those two and Manuel de Falla’s “Three Cornered Hat”.

    • Agree: Kylie
  165. @Anon

    The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners.
     
    The "field," in the sense of academics, can do whatever it wants. But classical music is a business, and what is performed, in the end, will be what audience members buy tickets for. And that's not some unknown black composer.

    Replies: @martin_2

    Exactly.Which is why we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts on the radio. Beethoven’s sixth, Bruch’s violin concerto, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etcetera. I much prefer something a bit more modern and exciting like Janacek or Scriabin or Lutoslawski or Messiaen. If they play Bartok its always the bloody Concerto for Orchestra. Someone told me once its all about bums on seats, and if prospective concert goers see “Beethoven” or “Mozart” on the bill they know what to expect.

    Its funny how I know that Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, are the greatest composers but I never listen to them.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @martin_2

    A good thing a music director might do is plan the concert to have some standards that people know and love, and maybe a piece or two that is less frequently played. That way everybody gets some of what they want, and the audience might even be pleasantly surprised. Unless the experimental piece is by John Cage - then they're still out of luck.

    Although another way to look at it is to say that radio is the place for playing everything and for people to get some exposure to music they're unfamiliar with. But when they're paying top dollar for it in a concert hall, they should get to hear what they like but in live performance.

    , @Uncle Dan
    @martin_2

    There’s a lot more to Beethoven than the symphonies. Have you listened to the quartets, op 59? Really beautiful.

    Replies: @martin_2

    , @Anon
    @martin_2


    we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts
     
    Our local concert hall has a wonderful pipe organ ... which probably cost a zillion dollars and ends up being only used for Bach performances. One night, during a concert organized by the local music conservatory, the organ instructor came out and played Serenade by Derek Bourgeois. Here's a pipe organ performance of it by another guy on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAuBkOixzqo&feature=emb_logo

    Wow! That really woke me up. What a crazy song. Parts of it sound like mistakes that the organist then recovers from, but that's because of the nutty time signature, which I believe alternates between 11/8 and 13/8.
  166. At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @martin_2


    At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.
     
    Elgar, Holst, and Sullivan more than make up for them.

    Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian

    , @Etruscan Film Star
    @martin_2

    Vaughan Williams was a somewhat on-again, off-again composer but his best work (such as Symphonies 3 and 5) is deeply moving.

    How can you be British and not appreciate Bax? Are you one of those new "British" from Africa?

    Havergal Brian, for all his eccentricity, wrote much that is interesting.

    Replies: @Lace

    , @vinteuil
    @martin_2


    At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.
     
    Shame on you.

    Vaughan Williams' Tallis fantasia is simply astonishing in its beauty and originality. The third through sixth symphonies are all brilliant and wonderfully varied. After hearing Job for the first time, Bruno Walter approached the conductor, Adrian Boult, with the words: "but this is the most beautiful music ever written!" - &c &c &c.

    I really don't understand why some people seem to feel an irresistible urge to trash this great modern composer, who also happens to be easily accessible to anybody who can enjoy Verdi or Brahms or Ravel, and who might well serve as a gateway drug (so to speak) leading on to an appreciation of slightly more challenging stuff by guys like Benjamin Britten.

    Bax & Brian are less consequential, but the idea that they should be numbered among "the world's worst composers" is just asinine.

    I repeat: shame on you.

  167. @Not Raul
    I’m surprised that Franz Lehár was so high on the list. I had never heard of him.

    Beethoven was Black. Keep repeating that, and his music might not get canceled.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Kolya Krassotkin, @Old Palo Altan

    Because he’s “black”, Beethoven is all they’ll play on their flights once Boeing gets the pyramids flying again, with all the new black engineers they’re going to hire.

    • LOL: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Kolya Krassotkin


    Because he’s “black”, Beethoven is all they’ll play on their flights once Boeing gets the pyramids flying again, with all the new black engineers they’re going to hire.
     
    And if that doesn’t work, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will discover that the Wright brothers have Black roots. That’s why they’re called brothers.
  168. @James O'Meara
    @Verymuchalive

    "Messiaen ... is classical music in name only."

    Dude, that is old school harsh.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @Verymuchalive, @Lace

    Turangalîla: 1) a symphony by Messiaen; 2) the lead female character in “Futurama,” a Matt Groening cartoon.

  169. @martin_2
    @Anon

    Exactly.Which is why we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts on the radio. Beethoven's sixth, Bruch's violin concerto, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etcetera. I much prefer something a bit more modern and exciting like Janacek or Scriabin or Lutoslawski or Messiaen. If they play Bartok its always the bloody Concerto for Orchestra. Someone told me once its all about bums on seats, and if prospective concert goers see "Beethoven" or "Mozart" on the bill they know what to expect.

    Its funny how I know that Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, are the greatest composers but I never listen to them.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Uncle Dan, @Anon

    A good thing a music director might do is plan the concert to have some standards that people know and love, and maybe a piece or two that is less frequently played. That way everybody gets some of what they want, and the audience might even be pleasantly surprised. Unless the experimental piece is by John Cage – then they’re still out of luck.

    Although another way to look at it is to say that radio is the place for playing everything and for people to get some exposure to music they’re unfamiliar with. But when they’re paying top dollar for it in a concert hall, they should get to hear what they like but in live performance.

  170. @martin_2
    At least we British can take pride in having the world's worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Etruscan Film Star, @vinteuil

    At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    Elgar, Holst, and Sullivan more than make up for them.

    • Agree: baythoven
    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    @Mr. Anon

    One should not forget the great composers of the more distant past such as John Dunstable, John Browne, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, John Dowland, and Henry Purcell, please, as well as the somewhat lesser lights from these times.

    Replies: @CBTerry

  171. A modern classic which has about 150 million views on youtube entitled “White Ass P*ssy” or WAP. The median age of the USA is ~38 years old. Let that sink in, if you have the guts to watch WAP.

  172. @Lace
    @Steve Sailer--you realize Bach is at the bottom of the opera list because opera as such was barely getting developed, with Handel doing the lion's share of the beginnings, and I'm not big fan of his stilted things. With Mozart you get the first really great operas, and on from there. Beethoven wrote only the one opera, and it's not nearly as popular as any of Mozart's great ones, but that hardly makes him a merely 'above-average composer', which you know, of course. You probably also knew that about Bach, but others might not. There IS no greater composer than Bach. Also, if 'gamelan is cute', some of the South Indian music danced to by Bharatya Natyam is pretty great, but I'm not going to say it's up there with Palestrina or Monteverdi, much less Haydn and Schubert.

    Replies: @baythoven

    “With Mozart you get the first really great operas…”

    No, there are many really great operas prior to Mozart. And funny you mention Monteverdi, for certainly his towering achievement is The Coronation of Poppea, arguably the first “really great” opera. Many of the Handel operas are top tier masterworks. I would most especially recommend Alcina, Rodelinda, Giulio Cesare, and Serse. Happily, Rameau is enjoying a renaissance these days. He a great composer, nearly equal to Bach and Handel, and certainly superior to Vivaldi. Check out in particular his operas Hippolyte et Aricie and Castor et Pollux. Then to Gluck… Orpheo ed Euridice, Alceste, Iphigenia en Tauride — great operas. Check out in particular the Alceste recording with Jessye Norman. She was never better, except maybe with the R. Strauss Late Songs. No one who loves Mozart could fail to enjoy this.

  173. @syonredux
    @Pincher Martin

    As a side note, the person who did the scores for Kubrick's The Shining and A Clockwork Orange was an M-to-F trans:


    Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos; November 14, 1939) is an American musician and composer best known for her electronic music and film scores. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Carlos studied physics and music at Brown University before moving to New York City in 1962 to study music composition at Columbia University.
     

    Carlos came to prominence with Switched-On Bach (1968), an album of music by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on a Moog synthesizer, which helped popularize its use in the 1970s and won her three Grammy Awards. Its commercial success led to several more albums, including further synthesized classical music adaptations, and experimental and ambient music. She composed the score to two Stanley Kubrick films – A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980) – and also Tron (1982) for Walt Disney Productions.
     

    In 1979, Carlos was one of the first public figures to disclose having undergone sex reassignment surgery.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Carlos



    Here’s Carlos’ adaptation of Purcell’s Funeral Sentences and Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHrryY5UL0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWRcx9LHBJU

    Replies: @Pincher Martin

    As a side note, the person who did the scores for Kubrick’s The Shining and A Clockwork Orange was an M-to-F trans:

    Interesting.

    And yeah I can see it.

    *****

  174. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years …

    He might have matched Haydn, but probably not.

    Charles St. Charles, #118, gets it. Now you can too.

    Haydn Symphony #39
    Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española
    Carlos Kalmar, director

  175. @James O'Meara
    @Pincher Martin

    To pick a nit, that's really the Dies Irae in The Shining, although distorted electronically the way Berlioz did (somewhat) in SF.

    Kubrick apparently thought "classical" meant that the composer was dead or at least the music was public domain, and was surprised to be sued by G. Ligeti for "distorting" recordings of his work for 2001. They reached an amiable settlement. Kubrick used Ligeti again in The Shining (when Scatman talks to Danny) and in Eyes Wide Shut.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin

    To pick a nit, that’s really the Dies Irae in The Shining, although distorted electronically the way Berlioz did (somewhat) in SF.

    Yeah, you’re right, but there are so many versions of Dies Irae that I don’t really think of that particular version as Dies Irae. I think of it as Berlioz

    For what it’s worth, The Shining soundtrack identifies it as “Based on “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath” from Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz and traditional requiem “Dies Irae””

    Kubrick apparently thought “classical” meant that the composer was dead or at least the music was public domain, and was surprised to be sued by G. Ligeti for “distorting” recordings of his work for 2001. They reached an amiable settlement. Kubrick used Ligeti again in The Shining (when Scatman talks to Danny) and in Eyes Wide Shut.

    I was surprised to see Kubrick’s “mistake” cost him so little. Just a few thousand dollars.

  176. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    I read someday, something like this:
    If you want meat and potatoes listen German classical music. If you want a delicious dessert, listen French classical music. I think the analogy fits very well. Furthermore, meat and potatoes are good, but you can’t eat in any part of the day. That’s different from a dessert, that you can eat anytime.

  177. @Bardon Kaldian
    Three Germans are the Holy Trinity of music. Bach (The Father)- Beethoven (The Son)- Mozart (The Holy Ghost).

    Opera...I'm not much into it. But when you listen even to the oldtimers who are virtually 1000 years removed from us & without organ, piano, violin... nothing to add.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNFcEGPr-5k

    Blacks? I like Black- Irish combo...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RtT0obOS80

    As for post-modern music torturers, I'd mow them down with WW1 Vickers. White, black, yellow....don't care.

    Replies: @Uncle Dan

    Mozart was Austrian.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @Uncle Dan

    " Mozart was Austrian"

    Nope he was indeed German, and quoted as refering to himself a an "Armer Teutscher".

    At the time of his birth Austria did not exist per se', and Germany was nothing but a conglomerate of minor kingdoms of which Salzburg being one of them.

    AJM

  178. Wow, Schroeder really was an alpha, to use manosphere parlance. He shows nothing but contempt for Lucy and that brown-haired girl, caring for nothing but his art. And the girls luuuuv it. Contrast with Charlie Brown, who only earns the ladies’ contempt.

  179. @Kolya Krassotkin
    @Not Raul

    Because he's "black", Beethoven is all they'll play on their flights once Boeing gets the pyramids flying again, with all the new black engineers they're going to hire.

    Replies: @Not Raul

    Because he’s “black”, Beethoven is all they’ll play on their flights once Boeing gets the pyramids flying again, with all the new black engineers they’re going to hire.

    And if that doesn’t work, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will discover that the Wright brothers have Black roots. That’s why they’re called brothers.

    • LOL: Kolya Krassotkin
  180. Lots of people are piping in with their preferences, so, okay, I can’t resist…
    Favorites of:
    Mozart: Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte
    Verdi: Don Carlo, Ballo en Mascara, Macbeth
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Die Walkure, Lohengrin
    Tchaikovsky: Queen of Spades
    Puccini: Madame Butterfly
    R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Arabella, Die Liebe der Danae

    What’s that last one? A truly great neglected masterpiece for which a worthy recording is available on youtube: Choose the 1952 Vienna State Opera recording with Annelies Kupper and Paul Schoffler. (Alas, no transcript. A fair understanding of German needed.)

    Opera, such an expensive entertainment, is riddled with habit. The same old operas — La Boheme is the epitome — are done to death. Then opera companies add a bit of fashionable spice, some newly commissioned work that is, of course, very costly junk. And many great works are left neglected and unheard.

    One of the greatest operas ever written is Cherubini’s Medea. (Don’t believe me? Then please refer to Brahms.) It’s not performed enough, and I imagine its association with Callas has not helped. I have sought out numerous performances on audio and video; all of them are flawed in some way, but in composite — What a fantastic, brilliant work of art. Cherubini wrote many other operas. When will these get rediscovered? — just as the bel canto repertoire (Donizetti, Bellini, etc.) was rediscovered in the 50’s, and then Handel operas were resurrected, and then Rameau…

    Beethoven greatly admired Cherubini. Riccardo Muti has done much to help revive the several great masses and requiems by Cherubini. Cherubini’s string quartets are wonderful, a worthy succession to Haydn and Beethoven. (On youtube, creditable performances by Quartetto Savinio; Quartetto David was best, but now not available.)

    • Replies: @guest
    @baythoven

    Out of curiosity I started watching operas from the early days. Just to see how the genre came about. And lemme tell you, I am not a big Renaissance or Baroque guy. My heart belongs to the mid-18th century on.

    But holy Euterpe, Monteverdi blew my hair back. Loved Purcell. Vivaldi too.

    Later, Gluck, Weber, yes, Cherubini...so much I never would’ve bumped into if I hadn’t gone out of my way.

    Now I’m kinda lopsided, lacking detailed knowledge of more popular opera composers like Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, etc.

    Replies: @baythoven

  181. @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    "Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too."

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year's Day to start the year out right:

    https://youtu.be/lcr1LUAYXYY

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Uncle Dan, @slumber_j, @AceDeuce

    Elly Ameling’s not bad:

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Uncle Dan

    "Elly Ameling's not bad"

    Lol! I should have said Hans Hotter is my favorite male interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. Elly Ameling is my favorite female interpreter. Her voice floats!

    https://youtu.be/2TnK7tPTwHE

  182. @theMann
    @Steve Sailer

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn't died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn't make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn't just Bizet and Berlioz.

    Replies: @Lace, @JerseyJeffersonian, @Jim Don Bob, @CBTerry

    That being said, there are two major works of Berlioz that straddle or transcend the genre of opera with which many may be unfamiliar, but which I heartily commend; these works are Romeo and Juliet, and The Damnation of Faust. The first of these drew its inspiration from Shakespeare, and the second from Goethe. They are a mix of pure orchestral music, vocal/orchestral, and choral/orchestral. Le Damnation du Faust is particularly brilliant in its overall design, as well as in its constituent parts. For full comprehension, it were best to have the libretto to hand.

  183. Classical music is enjoyed by not only “the Elite” but by an audience set apart through taste, refinement, intelligence, and all that jazz (so to speak). This despite some of it being immensely popular. Mostly grand Romantic music in that latter category.

    Higher culture keeps it in performance. Higher culture is of course corrupt these days. The classical music audience is just the sort of crowd to bend over for Dieversity. And it already has, to an extent. They play puffed-up black composers in concert. It’s just that these pieces are sandwiched between Beethovens and Tchaikovskys. I.e. things people want to hear.

    Ifsoever the stuff people actually want to hear gets pushed aside, the museums known as concert halls will die. Even if they’re funded to the crack of Doom, they’ll proceed as zombies.

    Classical music fandom would go underground. It didn’t survive 500+ years by accepting mediocrity, and it won’t now.

  184. @Mr. Anon
    @martin_2


    At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.
     
    Elgar, Holst, and Sullivan more than make up for them.

    Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian

    One should not forget the great composers of the more distant past such as John Dunstable, John Browne, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, John Dowland, and Henry Purcell, please, as well as the somewhat lesser lights from these times.

    • Replies: @CBTerry
    @JerseyJeffersonian

    Orlando Gibbons was Glenn Gould's favorite composer.

    Replies: @Lace

  185. I like some black composers. Joplin, Ellington, Jimmy Europe. But c’mon.

    Know who was awesome? Johann Christian Bach.

    Daddy Bach and C.P.E. Bach get all the press, but I am a J.C. partisan.

    W.F. was pretty good, and so was W.F.E. from the next generation.

    If you’re counting, that’s 5 white guys named Bach I’d put ahead of any black composer I’ve heard.

  186. @baythoven
    Lots of people are piping in with their preferences, so, okay, I can't resist...
    Favorites of:
    Mozart: Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte
    Verdi: Don Carlo, Ballo en Mascara, Macbeth
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Die Walkure, Lohengrin
    Tchaikovsky: Queen of Spades
    Puccini: Madame Butterfly
    R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Arabella, Die Liebe der Danae

    What's that last one? A truly great neglected masterpiece for which a worthy recording is available on youtube: Choose the 1952 Vienna State Opera recording with Annelies Kupper and Paul Schoffler. (Alas, no transcript. A fair understanding of German needed.)

    Opera, such an expensive entertainment, is riddled with habit. The same old operas -- La Boheme is the epitome -- are done to death. Then opera companies add a bit of fashionable spice, some newly commissioned work that is, of course, very costly junk. And many great works are left neglected and unheard.

    One of the greatest operas ever written is Cherubini's Medea. (Don't believe me? Then please refer to Brahms.) It's not performed enough, and I imagine its association with Callas has not helped. I have sought out numerous performances on audio and video; all of them are flawed in some way, but in composite -- What a fantastic, brilliant work of art. Cherubini wrote many other operas. When will these get rediscovered? -- just as the bel canto repertoire (Donizetti, Bellini, etc.) was rediscovered in the 50's, and then Handel operas were resurrected, and then Rameau...

    Beethoven greatly admired Cherubini. Riccardo Muti has done much to help revive the several great masses and requiems by Cherubini. Cherubini's string quartets are wonderful, a worthy succession to Haydn and Beethoven. (On youtube, creditable performances by Quartetto Savinio; Quartetto David was best, but now not available.)

    Replies: @guest

    Out of curiosity I started watching operas from the early days. Just to see how the genre came about. And lemme tell you, I am not a big Renaissance or Baroque guy. My heart belongs to the mid-18th century on.

    But holy Euterpe, Monteverdi blew my hair back. Loved Purcell. Vivaldi too.

    Later, Gluck, Weber, yes, Cherubini…so much I never would’ve bumped into if I hadn’t gone out of my way.

    Now I’m kinda lopsided, lacking detailed knowledge of more popular opera composers like Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, etc.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    @guest

    LOL. Good for you, mining those hidden gems. The great jewels on display you'll get to soon enough.

  187. @tanabear
    How many people know the Swedish composer Tor Aulin? Yet his Master Olof: The Matron and the Child composition is far more beautiful than 99 percent of all classical compositions. It would be an Oscar contending film score if composed today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V_aLo-IQcU

    Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian

    Yes, I have heard some of his works on the Music Choice tier of music channels that is included in our Comcast cable level of subscription, specifically on the “Light Classical” channel, and they are quite striking, indeed.

  188. @Muggles
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    I'm not sure I get your point.

    I would say more like the Germans of Asia (Germanic peoples). Far more numerous than other Asia ethnics. Maybe more Han Chinese than most of the others combined.

    "Jews" however defined are a small minority other than in Israel, their "homeland" from which they all left millennia ago. Not at all like Germans, who not only never left, but took big chunks of other parts of Europe and tried to make them "German."

    Generally very smart, though other than German Jews, not very funny.

    There are a large number of "German Americans" of ancestry, many in high leadership positions or very successful in other ways. Somewhat like Jews, only more of them here.

    Few complain about the "German American" influence, controlling the banks, media, etc. though I would suspect a thorough accounting would find more influence than numbers alone would suggest.

    Of course "German" isn't a religion or quasi religious clan cult. Only for a brief time a while back, only in Germany. Didn't last. Many Chinese do believe in their racial superiority.

    Like Germans, Han Chinese aren't known for their comedy. But they study, work hard and generally try to take over their neighbors (at times past, not now).

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @International Jew

    He would have been more correct if he’d said the Chinese are the Jews of Singapore.

  189. I’ve sampled widely in the music of the various cultures, and the only one that can compare in complexity and subtlety is High Indian exemplified by Ravi Shankar (Nora Jones’ baby daddy.)

    Of course the people who brought ragas to India are Aryan so they get defenestrated too.

    As to “hillbillies” mixing in with sitar players, how about Ry Cooder, an oft-times banjo player from LA, who had worked with Bill Monroe, playing with V. M. Blatt on “A Meeting by the River” on the Water Lily label?

    One of my favorite classical music experiences was hearing Borodin’s String Quartet #2 at the Seoul Art Center and discussing Beethoven’s string quartets with a Korean gentleman afterwards – he was a fan of the late period which I can’t fathom. Our conversation impressed my date though!

    As to programming of the major symphonies, I’ve long noticed that the San Francisco Symphony always had a crowd-pleaser as headliner but stick some unlistenable “eat your vegetables” stuff in the middle of the program.

    • Replies: @martin_2
    @Whitehall

    Indian music can be really good. It is the only art music that I can listen to apart from Western Classical music. Chinese music is awful. The Indians have therefore not really taken much interest in Western music, but unsurprisingly the Chinese have.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_15tmRLsAA

    (It starts a bit slow.)

    Replies: @Lace

  190. @Kylie
    @Jim Don Bob

    Decades after I first heard it, Schubert's "Ellens dritter Gesang", better known as "Ave Maria", still astonishes me with its beauty.

    That's not the original text, though. Here's Barbara Bonney singing the complete Lied with the original German text:

    https://youtu.be/xDyiYEdTp-U

    Replies: @Uncle Dan

  191. @Uncle Dan
    @Kylie

    Elly Ameling’s not bad: https://youtu.be/GwZYiZdPMqk

    Replies: @Kylie

    “Elly Ameling’s not bad”

    Lol! I should have said Hans Hotter is my favorite male interpreter of Schubert’s Lieder. Elly Ameling is my favorite female interpreter. Her voice floats!

  192. @guest
    @baythoven

    Out of curiosity I started watching operas from the early days. Just to see how the genre came about. And lemme tell you, I am not a big Renaissance or Baroque guy. My heart belongs to the mid-18th century on.

    But holy Euterpe, Monteverdi blew my hair back. Loved Purcell. Vivaldi too.

    Later, Gluck, Weber, yes, Cherubini...so much I never would’ve bumped into if I hadn’t gone out of my way.

    Now I’m kinda lopsided, lacking detailed knowledge of more popular opera composers like Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, etc.

    Replies: @baythoven

    LOL. Good for you, mining those hidden gems. The great jewels on display you’ll get to soon enough.

  193. It’s a steep pyramid with tough competition: e.g. Bach is barely 1% as popular as Verdi.

    That’s probably only because Bach composed oratorios, not operas, and we live in a much more secular than religious era. Also oratorios are usually performed in churches, operas in theatres. But musically, I think Bach is the greatest of them all. Although I like Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, etc etc.

  194. @martin_2
    @Anon

    Exactly.Which is why we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts on the radio. Beethoven's sixth, Bruch's violin concerto, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etcetera. I much prefer something a bit more modern and exciting like Janacek or Scriabin or Lutoslawski or Messiaen. If they play Bartok its always the bloody Concerto for Orchestra. Someone told me once its all about bums on seats, and if prospective concert goers see "Beethoven" or "Mozart" on the bill they know what to expect.

    Its funny how I know that Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, are the greatest composers but I never listen to them.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Uncle Dan, @Anon

    There’s a lot more to Beethoven than the symphonies. Have you listened to the quartets, op 59? Really beautiful.

    • Agree: Etruscan Film Star
    • Replies: @martin_2
    @Uncle Dan

    Funnily enough I decided just today to once again listen through the complete set of string quartets that I've got on vinyl by the Italian Quartet and have played number one already. I am familiar with them but I don't think the Grosse Fugue works and they should play the movement that Beethoven replaced it with.

  195. @Anonymous
    @AceDeuce


    The Chinese are the Jews of Asia.
     
    Do you mean that they are good at moving to a new place and making money, but occasionally have to flee a murderous mob with a small bag of diamonds wedged between their lower cheeks?

    Replies: @AceDeuce

    As they might say in their broken English–Egg-zachery.

  196. @Pincher Martin
    @syonredux

    Some great use of classical music in Hollywood movies. Here are some others.

    https://youtu.be/aBAW8fsyeuw

    Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune at the end of the The Right Stuff.

    https://youtu.be/2KYf9Le0Hdw

    Franz Schubert's Trio in E flat major at the end of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

    Kubrick, of course, has used classical music extensively in all his movies I've seen. Here are a few other examples.

    https://youtu.be/f8PGKB3GKeQ

    Dmitri Shostakovich's Waltz No. 2 at the opening of Eyes Wide Shut. (NSFW if you don't want to see Nicole Kidman's glorious ass.)

    https://youtu.be/gSCr_q71ZtE?t=116

    Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath) at the opening of The Shining

    You can ever hear Berlioz's music in a creepy Julia Roberts' movie (forgive the annoying video).

    https://youtu.be/FFOS1gG2b34

    The movie is Sleeping with the Enemy.

    https://youtu.be/Jgza7PwUr6k

    Hannibal Lector would of course love Bach's Goldberg Variations.

    Replies: @syonredux, @James O'Meara, @syonredux, @utu

    Handel in Barry Lyndon

    • Thanks: Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Sparkon
    @utu

    I'm not a big fan of Handel. That selection from Barry Lyndon is morose, plodding, and repetitive, without any verve or sparkle, but it is better than opera, which I can't stand.

    Compare that to Haydn's No. 39 I posted above, Vivaldi's concertos for guitar and strings, and of course Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.

    Replies: @Charles St. Charles, @Lace

  197. @Joe Walker
    I think the Left's hatred for Beethoven has less to do with him being white and more to do with him not being Jewish.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @utu

    Maybe you are onto something. Think the Mahler phenomenon.

    https://floridaorchestra.org/why-would-anyone-mess-beethoven/
    So, why would anyone in their right mind mess with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the famed Eroica, one of the supreme creations of Western art, a work that simultaneously summarized a passing era and launched a new one? Why would someone tamper with such an iconic score?

    Well, somebody did, and The Florida Orchestra’s latest Masterworks program offers a seldom-performed version of the symphony by Gustav Mahler, the brilliant composer and conductor who died in 1911 in Vienna. Mahler believed Beethoven could use a little help from a friend, so he “retouched’’ not only the Third, but the Fifth, Seven and Ninth symphonies and the Coriolan Overture. But why fix what isn’t broken?

    Let’s look into Mahler’s logic. From the early 19th century, when Beethoven composed these works, to the dawn of the 20th century, lots had changed. Instruments improved, orchestras grew in size, and concert halls expanded to accommodate more people. Beethoven’s music, Mahler believed, needed to catch up with the times.

    In his own defense, Mahler explained that “this is in no way a case of re-instrumentation or alteration, let alone improvement of the work of Beethoven.’’ He said his views were less about arbitrary change than playing the music as Beethoven would have wanted had he lived 75 or 100 years later – with the formidable Vienna Philharmonic (or TFO) at his disposal.

    Why Has Mahler Become a Cultural Icon?
    https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2010/02/14/kevin-macdonald-why-is-mahler-so-popular/

    “The Mahler symphonies … get me out of here. I keep surreptitiously cheering Kingsley Amis’s verdict “Mahler lacks talent even more spectacularly than he lacks genius.” …”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

  198. You mean “whites”, or White Americans? The distinction is important, for American whites are some of the dumbest and most unaware whites, among all the whites else where in the world. It was not always so. Whites have been victims of a slow and steady agenda to dumb them down. This was accomplished by Hollywood movies, U.S. major newspapers, television and the public school system, entities which left whites with more doubts then certainty about their whole identity and place in the very country that their various tribes created. Today, other whites in the Western Nations they created share their state of ignorance with American whites.. It’s tragic, that cultures with so many things in common, should wind up so uncertain and riddled with so many doubts about their place in the world and all of the things they have achieved. Has any race fallen so low from the heights they once occupied??

    • Replies: @bomag
    @Dr.C. Fhandrich


    It’s tragic, that cultures with so many things in common, should wind up so uncertain and riddled with so many doubts about their place in the world and all of the things they have achieved.
     
    Uncertainty and doubt are traits that kept Whites striving for improvement. It served us well in the past; now that trait has been "hacked", and we think improvement is giving things away to the Other.
  199. @James O'Meara
    @Verymuchalive

    "Messiaen ... is classical music in name only."

    Dude, that is old school harsh.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @Verymuchalive, @Lace

    It may be harsh, but it’s true.

  200. @Lace
    @Verymuchalive

    The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you’re right: White people ain’t what they used to be.


    That's total garbage. Pierre Boulez and Iannis Xenakis were great composers, as was Messiaen and numerous others. You don't know what you're talking about. Period.

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    You’re in a very,very small minority. This is not the view of concertgoers, like myself, music graduates or the musicians themselves. Any serious historian would dismiss your ignorant assertions.
    It is revealing that you consider Boulez to be a great composer. He was a minor composer who used his control of the French State Subsidy machine to promote himself and his works. Since his death, his works have been almost entirely forgotten.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Verymuchalive

    I am NOT. Musicians like ME know Boulez, and how dare you call those 'ignorant assertions'. I played the Boulez 2nd Piano Sonata at the Juilliard Contemporary Music Festival in the 80s. There is no way he's a minor composer. You just don't know shit. I'm sure you've never heard any Xenakis. Please don't--it might damage the music. 'Pithoprakta' was choreographed by George Balanchine for Suzanne Farell. Ever hear of those 'obscure names'?

  201. Ja, some early Rush always struck me as akin to tone poems in the Lisztian/Straussian mold, although not as worked out as those models. The boys aspired, and in their own terms, succeeded, as much as the music industry would permit them to do so. They somewhat obliquely comment on that aspect in their song, The Spirit of Radio.

    Neil Peart, RIP.

  202. The support for modern jazz by universities and foundations is quite extensive, Many consider this to be African American classical music, but the phenomenon doesn’t fit into the Times’ argument so they ignore it.

  203. @Steve Sailer
    @theMann

    There's a classical music divide between the dominant German/Italians and the French. The main Great Courses lecture series on classical music explains that it will focus on Germans and Italians and ignore French (other than Berlioz and Debussy). It's not unreasonable to guess that if he'd lived into his 40s and 50s that Bizet would have composed the greatest operas of all time. "Carmen," which Bizet composed in his mid-30s just before dropping dead, is pretty close to the greatest opera ever (the 1983 movie is the single best intro to opera), and he was just reaching his prime. Of course, if Mozart had lived another 35 years ...

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Bardon Kaldian, @theMann, @Mr. Anon, @vinteuil, @Sparkon, @Cido, @Chrisnonymous

    Nah. Bizet had one idea, but the totality of what he left behind lacked much of interest. Some of his symphonies are too boring to listen to. Can’t say that of Bach or Mozart. Bizet was not a first class composer, and I doubt he would have had more such hits as Carmen.

  204. @Verymuchalive
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.
     
    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer - indeed the last classical composer ever - was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s - when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you're right: White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Chrisnonymous, @Jimbo in OPKS

    The last major classical composer – indeed the last classical composer ever – was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 )…
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s…
    White people ain’t what they used to be.

    I think it’s likely that society was uniquely arranged to allow people with great potential as composers to thrive up until modern education began to supplant the ad hoc systems of the past. The creation of an education system that was meant to raise up average people and at the same time create rounded educations probably destroyed the freedom for the musically gifted to pursue music that was needed for great composers.

  205. @Charles St. Charles
    I’ve been professional musician for several decades. My most treasured music is European Art Music from the 16th-19th century - Haydn is my favorite composer of all, and no one is more “classical” than Haydn.

    But I have always had a curiosity for different musics of the world. Fortunately, growing up, my public library had a huge number of Naxos World Music LPs. Naxos was renowned for recording every type of music from every people in every location on the globe. I checked out several records each week and took daily exotic musical trips around the planet.

    All regions of Europe, Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, India, the Middle East, and many other places all have rich musical traditions in both art and folk music. The various ethnic/geographic populations of Europe produced a staggering and varied amount of folk music traditions.

    Sub-Saharan Africa? Not so much. Just grab any Naxos recording (YouTube?) of Sub-Saharan traditional music from any tribe or region and be astonished by how primitive it sounds, compared to any of the countries and regions listed above.

    As in technology, philosophy, literature, and mathematics, and much more, the African contribution to world musical culture, rounded to the nearest whole number, is Zero.

    (Before someone brings up Scott Joplin, Ellington, or jazz, or that mediocre Black Mozart character - I would ascribe their achievements to their proximity to Whites and their music - no Black Debussy sprung up in the Congo in the late 19th Century - and no Joplin or Ellington either.)

    Replies: @3g4me

    @118 Charles St. Charles: This. I have never been a big Beethovan/romantic music afficionado, but I adore early European music – which is far more than Gregorian chants, lovely as they are. Listen to the Kynge’s Music, court music played on original instruments. I think the hackbutt is terrific. Henry the VIII wrote some nice songs. Early chamber music. Mozart sonnets for lute and harpsichord.

    Blacks are wrongly credited with jazz, when its inspiration was the folk songs of the Scotts-Irish they lived amongst and all of the instruments used were created by Whites. Even drums – the Africans never moved past the basics. Their music is as primitive as everything else about them.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @3g4me

    You are right on the money regarding Scotts-Irish music and Jazz, however the claim that their creations are primative is absurd which reveals that you are not familiar with ANY of the black musical innovators : Parker, Coltrane,Wes, Miles, etc, who's contributions to musical history are far from primative.
    AJM

  206. NO. Just no. And no to Barbra singing “Auf dem Wasser zu singen” or any other Schubert. Ditto Jessye Norman.

    It’s not enough to have an (arguably) “good voice”. Schubert’s Lieder–all Lieder, really–have very specific vocal requirements. Voices suited to other genres, from pop to folk to opera, are not usually suited to Lieder. I wish they’d just stop.

  207. After 200 comments, I’m late to this party, but the best athlete in my high school was Rick Sutcliffe. Starting Quarterback on the football team, Center on the Basketball team, and Number 1 pitcher on the baseball team.

    • Replies: @Dube
    @Jimbo in OPKS

    Who played clarinet?

    Replies: @Jimbo in OPKS

  208. @Verymuchalive
    @James Braxton


    While great composers are overwhelmingly white, they are also overwhelmingly of earlier eras.
     
    Can you name any great composers who were non-white. Also, there are no great composers around now, at all.
    The last major classical composer - indeed the last classical composer ever - was Joaquin Rodrigo ( 1901-99 ). Famous for his guitar concerti, he also produced excellent concerti for harp, flute, cello and piano and choral work. He was still producing high quality works into the 1980s!
    However, nearly all classical composition had stopped by the 1930s - when Rodrigo was just beginning ! The Great Tradition had died. What we got thereafter was post-classicism and ultimately the likes of Messiaen and Stockhausen. This is classical music in name only.
    Yes, you're right: White people ain't what they used to be.

    Replies: @Lace, @James O'Meara, @Chrisnonymous, @Jimbo in OPKS

    I’m not sure I agree that there are no great composers around now, but I am familiar with the argument.

    One of the most heated discussions I ever had with my late ex-Mother-In-Law (much nicer than her spawn) was whether Philip Glass was a great composer. I’m definitely in the yes category. She wasn’t. It went downhill from there.

  209. @Not Raul
    I’m surprised that Franz Lehár was so high on the list. I had never heard of him.

    Beethoven was Black. Keep repeating that, and his music might not get canceled.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Kolya Krassotkin, @Old Palo Altan

    Never heard of Lehar? Well, you’ve a treat in store: one of the allerbeste tunesmiths.

    Start with The Land of Smiles.

    • Thanks: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Old Palo Altan

    Onkl Adi's favorite. More than Wagner.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    , @Not Raul
    @Old Palo Altan

    Thank you. I’ll look in to it.

    I looked up “the Merry Widow”, and as it turns out, I was familiar with the tune that came up first, and it’s just that I hadn’t known its origin. Great stuff!

    , @Lace
    @Old Palo Altan

    An amusing anecdote about Lehar, especially for this thread concerning the 'above average composer Beethoven' is from the 70s, when George Balanchine was choreographing to Lehar, and was being a bit toffee-nosed: He said "Between Lehar and Beethoven, I prefer Lehar; he interesting, less boring". Ballet dancers do often have different tastes in music, although they often overlap--as with Tchaikowsky's great scores for Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake (as well as his Symphony No. 3, from which he made Diamonds on Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d'Amboise for Jewels in the 60s). They often had these very 'tinkly', silly-sounding composers like Minkus for Don Quixote and Adolphe Adam for Giselle. Beethoven would usually be a bit too heavy for most choreographers, although NYCBallet does now have Klavier in their repertory, which is the 2nd movement of Beethoven's enormous Hammerklavier, Op. 106, and is choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Balanchine was just indulging in a bit of snobbery, although he'd used Lehar along with the Strausses to great effect in his great 1977 ballet Vienna Waltzes.

    Replies: @CBTerry

  210. @Lace
    @slumber_j

    Schubert wrote some operas, but none of them are well-known. Schumann wrote one Genoveva, which I've never heard either.

    Replies: @baythoven, @slumber_j

    I don’t think I knew that. Thanks: I’ll look into them.

    • Thanks: slumber_j
    • Replies: @baythoven
    @slumber_j

    I hope this isn't presumptuous butting in, but I want to say...

    Forget the Schubert operas and explore other song composers. If opera doesn't appeal to you, that's fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms. And then to earlier songwriting. Wolfgang Holzmair has put out a really wonderful album of songs by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

    Replies: @Kylie

  211. @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    "Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too."

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year's Day to start the year out right:

    https://youtu.be/lcr1LUAYXYY

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Uncle Dan, @slumber_j, @AceDeuce

    Yeah, that’s great. Thanks.

    I really love Cheryl Studer’s interpretation of Im Frühling. Sorry, I don’t seem to be able to get this to start at the beginning, but it’s the first one on this record:

    • Thanks: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    Very nice! Like Hans Hotter, she avoids the mistake so many singers with powerful voices make--failing to pull back enough. I always feel less is more in Lieder singing.

    By the way, I found this as a single video on the "liederoperagreats" channel. This person posts a marvelous selection of works.

  212. @slumber_j
    @Kylie

    Yeah, that's great. Thanks.

    I really love Cheryl Studer's interpretation of Im Frühling. Sorry, I don't seem to be able to get this to start at the beginning, but it's the first one on this record:

    https://youtu.be/mx5wvA5RR1Q?list=RDmx5wvA5RR1Q

    Replies: @Kylie

    Very nice! Like Hans Hotter, she avoids the mistake so many singers with powerful voices make–failing to pull back enough. I always feel less is more in Lieder singing.

    By the way, I found this as a single video on the “liederoperagreats” channel. This person posts a marvelous selection of works.

  213. @Uncle Dan
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Mozart was Austrian.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    ” Mozart was Austrian”

    Nope he was indeed German, and quoted as refering to himself a an “Armer Teutscher”.

    At the time of his birth Austria did not exist per se’, and Germany was nothing but a conglomerate of minor kingdoms of which Salzburg being one of them.

    AJM

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Disagree: Lace
  214. Anon[205] • Disclaimer says:
    @martin_2
    @Anon

    Exactly.Which is why we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts on the radio. Beethoven's sixth, Bruch's violin concerto, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, etcetera. I much prefer something a bit more modern and exciting like Janacek or Scriabin or Lutoslawski or Messiaen. If they play Bartok its always the bloody Concerto for Orchestra. Someone told me once its all about bums on seats, and if prospective concert goers see "Beethoven" or "Mozart" on the bill they know what to expect.

    Its funny how I know that Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, are the greatest composers but I never listen to them.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Uncle Dan, @Anon

    we hear the same old stuff over and over again in live concerts

    Our local concert hall has a wonderful pipe organ … which probably cost a zillion dollars and ends up being only used for Bach performances. One night, during a concert organized by the local music conservatory, the organ instructor came out and played Serenade by Derek Bourgeois. Here’s a pipe organ performance of it by another guy on YouTube:

    Wow! That really woke me up. What a crazy song. Parts of it sound like mistakes that the organist then recovers from, but that’s because of the nutty time signature, which I believe alternates between 11/8 and 13/8.

  215. “Decomposing Composers”

  216. @Old Palo Altan
    @Not Raul

    Never heard of Lehar? Well, you've a treat in store: one of the allerbeste tunesmiths.

    Start with The Land of Smiles.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Not Raul, @Lace

    Onkl Adi’s favorite. More than Wagner.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I prefer to put it differently: Adolf Hiter was a quintessential Austrian, and for that side of his character, Lehar was the perfect accompaniment for relaxation and Viennese schwärmerei.

    But he was also, from the age of twelve, a committed and deeply knowledgeable member of the Wagner cult. He know his Wagner backwards and forwards (consult Winifred Wagner's reminiscences if you doubt me) and turned to him in moments of deep emotion, as, for example, when returning from the Rhineland after successfully wresting it from the French in 1936. On that occasion only Parsifal would do.

  217. @Lace
    @James Braxton

    Beethoven was as great as it gets, but no greater then predecessors like Bach and Mozart and successors like Wagner. Anybody saying 'Beethoven was an above-average composer' makes me wonder what the fuck planet this is anymore. They were all WHITE, so blacks don't play them. I'm been a classical pianist and musician all my life--and I'm not talking about an 'unknown musician', but this talk is enough to make anyone sick. That's not even including Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and in the 20th c. (where the emphasis can finally be a little on black composers like Ellington, but not classical ones of great importance) Xenakis, Boulez, Schoenberg, and before them Debussy and Ravel and Faure. I haven't read anything that's made me think people are this stupid since the books that had 'nigger' in the fucking dialogues banned. Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do NOT have Bach or Ravel.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    “Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do not have Bach or Ravel”

    Sir or Madame, I will not go into a diatribe regarding your tin ears, however be advised of this FACT:

    Bird’s (Charlie Parker’s) lines, when scrutanized and disected, aside from the aestethic value inherent, most certainly match and equal the melodic inventions of one JSB, WAM, LVB, Ravel, period.

    AJM “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz performer of fifty years plus.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Authenticjazzman

    I didn't say they didn't 'match or equal', you idiot. I said Bach and Ravel, etc,. are WHITE and Ella and Dionne, etc., are BLACK. Although it's not pertinent, the two lady singers happen to be my favourite black female singers, so it's your fucking READING COMPREHENSION that needs work. I'm not going to waste another word on someone so half-literate.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

  218. @martin_2
    At least we British can take pride in having the world's worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Etruscan Film Star, @vinteuil

    Vaughan Williams was a somewhat on-again, off-again composer but his best work (such as Symphonies 3 and 5) is deeply moving.

    How can you be British and not appreciate Bax? Are you one of those new “British” from Africa?

    Havergal Brian, for all his eccentricity, wrote much that is interesting.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Etruscan Film Star

    There are lots of great English composers, not just going back to Purcell, or even further back to Byrd and Tallis. There are Vaughan Williams, Sir Michael Tippett, Benjamin Britten, Richard Rodney Bennett (more for movie scores, I guess--and Carl Davis for the glamorized TV things), main problem was dry periods with classical having mostly composers like Boyce and partial claim for Handel, but they don't quite manage to claim him. Definitely doesn't compare to France and Germany, or Italy either, just for the opera.

  219. @3g4me
    @Charles St. Charles

    @118 Charles St. Charles: This. I have never been a big Beethovan/romantic music afficionado, but I adore early European music - which is far more than Gregorian chants, lovely as they are. Listen to the Kynge's Music, court music played on original instruments. I think the hackbutt is terrific. Henry the VIII wrote some nice songs. Early chamber music. Mozart sonnets for lute and harpsichord.

    Blacks are wrongly credited with jazz, when its inspiration was the folk songs of the Scotts-Irish they lived amongst and all of the instruments used were created by Whites. Even drums - the Africans never moved past the basics. Their music is as primitive as everything else about them.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    You are right on the money regarding Scotts-Irish music and Jazz, however the claim that their creations are primative is absurd which reveals that you are not familiar with ANY of the black musical innovators : Parker, Coltrane,Wes, Miles, etc, who’s contributions to musical history are far from primative.
    AJM

  220. @Uncle Dan
    @martin_2

    There’s a lot more to Beethoven than the symphonies. Have you listened to the quartets, op 59? Really beautiful.

    Replies: @martin_2

    Funnily enough I decided just today to once again listen through the complete set of string quartets that I’ve got on vinyl by the Italian Quartet and have played number one already. I am familiar with them but I don’t think the Grosse Fugue works and they should play the movement that Beethoven replaced it with.

  221. Alex Ross’ piece in The New Yorker is a perfect example of the socialist worldview. All individuals and groups are equal in capacity, so if some do better than others it can only be because of oppression.

    Doing something great thereby becomes “proof” that you are an oppressor.

    This worldview was simply created to excuse mass theft to bribe the voters. But while it worked on some illiterate peasants coming to the cities to work in the factories, workers increasingly turned against it. It worked on the criminals and those who want a lifetime of welfare parasitism, but their votes aren’t enough.

    And so the Left had to import immigrants, and create new groups of voters, like feminists and homosexuals.

    The normal worldview is of course the conservative, nationalist, fascist one: That success is a sign of your hard work and good genes. Whether we are talking about individuals or groups.

    People love to come up with new “-isms” and “third ways in politics”, but in reality there are only these two ideologies. Normalcy and the attack on normalcy.

  222. @Christopher Chantrill
    Look, why not just be happy with jazz? It's a stunning, and black, contribution to the world's music. Whites even invented a pale imitation: swing.

    Replies: @Malcolm Y, @sayless

    Jazz, won’t work for me. Affects me like a neurotoxin, I absolutely hate it. Even the name. Rap is more tolerable.

    No offense intended, Authentic Jazzman–truly.

  223. @Whitehall
    I've sampled widely in the music of the various cultures, and the only one that can compare in complexity and subtlety is High Indian exemplified by Ravi Shankar (Nora Jones' baby daddy.)

    Of course the people who brought ragas to India are Aryan so they get defenestrated too.

    As to "hillbillies" mixing in with sitar players, how about Ry Cooder, an oft-times banjo player from LA, who had worked with Bill Monroe, playing with V. M. Blatt on "A Meeting by the River" on the Water Lily label?

    One of my favorite classical music experiences was hearing Borodin's String Quartet #2 at the Seoul Art Center and discussing Beethoven's string quartets with a Korean gentleman afterwards - he was a fan of the late period which I can't fathom. Our conversation impressed my date though!

    As to programming of the major symphonies, I've long noticed that the San Francisco Symphony always had a crowd-pleaser as headliner but stick some unlistenable "eat your vegetables" stuff in the middle of the program.

    Replies: @martin_2

    Indian music can be really good. It is the only art music that I can listen to apart from Western Classical music. Chinese music is awful. The Indians have therefore not really taken much interest in Western music, but unsurprisingly the Chinese have.

    (It starts a bit slow.)

    • Replies: @Lace
    @martin_2

    Definitely agree. I'm most familiar with South Indian music, but have heard some North Indian. Much more South Indian, because I used to be a huge fan (and still am, just haven't had a chance to go for awhile) of Bharatya Natyam dance. There used to be frequent performances of this South Indian dance, which, with a dancer such as the great Viti Prakesh, is totally mesmerizing and otherworldly. Yesterday, I met a girl at the pharmacy who is from Central India, but said she didn't know so much about dance there, but her dream was to go to Pondicherry of Indian 'beauty spots'. I'm sure I would too, but Goa especially.

    Borough of Manhattan Community College, through World Music Institute, had a glorious concert of South Indian music in their auditorium some 25 years ago that I went to. Those magical instruments like the vina, the drone going at all times. Beautiful stuff. I studied some of the theory, and was especially interested in the srutis, which are (I believe) the 3 levels of pitch within one pitch on the Western diatonic scale. The American composer Harry Partch built some instruments to play these 'inner pitches' and quarter-tones, and that was quite a rich experience too. Dean Drummond used to own the Partch instruments, and sadly passed away about 3 years ago.

    But Indian music can be literally hypnotic. I'd also recommend Vietnamese of Eastern musics, and you might change your mind about Chinese if you see a performance of Peking opera, even it sounds like cats 'meowing'. I loved it, and there's also the movie Farewell, My Concubine that is about Peking Opera.

  224. @slumber_j
    @Lace

    I don't think I knew that. Thanks: I'll look into them.

    Replies: @baythoven

    I hope this isn’t presumptuous butting in, but I want to say…

    Forget the Schubert operas and explore other song composers. If opera doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms. And then to earlier songwriting. Wolfgang Holzmair has put out a really wonderful album of songs by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

    • Thanks: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @baythoven

    "If opera doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms."

    Yes! In fact, it was Brahms's "Lerchengesang" that made me determined to learn the German texts of my favorite Lieder and their English translations. I had to know what words prompted Brahms to compose such an exquisite melody. I am so glad I did. It's not hard to memorize the texts and their translations and it's so rewarding.

    Replies: @baythoven

  225. Good thing is anyone can, if she wishes, listen to whatever she likes. And explore things. For instance, that’s what is thought to be ancient Greek music- however different it may sound:

    Or, jump to the last great figure of classical Antiquity …

    On the other hand, when I want something different:

    or, preferably:

  226. @Authenticjazzman
    @Lace

    "Black people have JAZZ and blues and Ella and Dionne, but they do not have Bach or Ravel"

    Sir or Madame, I will not go into a diatribe regarding your tin ears, however be advised of this FACT:

    Bird's (Charlie Parker's) lines, when scrutanized and disected, aside from the aestethic value inherent, most certainly match and equal the melodic inventions of one JSB, WAM, LVB, Ravel, period.

    AJM "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz performer of fifty years plus.

    Replies: @Lace

    I didn’t say they didn’t ‘match or equal’, you idiot. I said Bach and Ravel, etc,. are WHITE and Ella and Dionne, etc., are BLACK. Although it’s not pertinent, the two lady singers happen to be my favourite black female singers, so it’s your fucking READING COMPREHENSION that needs work. I’m not going to waste another word on someone so half-literate.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @Lace

    "half -literate" : Yeah this half literate just happens to speak German, Italian and English fluently, while being a conservatory-trained musician : classical flute performance, Bach, WAM, Teleman, Debussey, etc.

    Plus being qualified for Mensa since the seventies, and an active pro jazz performer (winds) for fifty years.

    Mark Twain : Argue with a fool (you) what do you get : Two fools.

    Have a nice day you fucking no-count cretin.

    AJM

    Replies: @Lace

  227. @Verymuchalive
    @Lace

    You're in a very,very small minority. This is not the view of concertgoers, like myself, music graduates or the musicians themselves. Any serious historian would dismiss your ignorant assertions.
    It is revealing that you consider Boulez to be a great composer. He was a minor composer who used his control of the French State Subsidy machine to promote himself and his works. Since his death, his works have been almost entirely forgotten.

    Replies: @Lace

    I am NOT. Musicians like ME know Boulez, and how dare you call those ‘ignorant assertions’. I played the Boulez 2nd Piano Sonata at the Juilliard Contemporary Music Festival in the 80s. There is no way he’s a minor composer. You just don’t know shit. I’m sure you’ve never heard any Xenakis. Please don’t–it might damage the music. ‘Pithoprakta’ was choreographed by George Balanchine for Suzanne Farell. Ever hear of those ‘obscure names’?

  228. Dear 3 Cranes,

    You rely on Descartes, but jam in Mr.Ewell/Mr. Feagin/Mr. Ross’s idea of a window frame floating in the ether AND then introduce the very concept of the Devil (Which is neither the focus of Descartes “Meditationes de Prima Philosophia, in qua Dei existentia et animæ immortalitas demonstratur” ). I do not enjoy or logically agree with these conclusions of yours.

    In fact, my interpretation of the article written by Steve Sailer is a critique of other articles paired with an excellent historical background of composers & topped off with some statistics. In fact one particular part of the article struck me : “They cannot help themselves”, just as I cannot restraint myself from replying to your comment.

  229. @James O'Meara
    @Verymuchalive

    "Messiaen ... is classical music in name only."

    Dude, that is old school harsh.

    Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin, @Verymuchalive, @Lace

    Yes, it’s ‘little old lady’ talk.

  230. Seoul Symphony Orchestra in April, keeping Beethoven alive, even during the China Flu.

    No chance of “black scholars” challenging the inherent “White Supremacy” of classical music in Seoul. Other than those temporarily assigned there with US Forces, there are virtually no blacks in Korea.

    Drunken, rude, violent off-duty black serviceman remind the Koreans regularly that they are just fine without blacks. From this past 4th of July, during the China Flu:

    Way to represent, Fellas.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Charles St. Charles

    From a church choir in Seoul, South Korea, my favorite rendition of the "Hallelujah" from Beethoven's Mount of Olives oratorio:

    https://youtu.be/k_Xd6lqLzqQ

  231. @Steve Sailer
    @Not Raul

    "Merry Widow" -- I went with the broad definition, leaving out only musicals like West Side Story put on by opera companies.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    There is a 2014 production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn that is quite good. I am hoping it comes back on the Met’s weekly streams.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Jim Don Bob

    This is indeed very good. PBS had it as a 'Great Performances' a few years ago with Fleming, but I don't know if the rest of the cast was the same. Kelli O'Hara, usually on B'way, was also in it, and excellent.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Jimbo in OPKS
    @Jim Don Bob

    Saw her in recital at Santa Fe Opera in 2019, Thought she would be blown away by the wind that came up but, she persevered. I’ve also seen her in Kansas City, but Santa Fe is always special.

  232. @Jimbo in OPKS
    After 200 comments, I’m late to this party, but the best athlete in my high school was Rick Sutcliffe. Starting Quarterback on the football team, Center on the Basketball team, and Number 1 pitcher on the baseball team.

    Replies: @Dube

    Who played clarinet?

    • Replies: @Jimbo in OPKS
    @Dube

    Rex, Sharon, and Pam. Karen came a year after me. We dated. She said I should have played clarinet because her teacher said clarinet players were the best French kissers.

  233. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Old Palo Altan

    Onkl Adi's favorite. More than Wagner.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    I prefer to put it differently: Adolf Hiter was a quintessential Austrian, and for that side of his character, Lehar was the perfect accompaniment for relaxation and Viennese schwärmerei.

    But he was also, from the age of twelve, a committed and deeply knowledgeable member of the Wagner cult. He know his Wagner backwards and forwards (consult Winifred Wagner’s reminiscences if you doubt me) and turned to him in moments of deep emotion, as, for example, when returning from the Rhineland after successfully wresting it from the French in 1936. On that occasion only Parsifal would do.

  234. A long time classical music radio programmer, a man I know, says anybody can do it. Just (1) select for the instrument instead of the composer; (2) vary the instruments. The orchestra is an instrument, as is the voice, the ensemble. Tend for as few instruments as possible for more musical experience through the usual speakers, and for wider receptiveness among inexperienced listeners; the virtuosity of the instrumentalist communicates directly. He likes to sequence in order of time, allowing development to explain itself. For languages, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t, or keep a straight face. Do the shift and save the world as best you can; the composers never knew they were writing for people jumping in and out of automobiles.

  235. @Herzog
    @Scott in PA

    Okay, I assume Wagner really had unfriendly thoughts about Jews, as everybody says. So, what about it? Perhaps some Poles of his times had unfriendly thoughts about the Russians, or the Lithuanians, or, heaven forbid, the Germans? Maybe some Italians didn't like the French, or some Iranians didn't appreciate Turkmens too much? It's not entirely unheard of that Fulani didn't like Igbo either.

    Is everybody under an obligation to like each other, all the time? Rumor even has it that's still not the case today, even though I have a hard time believing it.

    As long as Wagner didn't call for repression of the Jews, let alone outright for violence against them, why should it have been verboten for him to lack fondness for them as a group?

    Replies: @vinteuil

    I assume Wagner really had unfriendly thoughts about Jews…

    Like any reasonably intelligent and observant gentile, Wagner had complicated – dare I even say, nuanced – views about The Chosen People. On the one hand, he was friendly with, and promoted the careers of, various Jewish performers whose talent he recognized and admired. On the other hand, he could veer into frank anti-Semitism in ways that shocked and alienated his young friend Friedrich Nietzsche.

    His notorious essay “Das Judenthum in der Musik” (“Jewishness in Music”) is actually kind of interesting to read – far from the looney rant that one might expect. Unfortunately, the only easily available English translation, by a certain William Ashton Ellis, is all but unreadable.

  236. @theMann
    @vinteuil

    I consider Nozze De Figaro, Die Zauberflote, Carmen, Boris Godunov, and La Traviata to be equals.

    Don Giovanni surpasses them all.

    Replies: @vinteuil

    Don Giovanni surpasses them all.

    I’ve often quoted, and agreed with, Kierkegaard’s dictum that it is with Don Giovanni that Mozart not only joins the company of the immortals, but becomes first among them.

    And, if you catch me on just the right day, in just the right mood, I’ll be naming as greatest any of the others you mention – to say nothing of Tristan, or Meistersinger, or even, God help me, Così – which shares with Carmen & Don Giovanni a clear-eyed view of the relations between the sexes.

  237. @utu
    @Pincher Martin

    Handel in Barry Lyndon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RahYPd-i8k

    Replies: @Sparkon

    I‘m not a big fan of Handel. That selection from Barry Lyndon is morose, plodding, and repetitive, without any verve or sparkle, but it is better than opera, which I can’t stand.

    Compare that to Haydn’s No. 39 I posted above, Vivaldi’s concertos for guitar and strings, and of course Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.

    • Replies: @Charles St. Charles
    @Sparkon


    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.
     
    Amen.

    Replies: @Dube

    , @Lace
    @Sparkon

    Haydn's Op. 33 string quartets of 1781 inspired Mozart's 'Haydn Quartets', op. 10, of 1782-1785. Both 6 are inspired and glorious, as are the last symphonies of both. I just recently discovered them, and listened to one by Haydn followed by one by Mozart, but I don't think they correspond quite like that. But these are worth listening to over and over. Some of Haydn's symphonies I would find indistinquishable from Mozart were I not to know beforehand, although I think Mozart's seem a little more sensual, although both are the epitome of refinement.

    They were good friends, too, and often played chamber music together. After Mozart's death, Haydn taught his sons, and later he also taught Beethoven.

    Once in a great while Haydn's operas are revived, usually by small companies, although I think NYCOpera did some way back in the 60s before I got here. But that is one form he was surely good at, but where the works did not become popular as did Mozart's celestial operas.

    But, speaking of friendships, although Salieri and Mozart were more competitive and less friendly than Mozart and Haydn, Amadeus is a complete travesty and falsification. All scholars know it, and Peter Gay's bio of Mozart articulates it perfectly. Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It's a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly. The film is often in lists of 'greatest films ever made', when it is totally false: Salieri and Mozart were respectful of each other and Salieri conducted Mozart works after Mozart died, as well as tuturing Mozart's son Franz. And yet non-musicians and scholars were treated to this hugely false film. Mozart's life was dramatic enough, but THIS is the film that ought to get 'historical context' more than Gone With the Wind. They'll get to all of D.W. Griffith's films soon enough. Unbelievably stupid--like banning To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn because words necessary for dialogues might offend delicate black souls (not other POC, Hispanics, you'll notice are hardly even marginal in the murderous rampage of BLM.)

    I want to get time to listen to some of Haydn's operas, and think I did hear one once. Bound to be good. I don't think his piano sonatas are quite as great as Mozart's, and he quit writing for the piano after a time because he was not a really great pianist himself.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Pincher Martin, @Etruscan Film Star

  238. @Old Palo Altan
    @Not Raul

    Never heard of Lehar? Well, you've a treat in store: one of the allerbeste tunesmiths.

    Start with The Land of Smiles.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Not Raul, @Lace

    Thank you. I’ll look in to it.

    I looked up “the Merry Widow”, and as it turns out, I was familiar with the tune that came up first, and it’s just that I hadn’t known its origin. Great stuff!

  239. @Lace
    @vinteuil

    No, it's like La Boheme, great but also the two most popular. There are operas by Verdi and Wagner that are objectively greater, and certainly Mozart's Don Giovanni. I love Carmen, except she turns out to not be a terribly sympathetic heroine. Prefer Tosca.

    Replies: @vinteuil

    [Carmen is] like La Boheme…

    It sure is. Short, dramatically gripping, & stuffed with great tunes.

    I love Carmen, except she turns out to not be a terribly sympathetic heroine.

    She is the very devil. But sexy as hell.

  240. @theMann
    "The Met has yet to present an opera by a Black composer"
    If that is true then they have never put on Treemonisha, which does seem like an oversight, particularly given all the 2oth century monstrosities they do perform.



    The OperaBase list of performance frequency is rather interesting, and I wonder if it includes performances in Russia. I suspect not, Russians love their Opera, and especially their Russian Operas. I am also surprised to see so many French composers so far down the list. I get that Berlioz is not easy to put on, but a lot of French language operas are popular enough that they should be performed more often. I suspect that there is a real language barrier - it is expected that every singer and Opera Troupe does Italian and German, but French, and especially Russian, present some obstacles.


    Unfortunately, the ugly reality of CoronaFraud is threatening the livelihoods of Musicians just as much as it is Restaurateurs and Gym owners. Every music venue has a pressing need to worry about surviving as a business, which would, I think, dwarf all other concerns.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Steve Sailer, @James O'Meara, @Aardvark

    Back in the 16th, 17th, 18th century etc., classical music and opera was a European creation and hence of white people. If the Met wants to put on an opera by someone black, they will be a contemporary composer.

    In my experience, opera houses and orchestras have had to foist the contemporary composer on their unwilling patrons by squeezing it in between two likable pieces because no one wants to listen to some abomination that sounds like a cacophony of random noises.

  241. Write good music, get audience appreciation. Its ALWAYS been that way. Indeed, classical music was invented and furthered by white musicians. Are we to believe that white rappers get a fair shake among that crowd? Other than applauding them for lowering their musical skills to that level?

  242. @Etruscan Film Star
    @martin_2

    Vaughan Williams was a somewhat on-again, off-again composer but his best work (such as Symphonies 3 and 5) is deeply moving.

    How can you be British and not appreciate Bax? Are you one of those new "British" from Africa?

    Havergal Brian, for all his eccentricity, wrote much that is interesting.

    Replies: @Lace

    There are lots of great English composers, not just going back to Purcell, or even further back to Byrd and Tallis. There are Vaughan Williams, Sir Michael Tippett, Benjamin Britten, Richard Rodney Bennett (more for movie scores, I guess–and Carl Davis for the glamorized TV things), main problem was dry periods with classical having mostly composers like Boyce and partial claim for Handel, but they don’t quite manage to claim him. Definitely doesn’t compare to France and Germany, or Italy either, just for the opera.

  243. @Jim Don Bob
    @Steve Sailer

    There is a 2014 production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn that is quite good. I am hoping it comes back on the Met's weekly streams.

    Replies: @Lace, @Jimbo in OPKS

    This is indeed very good. PBS had it as a ‘Great Performances’ a few years ago with Fleming, but I don’t know if the rest of the cast was the same. Kelli O’Hara, usually on B’way, was also in it, and excellent.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Lace

    That's the one with Kelli O'Hara. It was also choreographed by a woman from Broadway so it was kind of a blend between an opera and a musical. I wish I'd gone to see it.

  244. @theMann
    @Steve Sailer

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn't died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn't make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn't just Bizet and Berlioz.

    Replies: @Lace, @JerseyJeffersonian, @Jim Don Bob, @CBTerry

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet’s not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work.

    The Pearl Fishers first act has this, the most beautiful duet ever written.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Jim Don Bob

    Thanks for posting this, I probably would have never heard it. Beautiful indeed, Terfel magnificent. There are lots of beautiful duets, I guess my favourite will always be the Love Duet in Tosca, especially on the old album with Corelli and Price.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Kylie
    @Jim Don Bob

    https://youtu.be/5PYt2HlBuyI

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

  245. @baythoven
    @slumber_j

    I hope this isn't presumptuous butting in, but I want to say...

    Forget the Schubert operas and explore other song composers. If opera doesn't appeal to you, that's fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms. And then to earlier songwriting. Wolfgang Holzmair has put out a really wonderful album of songs by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “If opera doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms.”

    Yes! In fact, it was Brahms’s “Lerchengesang” that made me determined to learn the German texts of my favorite Lieder and their English translations. I had to know what words prompted Brahms to compose such an exquisite melody. I am so glad I did. It’s not hard to memorize the texts and their translations and it’s so rewarding.

    • Replies: @baythoven
    @Kylie

    "Lerchengesang" -- Oh, that's wonderful! And I didn't know it. Thank you!

    Replies: @Kylie

  246. @Charles St. Charles
    Seoul Symphony Orchestra in April, keeping Beethoven alive, even during the China Flu.

    https://youtu.be/dPn_uaOaj5g

    No chance of “black scholars” challenging the inherent “White Supremacy” of classical music in Seoul. Other than those temporarily assigned there with US Forces, there are virtually no blacks in Korea.

    Drunken, rude, violent off-duty black serviceman remind the Koreans regularly that they are just fine without blacks. From this past 4th of July, during the China Flu:

    https://youtu.be/oXdZtqSrJVg

    Way to represent, Fellas.

    Replies: @Kylie

    From a church choir in Seoul, South Korea, my favorite rendition of the “Hallelujah” from Beethoven’s Mount of Olives oratorio:

  247. @Sparkon
    @utu

    I'm not a big fan of Handel. That selection from Barry Lyndon is morose, plodding, and repetitive, without any verve or sparkle, but it is better than opera, which I can't stand.

    Compare that to Haydn's No. 39 I posted above, Vivaldi's concertos for guitar and strings, and of course Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.

    Replies: @Charles St. Charles, @Lace

    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.

    Amen.

    • Replies: @Dube
    @Charles St. Charles

    [Wiki]: James Webster summarizes Haydn's role in the history of classical music as follows: "He excelled in every musical genre. ... He is familiarly known as the 'father of the symphony' and could with greater justice be thus regarded for the string quartet; no other composer approaches his combination of productivity, quality and historical importance in these genres."

    Recommended: Alfred Brendel performing the Haydn Piano Sonatas.

  248. @Kylie
    @baythoven

    "If opera doesn’t appeal to you, that’s fine. But anyone who loves Schubert lieder really deserves to reward himself with much Schumann lieder as well. And also Brahms."

    Yes! In fact, it was Brahms's "Lerchengesang" that made me determined to learn the German texts of my favorite Lieder and their English translations. I had to know what words prompted Brahms to compose such an exquisite melody. I am so glad I did. It's not hard to memorize the texts and their translations and it's so rewarding.

    Replies: @baythoven

    “Lerchengesang” — Oh, that’s wonderful! And I didn’t know it. Thank you!

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @baythoven

    I'm so glad you like it! It changed everything for me.

  249. @baythoven
    @Kylie

    "Lerchengesang" -- Oh, that's wonderful! And I didn't know it. Thank you!

    Replies: @Kylie

    I’m so glad you like it! It changed everything for me.

  250. @Almost Missouri
    @AnotherDad

    https://imgur.com/nKhnEUD

    Replies: @ziggurat

    It’s like they’re having this conversation:

    Minority #1: The majority is so cruel.
    Minority #2: Yea, and they make it so difficult to be with them.

  251. @Charles St. Charles
    @Sparkon


    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.
     
    Amen.

    Replies: @Dube

    [Wiki]: James Webster summarizes Haydn’s role in the history of classical music as follows: “He excelled in every musical genre. … He is familiarly known as the ‘father of the symphony’ and could with greater justice be thus regarded for the string quartet; no other composer approaches his combination of productivity, quality and historical importance in these genres.”

    Recommended: Alfred Brendel performing the Haydn Piano Sonatas.

  252. ….And then they came for the music.

    • Agree: Lace
  253. @ThreeCranes
    "“the white racial frame”......has the special power of being invisible."

    And weightless, odorless and inaudible. Yet, paradoxically, it occupies space and endures through time. It has weight, impact. It can affect social relations, intervene in historical processes. It is as though the hand of God were at work. Or the Devil. Incarnate themselves but able to manipulate the corporeal realm.

    And, as Descartes argued, being God, and God being All, then he would not deceive us, inasmuch as He is All and not a part of All and the Truth is the Whole and not a Part, therefore, "the white racial frame" must be of that which is not of God, i.e. the Devil.

    Destroying the Devil is God's work. So for blacks to labor to eliminate "the white racial frame" is to do God's work here on Earth. Blacks are Noble Warriors serving the highest cause.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @SunBakedSuburb, @Richard B, @mn90403

    “the white racial frame” is to Wokeness as Dark Matter is to the Universe. Live without wokeness. It is not a beneficial or uplifting dogma.

    • Agree: Lace
  254. @Dr.C. Fhandrich
    You mean "whites", or White Americans? The distinction is important, for American whites are some of the dumbest and most unaware whites, among all the whites else where in the world. It was not always so. Whites have been victims of a slow and steady agenda to dumb them down. This was accomplished by Hollywood movies, U.S. major newspapers, television and the public school system, entities which left whites with more doubts then certainty about their whole identity and place in the very country that their various tribes created. Today, other whites in the Western Nations they created share their state of ignorance with American whites.. It's tragic, that cultures with so many things in common, should wind up so uncertain and riddled with so many doubts about their place in the world and all of the things they have achieved. Has any race fallen so low from the heights they once occupied??

    Replies: @bomag

    It’s tragic, that cultures with so many things in common, should wind up so uncertain and riddled with so many doubts about their place in the world and all of the things they have achieved.

    Uncertainty and doubt are traits that kept Whites striving for improvement. It served us well in the past; now that trait has been “hacked”, and we think improvement is giving things away to the Other.

  255. IMO, Mozart was not a composer. His talent was stenography. Fortunately, he was God’s stenographer.

    • Replies: @DrWatson
    @Buzz Baldrin


    IMO, Mozart was not a composer. His talent was stenography. Fortunately, he was God’s stenographer.
     
    An accomplished Hungarian organist, Xaver Varnus expressed similar sentiment when he claimed that Bach had a special USB connection to God. Shouldn't we (as in all of humanity) express gratitude for them rather than arguing petty-mindedly if any Black or whatever composer was better than these geniuses?
  256. @Lace
    @Authenticjazzman

    I didn't say they didn't 'match or equal', you idiot. I said Bach and Ravel, etc,. are WHITE and Ella and Dionne, etc., are BLACK. Although it's not pertinent, the two lady singers happen to be my favourite black female singers, so it's your fucking READING COMPREHENSION that needs work. I'm not going to waste another word on someone so half-literate.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    “half -literate” : Yeah this half literate just happens to speak German, Italian and English fluently, while being a conservatory-trained musician : classical flute performance, Bach, WAM, Teleman, Debussey, etc.

    Plus being qualified for Mensa since the seventies, and an active pro jazz performer (winds) for fifty years.

    Mark Twain : Argue with a fool (you) what do you get : Two fools.

    Have a nice day you fucking no-count cretin.

    AJM

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Authenticjazzman

    Ebonics as a first language is indeed a cross to bear: of Bird's 'lines', we see scrutanized [sic] disected [sic], aside from the aestethic [sic] value inherent plus today's 'Debussay' [sic] and 'Teleman' [sic].

    Anybody can boast of their marvelous qualities on the net, the 'Mensa' is especially laughable, especially if true due to affirmative action stemming directly from all that white supremacy which must be surely intrinsic to its standards by now.

    My deepest condolences to you on having ZERO white privilege. You'll find plenty of 'white allies' who'll bend over backward (or just bend over and offer a lot more) for you without getting a fucking wooden nickel from me. Bunch of grifters.

    You might consider that 'black silence = blessed silence', so why don't you try it. But you'd much rather riot and loot--now that you've done Chicago's Magnificent Mile, you may as well go on to trash Lincoln Center when you see an opening--interrupt a Bruckner Symphony with some Karaoke from James Brown--or even just grunts by Mike Tyson. Maybe at a yard sale you'll find a zither with only one broken string, or just a banjo or a harmonica would do you.

    BLM is a bunch of well-financed muggers as we all know, and now such are searching out (and appallingly, actually finding) spineless white allies like Alex Ross, who will agree with you about Bird's 'melodies' (that part is true and that part only), and probably would agree that Bach's fugues, cantatas, oratorio, English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni and Ravel's Gaspard, Daphnis et Chloe, and Le Tombeau de Couperin as well as Beethoven's 'above-average' compositions according to the esteemed Hunter College 'scholar' Ewell, are all just reeking of white supremacy--just like the pores of that love Robin D'Angelo, another one who acts like the extreme early Christian martyrs, in their competition to see who could suffer the most and die most painfully and glorious with guilt. I'm looking forward to Miss White Fragility's 'pores' (although she's not really White anyway) being banned more than I am 'above-average' composers like Beethoven, but I wouldn't put anything past any of this filthy Maoist-style movement.

    So now, do you still find "White silence = violence"? No, you don't. I'm not going to shut up. Some of us are taking this dingy race war seriously, and blacks finally getting around to trying to appropriate White Culture is so typical--you can't appropriate it or even steal it, so you would try to get it banned if you could, and your Soroses and the other billionaire manager-overlords will be just fine with your stupidity. You won't get away with it. You do not have the I.Q.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

  257. @utu
    @Joe Walker

    Maybe you are onto something. Think the Mahler phenomenon.


    https://floridaorchestra.org/why-would-anyone-mess-beethoven/
    So, why would anyone in their right mind mess with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the famed Eroica, one of the supreme creations of Western art, a work that simultaneously summarized a passing era and launched a new one? Why would someone tamper with such an iconic score?

    Well, somebody did, and The Florida Orchestra’s latest Masterworks program offers a seldom-performed version of the symphony by Gustav Mahler, the brilliant composer and conductor who died in 1911 in Vienna. Mahler believed Beethoven could use a little help from a friend, so he “retouched’’ not only the Third, but the Fifth, Seven and Ninth symphonies and the Coriolan Overture. But why fix what isn’t broken?

    Let’s look into Mahler’s logic. From the early 19th century, when Beethoven composed these works, to the dawn of the 20th century, lots had changed. Instruments improved, orchestras grew in size, and concert halls expanded to accommodate more people. Beethoven’s music, Mahler believed, needed to catch up with the times.

    In his own defense, Mahler explained that “this is in no way a case of re-instrumentation or alteration, let alone improvement of the work of Beethoven.’’ He said his views were less about arbitrary change than playing the music as Beethoven would have wanted had he lived 75 or 100 years later – with the formidable Vienna Philharmonic (or TFO) at his disposal.

     


    Why Has Mahler Become a Cultural Icon?
    https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2010/02/14/kevin-macdonald-why-is-mahler-so-popular/

    "The Mahler symphonies … get me out of here. I keep surreptitiously cheering Kingsley Amis’s verdict “Mahler lacks talent even more spectacularly than he lacks genius.” …"

     

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    There are a lot of people who think Mahler was a great composer, and maybe he is. I had to sing in the Resurrection Symphony in Aspen when I was 16, it was rather thrilling, but I haven't studied him closely through the years. 'Re-doing' the Beethoven symphonies does not sound more than just an interesting idiosyncrasy of Mahler himself, a step beyond students copying Raphaels and Rembrandts. Just thought I'd mention that something that was not trying to 'replace' the Beethoven Symphonies, Liszt did do this, and I played all of these in a summer master-class course with Nadia Boulanger in the early 70s. Glenn Gould recorded them (or some of them, I want to hear all of what Gould ever did), which I hadn't know, and I've heard the 7th Symphony thus far. I think Gould is one of the 2 or 3 greatest pianists ever to have lived (maybe Liszt himself being the other one), and he also did marvelous transcriptions of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and the fabulous Overture to Die Meistersinger, the latter of which actually really works on the piano (the 'Idyll' needs the lavishness of the strings.) You would enjoy these if you're a Gould fan--I'm a Gould maniac.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @reiner Tor

    , @vinteuil
    @reiner Tor


    Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.
     
    Nor do I. You'll have to ask Old Palo Altan.

    I really would be very interested in hearing Mahler's updated version of the Beethoven symphonies - if only I could hear him conducting them.

    , @CBTerry
    @reiner Tor

    For whatever reason Mahler never gets into my soul. After some testy exchanges on this website a year or so ago, I listened again to some Mahler and realized that, while I can respect his music, I will never adore it.

    I don't know why either, but after perusing this article I believe the answer may lie in my cortical wiring.

    https://www.arep.at/article/13091-mozart-sharpens-and-mahler-degrades-the-word-memory-trace

    At my age, my brain has too little plasticity left, so when it comes to long symphonies, I'll stick with the organist of St. Florian.

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @reiner Tor

    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.

    Along with the evidence my own ears, that's enough for me.

    Replies: @Sparkon, @vinteuil

    , @Yevardian
    @reiner Tor

    Mahler was primarily known as a conductor during his lifetime, I assume he just had an idiosyncratic interpretation of the concert notes, 'updating' is a bit strong.
    I think utu is (as usual) taking some minor nugget of factual information and going on some crazy tangent with it. I can't say he isn't one of the more 'interesting' commenters here, at least.

  258. @Authenticjazzman
    @Lace

    "half -literate" : Yeah this half literate just happens to speak German, Italian and English fluently, while being a conservatory-trained musician : classical flute performance, Bach, WAM, Teleman, Debussey, etc.

    Plus being qualified for Mensa since the seventies, and an active pro jazz performer (winds) for fifty years.

    Mark Twain : Argue with a fool (you) what do you get : Two fools.

    Have a nice day you fucking no-count cretin.

    AJM

    Replies: @Lace

    Ebonics as a first language is indeed a cross to bear: of Bird’s ‘lines’, we see scrutanized [sic] disected [sic], aside from the aestethic [sic] value inherent plus today’s ‘Debussay’ [sic] and ‘Teleman’ [sic].

    Anybody can boast of their marvelous qualities on the net, the ‘Mensa’ is especially laughable, especially if true due to affirmative action stemming directly from all that white supremacy which must be surely intrinsic to its standards by now.

    My deepest condolences to you on having ZERO white privilege. You’ll find plenty of ‘white allies’ who’ll bend over backward (or just bend over and offer a lot more) for you without getting a fucking wooden nickel from me. Bunch of grifters.

    You might consider that ‘black silence = blessed silence’, so why don’t you try it. But you’d much rather riot and loot–now that you’ve done Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, you may as well go on to trash Lincoln Center when you see an opening–interrupt a Bruckner Symphony with some Karaoke from James Brown–or even just grunts by Mike Tyson. Maybe at a yard sale you’ll find a zither with only one broken string, or just a banjo or a harmonica would do you.

    BLM is a bunch of well-financed muggers as we all know, and now such are searching out (and appallingly, actually finding) spineless white allies like Alex Ross, who will agree with you about Bird’s ‘melodies’ (that part is true and that part only), and probably would agree that Bach’s fugues, cantatas, oratorio, English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni and Ravel’s Gaspard, Daphnis et Chloe, and Le Tombeau de Couperin as well as Beethoven’s ‘above-average’ compositions according to the esteemed Hunter College ‘scholar’ Ewell, are all just reeking of white supremacy–just like the pores of that love Robin D’Angelo, another one who acts like the extreme early Christian martyrs, in their competition to see who could suffer the most and die most painfully and glorious with guilt. I’m looking forward to Miss White Fragility’s ‘pores’ (although she’s not really White anyway) being banned more than I am ‘above-average’ composers like Beethoven, but I wouldn’t put anything past any of this filthy Maoist-style movement.

    So now, do you still find “White silence = violence”? No, you don’t. I’m not going to shut up. Some of us are taking this dingy race war seriously, and blacks finally getting around to trying to appropriate White Culture is so typical–you can’t appropriate it or even steal it, so you would try to get it banned if you could, and your Soroses and the other billionaire manager-overlords will be just fine with your stupidity. You won’t get away with it. You do not have the I.Q.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
    @Lace

    " But you'd much rather riot and loot"

    I am not black you stupid asshole, and as far as music is concerned you are an abject clueless fool, someone who would merit the term we used to employ regarding charlatans such as yourself : Phoney.

    "You do not have the IQ", don't know about that as back in 1973, the Mensa folks accepted me into their ranks.

    AJM

    DT 2020

  259. @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

    There are a lot of people who think Mahler was a great composer, and maybe he is. I had to sing in the Resurrection Symphony in Aspen when I was 16, it was rather thrilling, but I haven’t studied him closely through the years. ‘Re-doing’ the Beethoven symphonies does not sound more than just an interesting idiosyncrasy of Mahler himself, a step beyond students copying Raphaels and Rembrandts. Just thought I’d mention that something that was not trying to ‘replace’ the Beethoven Symphonies, Liszt did do this, and I played all of these in a summer master-class course with Nadia Boulanger in the early 70s. Glenn Gould recorded them (or some of them, I want to hear all of what Gould ever did), which I hadn’t know, and I’ve heard the 7th Symphony thus far. I think Gould is one of the 2 or 3 greatest pianists ever to have lived (maybe Liszt himself being the other one), and he also did marvelous transcriptions of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and the fabulous Overture to Die Meistersinger, the latter of which actually really works on the piano (the ‘Idyll’ needs the lavishness of the strings.) You would enjoy these if you’re a Gould fan–I’m a Gould maniac.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @Lace

    Profession of Mahler was a mainly a conductor, but as an unusually controlling conductor, who has rescored composers for specific concerts that he is hired to conduct.

    For example, in New York, in 1909. he was hired to perform Bach in New York.

    So for this New York concert, Mahler rescored different works of Bach, to create a 4 movements' suite. It reminds a bit of the equivalent today of DJ making a "mixtape", and the suite moves from minor pieces to major - i.e. creating a happy finale for the concert.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2XC2tZGLmQ

    Replies: @Lace

    , @reiner Tor
    @Lace

    Liszt made piano versions of the Beethoven symphonies. It was needed at the time because symphonic orchestras were few and far between. In the absence of recordings, this was the only chance most people had of ever hearing the Beethoven symphonies.

    Replies: @Lace

  260. @martin_2
    At least we British can take pride in having the world's worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Etruscan Film Star, @vinteuil

    At least we British can take pride in having the world’s worst composers. Vaughan Williams, Bax, Havergal Brian.

    Shame on you.

    Vaughan Williams’ Tallis fantasia is simply astonishing in its beauty and originality. The third through sixth symphonies are all brilliant and wonderfully varied. After hearing Job for the first time, Bruno Walter approached the conductor, Adrian Boult, with the words: “but this is the most beautiful music ever written!” – &c &c &c.

    I really don’t understand why some people seem to feel an irresistible urge to trash this great modern composer, who also happens to be easily accessible to anybody who can enjoy Verdi or Brahms or Ravel, and who might well serve as a gateway drug (so to speak) leading on to an appreciation of slightly more challenging stuff by guys like Benjamin Britten.

    Bax & Brian are less consequential, but the idea that they should be numbered among “the world’s worst composers” is just asinine.

    I repeat: shame on you.

    • Agree: Lace, Etruscan Film Star
  261. @Jim Don Bob
    @theMann


    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet’s not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work.
     
    The Pearl Fishers first act has this, the most beautiful duet ever written.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV5zUa4zMnw

    Replies: @Lace, @Kylie

    Thanks for posting this, I probably would have never heard it. Beautiful indeed, Terfel magnificent. There are lots of beautiful duets, I guess my favourite will always be the Love Duet in Tosca, especially on the old album with Corelli and Price.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Lace

    There are 20 or so renditions of this on Youtube. This one is my favorite. I saw it live two years ago.

  262. @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

    Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Nor do I. You’ll have to ask Old Palo Altan.

    I really would be very interested in hearing Mahler’s updated version of the Beethoven symphonies – if only I could hear him conducting them.

  263. @theMann
    @Steve Sailer

    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work. So, yea, if Bizet hadn't died young. Also Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Bellini, Purcell, Gershwin. There are a lot of composers who didn't make it to age 40.

    People who ignore French music are missing Saint-Saens, Offenbach, Gounod, Massenet, and possibly the most underrated composer of all time, Boieldieu. Just for starters. It isn't just Bizet and Berlioz.

    Replies: @Lace, @JerseyJeffersonian, @Jim Don Bob, @CBTerry

    And of course Rameau, who succeeded and, I believe, surpassed Lully. Don’t confine yourself to just Rameau’s ballet-operas; here is the world’s greatest living pianist playing his keyboard music.

    And thanks for the suggestions; I will have to check out Boieldieu.

    When Sailer wrote: “Heck, the European classical heritage is so enormously rich that lots of music even by the immortals has been forgotten,” he scored a bullseye.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @CBTerry

    And don't forget Debussy's extraordinarily beautiful Hommage à Rameau The best performance I know is Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's. Wonderful Debussy wrote that, and Ravel gave us Le Tombeau de Couperin, one of the most perfect pieces ever written (sounds best in the orchestra, but can be lovely on the piano.)

  264. @JerseyJeffersonian
    @Mr. Anon

    One should not forget the great composers of the more distant past such as John Dunstable, John Browne, Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, John Dowland, and Henry Purcell, please, as well as the somewhat lesser lights from these times.

    Replies: @CBTerry

    Orlando Gibbons was Glenn Gould’s favorite composer.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @CBTerry

    He sometimes said that, and does play it sublimely, but there was not getting around that he thought of Bach of that "Great Architect of Sound".

  265. @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

    For whatever reason Mahler never gets into my soul. After some testy exchanges on this website a year or so ago, I listened again to some Mahler and realized that, while I can respect his music, I will never adore it.

    I don’t know why either, but after perusing this article I believe the answer may lie in my cortical wiring.

    https://www.arep.at/article/13091-mozart-sharpens-and-mahler-degrades-the-word-memory-trace

    At my age, my brain has too little plasticity left, so when it comes to long symphonies, I’ll stick with the organist of St. Florian.

  266. @CBTerry
    @JerseyJeffersonian

    Orlando Gibbons was Glenn Gould's favorite composer.

    Replies: @Lace

    He sometimes said that, and does play it sublimely, but there was not getting around that he thought of Bach of that “Great Architect of Sound”.

  267. @Sparkon
    @utu

    I'm not a big fan of Handel. That selection from Barry Lyndon is morose, plodding, and repetitive, without any verve or sparkle, but it is better than opera, which I can't stand.

    Compare that to Haydn's No. 39 I posted above, Vivaldi's concertos for guitar and strings, and of course Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

    Just on his sense and use of rhythm, Haydn rules. His symphonies are upbeat and exhilarating, with great melodic themes interspersed with new ideas throughout.

    Replies: @Charles St. Charles, @Lace

    Haydn’s Op. 33 string quartets of 1781 inspired Mozart’s ‘Haydn Quartets’, op. 10, of 1782-1785. Both 6 are inspired and glorious, as are the last symphonies of both. I just recently discovered them, and listened to one by Haydn followed by one by Mozart, but I don’t think they correspond quite like that. But these are worth listening to over and over. Some of Haydn’s symphonies I would find indistinquishable from Mozart were I not to know beforehand, although I think Mozart’s seem a little more sensual, although both are the epitome of refinement.

    They were good friends, too, and often played chamber music together. After Mozart’s death, Haydn taught his sons, and later he also taught Beethoven.

    Once in a great while Haydn’s operas are revived, usually by small companies, although I think NYCOpera did some way back in the 60s before I got here. But that is one form he was surely good at, but where the works did not become popular as did Mozart’s celestial operas.

    But, speaking of friendships, although Salieri and Mozart were more competitive and less friendly than Mozart and Haydn, Amadeus is a complete travesty and falsification. All scholars know it, and Peter Gay’s bio of Mozart articulates it perfectly. Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It’s a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly. The film is often in lists of ‘greatest films ever made’, when it is totally false: Salieri and Mozart were respectful of each other and Salieri conducted Mozart works after Mozart died, as well as tuturing Mozart’s son Franz. And yet non-musicians and scholars were treated to this hugely false film. Mozart’s life was dramatic enough, but THIS is the film that ought to get ‘historical context’ more than Gone With the Wind. They’ll get to all of D.W. Griffith’s films soon enough. Unbelievably stupid–like banning To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn because words necessary for dialogues might offend delicate black souls (not other POC, Hispanics, you’ll notice are hardly even marginal in the murderous rampage of BLM.)

    I want to get time to listen to some of Haydn’s operas, and think I did hear one once. Bound to be good. I don’t think his piano sonatas are quite as great as Mozart’s, and he quit writing for the piano after a time because he was not a really great pianist himself.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Lace

    "Amadeus" is more about the rivalry between the Schaeffer identical twins. Peter had devoted himself to playwrighting, while Anthony went off to make money in business. But then suddenly Anthony wrote an enormous hit play, "Sleuth."

    So Amadeus is about the frustration the harder working Peter (Salieri) felt toward his apparently more blessed identical twin (Mozart). I watched it recently and it was wonderfully entertaining, but I also noticed it was full of the kind of show biz razzmatazz that made Sleuth a big hit.

    Replies: @Lace

    , @Pincher Martin
    @Lace


    Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It’s a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly.
     
    Shaffer's awful cinematic history has prestigious antecedents. Alexander Pushkin, perhaps Russia's greatest writer, wrote a play in 1830 called Mozart and Salieri, which was the inspiration for Shaffer's movie script.

    Another great Russian artist, this time the composer Rimsky-Korsakov, would later write an opera based on the scurrilous rumor.

    So it's really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.

    Replies: @Lace

    , @Etruscan Film Star
    @Lace

    The reason why Haydn is less popular than Mozart among casual listeners is that there is no movie about Haydn.

    To me they are equally superlative -- using basically the same musical language, but with intriguing differences. Mozart's music strikes me as more "feminine," Haydn's as more "masculine." It's a subtle distinction; the only specific trait I can point to is that Haydn uses timpani more often in his orchestral scores.

    We all wish they could have continued their earthly creative lives forever, but that would deny them the joys of the Other Side that they earned.

  268. @CBTerry
    @theMann

    And of course Rameau, who succeeded and, I believe, surpassed Lully. Don't confine yourself to just Rameau's ballet-operas; here is the world's greatest living pianist playing his keyboard music.
    https://youtu.be/mLmbZJAjeoI

    And thanks for the suggestions; I will have to check out Boieldieu.

    When Sailer wrote: "Heck, the European classical heritage is so enormously rich that lots of music even by the immortals has been forgotten," he scored a bullseye.

    Replies: @Lace

    And don’t forget Debussy’s extraordinarily beautiful Hommage à Rameau The best performance I know is Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli’s. Wonderful Debussy wrote that, and Ravel gave us Le Tombeau de Couperin, one of the most perfect pieces ever written (sounds best in the orchestra, but can be lovely on the piano.)

  269. @Old Palo Altan
    @Not Raul

    Never heard of Lehar? Well, you've a treat in store: one of the allerbeste tunesmiths.

    Start with The Land of Smiles.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Not Raul, @Lace

    An amusing anecdote about Lehar, especially for this thread concerning the ‘above average composer Beethoven’ is from the 70s, when George Balanchine was choreographing to Lehar, and was being a bit toffee-nosed: He said “Between Lehar and Beethoven, I prefer Lehar; he interesting, less boring”. Ballet dancers do often have different tastes in music, although they often overlap–as with Tchaikowsky’s great scores for Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake (as well as his Symphony No. 3, from which he made Diamonds on Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d’Amboise for Jewels in the 60s). They often had these very ‘tinkly’, silly-sounding composers like Minkus for Don Quixote and Adolphe Adam for Giselle. Beethoven would usually be a bit too heavy for most choreographers, although NYCBallet does now have Klavier in their repertory, which is the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s enormous Hammerklavier, Op. 106, and is choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Balanchine was just indulging in a bit of snobbery, although he’d used Lehar along with the Strausses to great effect in his great 1977 ballet Vienna Waltzes.

    • Thanks: Not Raul
    • Replies: @CBTerry
    @Lace

    I admire Balanchine as a choreographer but the portrait that emerges from Gelsey Kirkland's autobiography is not pleasant: he demanded almost cult-like devotion from his dancers (for example, because Balanchine had bad-mouthed the Maryinksy, nobody except Kirkland went to see them during the NYC Ballet's Russian tour -- a stop where she met Baryshnikov) but more alarmingly he was ignorant of human physiology and kinsethetics, resulting in injuries to his dancers. And nobody could tell him anything.

    Interestingly Diaghilev also denigrated Beethoven, or so I read many years ago.

    You are definitely right about ballet composers / compositions. Indeed La Bayadere by Minkus is often considered the pinnacle of classical ballet. It is wonderful to watch, but the music is forgettable.

    Replies: @Lace

  270. @Jim Don Bob
    @Steve Sailer

    There is a 2014 production of The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn that is quite good. I am hoping it comes back on the Met's weekly streams.

    Replies: @Lace, @Jimbo in OPKS

    Saw her in recital at Santa Fe Opera in 2019, Thought she would be blown away by the wind that came up but, she persevered. I’ve also seen her in Kansas City, but Santa Fe is always special.

  271. @Dube
    @Jimbo in OPKS

    Who played clarinet?

    Replies: @Jimbo in OPKS

    Rex, Sharon, and Pam. Karen came a year after me. We dated. She said I should have played clarinet because her teacher said clarinet players were the best French kissers.

  272. @Lace
    @Jim Don Bob

    This is indeed very good. PBS had it as a 'Great Performances' a few years ago with Fleming, but I don't know if the rest of the cast was the same. Kelli O'Hara, usually on B'way, was also in it, and excellent.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    That’s the one with Kelli O’Hara. It was also choreographed by a woman from Broadway so it was kind of a blend between an opera and a musical. I wish I’d gone to see it.

  273. @Lace
    @Jim Don Bob

    Thanks for posting this, I probably would have never heard it. Beautiful indeed, Terfel magnificent. There are lots of beautiful duets, I guess my favourite will always be the Love Duet in Tosca, especially on the old album with Corelli and Price.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    There are 20 or so renditions of this on Youtube. This one is my favorite. I saw it live two years ago.

  274. @Lace
    @Sparkon

    Haydn's Op. 33 string quartets of 1781 inspired Mozart's 'Haydn Quartets', op. 10, of 1782-1785. Both 6 are inspired and glorious, as are the last symphonies of both. I just recently discovered them, and listened to one by Haydn followed by one by Mozart, but I don't think they correspond quite like that. But these are worth listening to over and over. Some of Haydn's symphonies I would find indistinquishable from Mozart were I not to know beforehand, although I think Mozart's seem a little more sensual, although both are the epitome of refinement.

    They were good friends, too, and often played chamber music together. After Mozart's death, Haydn taught his sons, and later he also taught Beethoven.

    Once in a great while Haydn's operas are revived, usually by small companies, although I think NYCOpera did some way back in the 60s before I got here. But that is one form he was surely good at, but where the works did not become popular as did Mozart's celestial operas.

    But, speaking of friendships, although Salieri and Mozart were more competitive and less friendly than Mozart and Haydn, Amadeus is a complete travesty and falsification. All scholars know it, and Peter Gay's bio of Mozart articulates it perfectly. Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It's a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly. The film is often in lists of 'greatest films ever made', when it is totally false: Salieri and Mozart were respectful of each other and Salieri conducted Mozart works after Mozart died, as well as tuturing Mozart's son Franz. And yet non-musicians and scholars were treated to this hugely false film. Mozart's life was dramatic enough, but THIS is the film that ought to get 'historical context' more than Gone With the Wind. They'll get to all of D.W. Griffith's films soon enough. Unbelievably stupid--like banning To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn because words necessary for dialogues might offend delicate black souls (not other POC, Hispanics, you'll notice are hardly even marginal in the murderous rampage of BLM.)

    I want to get time to listen to some of Haydn's operas, and think I did hear one once. Bound to be good. I don't think his piano sonatas are quite as great as Mozart's, and he quit writing for the piano after a time because he was not a really great pianist himself.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Pincher Martin, @Etruscan Film Star

    “Amadeus” is more about the rivalry between the Schaeffer identical twins. Peter had devoted himself to playwrighting, while Anthony went off to make money in business. But then suddenly Anthony wrote an enormous hit play, “Sleuth.”

    So Amadeus is about the frustration the harder working Peter (Salieri) felt toward his apparently more blessed identical twin (Mozart). I watched it recently and it was wonderfully entertaining, but I also noticed it was full of the kind of show biz razzmatazz that made Sleuth a big hit.

    • Thanks: Lace, CBTerry
    • Replies: @Lace
    @Steve Sailer

    If that isn't some unexpected 'historical context'. I'm quite taken aback. I'm sure I should have known this, but it still hasn't stopped all the gullible public from this hilarious 'identification' with the 'genius' instead of the 'mediocrity'. Except that it's seriously shameful, because hoards now think of this characterization as 'the real Mozart'...until maybe now, when it's not chic to 'have white privilege', so I can enjoy their further confusion.

    There must be so many more of these myths than we can possibly know, and sometimes even told among real professionals. One of my most important piano teachers told me that Glenn Gould "decided he had completed all the work he was put on earth to do, so simply decided it was over and promptly committed suicide"--when the fact was: He actually definitely died of a stroke after a severe headache, leaving the left side of his body paralyzed, and eventually leading to brain damage, at which point his father took him off life support (after a week.) Of course, he was one of the biggest hypochondriacs who ever lived, and popped more pills than any Hollywood actress ever even could imagine--Thorazine and anti-psychotics and anti-depressants and downs to balance out the other, but there's no way he thought he had "finished all he had to do musically". Anyway, I didn't respond to her, she'd already told me that the sports drink I brought in was "the same colour as Sam [her late husband]'s leukemia medicine"; that also required no response. Totally creepy, it's just she was a wizard with the fingers.

  275. @Lace
    @Sparkon

    Haydn's Op. 33 string quartets of 1781 inspired Mozart's 'Haydn Quartets', op. 10, of 1782-1785. Both 6 are inspired and glorious, as are the last symphonies of both. I just recently discovered them, and listened to one by Haydn followed by one by Mozart, but I don't think they correspond quite like that. But these are worth listening to over and over. Some of Haydn's symphonies I would find indistinquishable from Mozart were I not to know beforehand, although I think Mozart's seem a little more sensual, although both are the epitome of refinement.

    They were good friends, too, and often played chamber music together. After Mozart's death, Haydn taught his sons, and later he also taught Beethoven.

    Once in a great while Haydn's operas are revived, usually by small companies, although I think NYCOpera did some way back in the 60s before I got here. But that is one form he was surely good at, but where the works did not become popular as did Mozart's celestial operas.

    But, speaking of friendships, although Salieri and Mozart were more competitive and less friendly than Mozart and Haydn, Amadeus is a complete travesty and falsification. All scholars know it, and Peter Gay's bio of Mozart articulates it perfectly. Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It's a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly. The film is often in lists of 'greatest films ever made', when it is totally false: Salieri and Mozart were respectful of each other and Salieri conducted Mozart works after Mozart died, as well as tuturing Mozart's son Franz. And yet non-musicians and scholars were treated to this hugely false film. Mozart's life was dramatic enough, but THIS is the film that ought to get 'historical context' more than Gone With the Wind. They'll get to all of D.W. Griffith's films soon enough. Unbelievably stupid--like banning To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn because words necessary for dialogues might offend delicate black souls (not other POC, Hispanics, you'll notice are hardly even marginal in the murderous rampage of BLM.)

    I want to get time to listen to some of Haydn's operas, and think I did hear one once. Bound to be good. I don't think his piano sonatas are quite as great as Mozart's, and he quit writing for the piano after a time because he was not a really great pianist himself.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Pincher Martin, @Etruscan Film Star

    Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It’s a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly.

    Shaffer’s awful cinematic history has prestigious antecedents. Alexander Pushkin, perhaps Russia’s greatest writer, wrote a play in 1830 called Mozart and Salieri, which was the inspiration for Shaffer’s movie script.

    Another great Russian artist, this time the composer Rimsky-Korsakov, would later write an opera based on the scurrilous rumor.

    So it’s really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Pincher Martin

    Very good points, and utterly fascinating. Thank you. Of course, Shaffer would have known all this, so wasn't exactly forced to continue this, as you point out:


    So it’s really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.
     
    It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say 'turn the ill-willed gossip into art', and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art. And am astonished at all of them. It was too important a historical matter to exploit in such a cheap way. There is a way in which I think the film of Amadeus is worse than the film of Caligula--at least it was overt porn.

    So the public has always been tabloid-y. If instead, the comaraderie of Mozart and Haydn were portrayed, it would bore bloody hell out of the public: You'd mainly get the 7 quartets Haydn wrote, and the 7 Mozart wrote in homage to his friend. They'd be ravishing, even supernal, but who could possibly stay awake for that? Even if Salieri were a supporting character, and Haydn's unpleasant wife appeared from time to time--too tame. Maybe Eric Rohmer could have pulled it off. He was good at making the bourgeois more magical than it usually seems to be.

    Replies: @Dmitry

  276. @Jim Don Bob
    @theMann


    The Pearl Fishers, Bizet’s not quiet completed opera, has been revived as in a first rate work.
     
    The Pearl Fishers first act has this, the most beautiful duet ever written.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV5zUa4zMnw

    Replies: @Lace, @Kylie

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Kylie

    A young Placido Domingo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIVXxRHGtdM

  277. @Steve Sailer
    @Lace

    "Amadeus" is more about the rivalry between the Schaeffer identical twins. Peter had devoted himself to playwrighting, while Anthony went off to make money in business. But then suddenly Anthony wrote an enormous hit play, "Sleuth."

    So Amadeus is about the frustration the harder working Peter (Salieri) felt toward his apparently more blessed identical twin (Mozart). I watched it recently and it was wonderfully entertaining, but I also noticed it was full of the kind of show biz razzmatazz that made Sleuth a big hit.

    Replies: @Lace

    If that isn’t some unexpected ‘historical context’. I’m quite taken aback. I’m sure I should have known this, but it still hasn’t stopped all the gullible public from this hilarious ‘identification’ with the ‘genius’ instead of the ‘mediocrity’. Except that it’s seriously shameful, because hoards now think of this characterization as ‘the real Mozart’…until maybe now, when it’s not chic to ‘have white privilege’, so I can enjoy their further confusion.

    There must be so many more of these myths than we can possibly know, and sometimes even told among real professionals. One of my most important piano teachers told me that Glenn Gould “decided he had completed all the work he was put on earth to do, so simply decided it was over and promptly committed suicide”–when the fact was: He actually definitely died of a stroke after a severe headache, leaving the left side of his body paralyzed, and eventually leading to brain damage, at which point his father took him off life support (after a week.) Of course, he was one of the biggest hypochondriacs who ever lived, and popped more pills than any Hollywood actress ever even could imagine–Thorazine and anti-psychotics and anti-depressants and downs to balance out the other, but there’s no way he thought he had “finished all he had to do musically”. Anyway, I didn’t respond to her, she’d already told me that the sports drink I brought in was “the same colour as Sam [her late husband]’s leukemia medicine”; that also required no response. Totally creepy, it’s just she was a wizard with the fingers.

  278. @Pincher Martin
    @Lace


    Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It’s a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly.
     
    Shaffer's awful cinematic history has prestigious antecedents. Alexander Pushkin, perhaps Russia's greatest writer, wrote a play in 1830 called Mozart and Salieri, which was the inspiration for Shaffer's movie script.

    Another great Russian artist, this time the composer Rimsky-Korsakov, would later write an opera based on the scurrilous rumor.

    So it's really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.

    Replies: @Lace

    Very good points, and utterly fascinating. Thank you. Of course, Shaffer would have known all this, so wasn’t exactly forced to continue this, as you point out:

    So it’s really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.

    It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say ‘turn the ill-willed gossip into art’, and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art. And am astonished at all of them. It was too important a historical matter to exploit in such a cheap way. There is a way in which I think the film of Amadeus is worse than the film of Caligula–at least it was overt porn.

    So the public has always been tabloid-y. If instead, the comaraderie of Mozart and Haydn were portrayed, it would bore bloody hell out of the public: You’d mainly get the 7 quartets Haydn wrote, and the 7 Mozart wrote in homage to his friend. They’d be ravishing, even supernal, but who could possibly stay awake for that? Even if Salieri were a supporting character, and Haydn’s unpleasant wife appeared from time to time–too tame. Maybe Eric Rohmer could have pulled it off. He was good at making the bourgeois more magical than it usually seems to be.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @Lace

    I watched "Amadeus" this summer, for the first time. I don't think anyone watches "Amadeus" as if it is a factual documentary film, and it can be judged as a form of entertainment, independently of the real history.

    It is performed in English and has a very strong atmosphere of New York Broadway. After watching "Amadeus" I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.

    The main problem of "Amadeus" (judged as a film), seemed to be a lot of uncharismatic actors. For example, actor for Mozart and his wife, were both very boring. As a result, Salieri was the most sympathetic figure of the film, if only because the actor for Salieri seemed more much more charismatic than the actor for Mozart.

    I enjoyed the film as a kind of New York theatre play, just using Prague settings - its reminded me of watching some other American plays.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

  279. It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say ‘turn the ill-willed gossip into art’, and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art.

    Neither can I. I’m strongly against the many abuses of historical fiction and films. Such abominations almost always distort not only history but art.

    But one difference between Shaffer’s Amadeus and, say, Oliver Stone’s JFK is that the former has those prestigious literary antecedents I mentioned in my last post. So it’s a little like complaining that a remake of Shakespeare’s Richard II isn’t historically accurate.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Pincher Martin

    Amadeus is more about the rivalry between the two Shaffer identical twins who both were famous playwrights. Identical twins are pretty interesting and it's highly unusual to find two near the top of a literary genre, so it's pretty interesting to see what metaphors they come up with for twin sibling rivalry.

    But yeah it would be helpful if, say, somebody made a popular movie about the Shaffer twins and how their personal relationship got transmuted into Sleuth and Amadeus, so that more people would know not to take Amadeus seriously as musical history.

    , @Lace
    @Pincher Martin

    I don't think my reply to you was very well-written nor clear. I don't think the predecessors, however reputable, had written anything decent about Mozart and Salieri either. And your reports of these I couldn't believe.

    But I think this brings up something I hadn't thought about so specifically till I read Peter Gay's book (which I was primarily doing to sharpen up some program notes for a concert), and I knew he was a fine writer from Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience, Victoria to Freud. It's been 20 years, so I only got the facts straight about the protagonists, and am not sure he didn't also include Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov--although those names would seem impossible for me to forget (I may have anyway.) What I'm getting at is the 'recentness' of wrong historical facts. All through Shakespeare and Racine, you are going to find great license taken--and take it way back further to Greece and Rome, and it's difficult to believe that Shakespeare could have known many facts about Cleopatra, Antony and Julius Caesar (over a couple of plays), and impossible to believe Racine knew anything to speak of about Athalie and Jezebel, her mother, beyond Kings and Chronicles. Shakespeare used Plutarch as a major source, who is also not nearly always concerned primarily with the historical facts, and writing about non-mortal Theseus is like being accurate about Helen and Paris in the Iliad or her re-appearance in Troilus and Cressida.

    But Mozart had died in 1791 and Salieri in 1825, so it was still pretty fresh for Pushkin. So no, I wouldn't 'pin the blame' more on Shaffer for the falseness, although he deserves plenty anyway for lying to recent generations about the story--who were, like me till you informed me, unaware of what Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already scurrilously done. Anyway, your point about JFK is good, I'm probably also annoyed that there were already suspect, totally fake scholars such as Jack Marks aka Jamake Highwater (the Greek-Jewish modern dancer who posed as a Blackfoot Indian and made a huge career on it till outed by Hank Adams, a real Indian, and later by Susan Sontag, with whom he'd been lightly acquainted at Hollywood High.) He wrote a completely crackers essay in his book Shadow Show (after he'd been outed, but not yet by Sontag) about the supremacy of Mozart and the mediocrity and evil of Salieri--which takes a nerve when you're a fake Indian and by then known for it.

    Steve's idea of a movie about the Shaffers is excellent if it would have an audience, which is fairly hard to imagine when things like the Oscars, as one example, seem to be primarily concerned with such matters as whether enough black female directors have been nominated. It would be a matter of people in the business too, and he's only been dead since 2016. Some of the French directors like Arnaud Desplechins (A Christmas Tale with Catherine Deneuve) could do it (he could manage the twists and turns), but I also think people want to believe Amadeus is true. I still think it's a particularly ugly example--all three, Pushkin, R-K and Shaffer.

    Well, so much for my naivete about historical accuracy. Has to be actual historians like Gibbon, I guess, and not expect much from popular cinema, nor any historical novel.

    Replies: @Etruscan Film Star

  280. @Pincher Martin

    It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say ‘turn the ill-willed gossip into art’, and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art.
     
    Neither can I. I'm strongly against the many abuses of historical fiction and films. Such abominations almost always distort not only history but art.

    But one difference between Shaffer's Amadeus and, say, Oliver Stone's JFK is that the former has those prestigious literary antecedents I mentioned in my last post. So it's a little like complaining that a remake of Shakespeare's Richard II isn't historically accurate.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Lace

    Amadeus is more about the rivalry between the two Shaffer identical twins who both were famous playwrights. Identical twins are pretty interesting and it’s highly unusual to find two near the top of a literary genre, so it’s pretty interesting to see what metaphors they come up with for twin sibling rivalry.

    But yeah it would be helpful if, say, somebody made a popular movie about the Shaffer twins and how their personal relationship got transmuted into Sleuth and Amadeus, so that more people would know not to take Amadeus seriously as musical history.

    • Agree: Lace
  281. @Lace
    @Authenticjazzman

    Ebonics as a first language is indeed a cross to bear: of Bird's 'lines', we see scrutanized [sic] disected [sic], aside from the aestethic [sic] value inherent plus today's 'Debussay' [sic] and 'Teleman' [sic].

    Anybody can boast of their marvelous qualities on the net, the 'Mensa' is especially laughable, especially if true due to affirmative action stemming directly from all that white supremacy which must be surely intrinsic to its standards by now.

    My deepest condolences to you on having ZERO white privilege. You'll find plenty of 'white allies' who'll bend over backward (or just bend over and offer a lot more) for you without getting a fucking wooden nickel from me. Bunch of grifters.

    You might consider that 'black silence = blessed silence', so why don't you try it. But you'd much rather riot and loot--now that you've done Chicago's Magnificent Mile, you may as well go on to trash Lincoln Center when you see an opening--interrupt a Bruckner Symphony with some Karaoke from James Brown--or even just grunts by Mike Tyson. Maybe at a yard sale you'll find a zither with only one broken string, or just a banjo or a harmonica would do you.

    BLM is a bunch of well-financed muggers as we all know, and now such are searching out (and appallingly, actually finding) spineless white allies like Alex Ross, who will agree with you about Bird's 'melodies' (that part is true and that part only), and probably would agree that Bach's fugues, cantatas, oratorio, English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni and Ravel's Gaspard, Daphnis et Chloe, and Le Tombeau de Couperin as well as Beethoven's 'above-average' compositions according to the esteemed Hunter College 'scholar' Ewell, are all just reeking of white supremacy--just like the pores of that love Robin D'Angelo, another one who acts like the extreme early Christian martyrs, in their competition to see who could suffer the most and die most painfully and glorious with guilt. I'm looking forward to Miss White Fragility's 'pores' (although she's not really White anyway) being banned more than I am 'above-average' composers like Beethoven, but I wouldn't put anything past any of this filthy Maoist-style movement.

    So now, do you still find "White silence = violence"? No, you don't. I'm not going to shut up. Some of us are taking this dingy race war seriously, and blacks finally getting around to trying to appropriate White Culture is so typical--you can't appropriate it or even steal it, so you would try to get it banned if you could, and your Soroses and the other billionaire manager-overlords will be just fine with your stupidity. You won't get away with it. You do not have the I.Q.

    Replies: @Authenticjazzman

    ” But you’d much rather riot and loot”

    I am not black you stupid asshole, and as far as music is concerned you are an abject clueless fool, someone who would merit the term we used to employ regarding charlatans such as yourself : Phoney.

    “You do not have the IQ”, don’t know about that as back in 1973, the Mensa folks accepted me into their ranks.

    AJM

    DT 2020

  282. @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.

    Along with the evidence my own ears, that’s enough for me.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    @Old Palo Altan

    I can only agree with your remark. I am still trying to make it through Mahler's Symphony No. 5, which could be the soundtrack for a battle, the action rising and falling in frenzied rushes, random changes in mood taking place seemingly only for the purpose of jarring contrast. It's all tone poems and martial melodrama, no melody.

    I still can't stand opera.

    As an antidote, I'm tempted to offer Haydn's #16, but I mentioned Vivaldi so let's have a listen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuQ1Hfy_DNA



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0lq1GCvfBQ

    Replies: @Dmitry

    , @vinteuil
    @Old Palo Altan


    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.
     

    (1) What RVW actually wrote was that “Intimate acquaintance with the executive side of music in orchestra, chorus and opera made even Mahler into a very tolerable imitation of a composer” - which, I have to admit, was a pretty insightful remark, given RVW's prejudices.

    (2) Kingsley Amis was quite the wag - but he would have done better to have said this about himself than to have said it about Mahler.

    (3) Brahms, aged 57, is supposed to have met Mahler, aged 30, in Budapest, in 1890. And he is supposed to have come away impressed by Mahler's conducting of Don Giovanni.

    I can find no evidence that he ever heard a note of any of Mahler's compositions.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Old Palo Altan

  283. @Anon7
    Who was Various? He's about two-thirds of the way up the list, so he must be pretty good. I feel like I've heard of him, but I can't name any particular opera. I assume his name is pronounced "var-ee-oos" because he's white and European.

    Replies: @James O'Meara, @Badger Down

    Stradi Various, the famous luthier from Italy, a white man from Italy. Famous for the sound of music. Played at Carnegie Hall.

  284. @Old Palo Altan
    @reiner Tor

    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.

    Along with the evidence my own ears, that's enough for me.

    Replies: @Sparkon, @vinteuil

    I can only agree with your remark. I am still trying to make it through Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, which could be the soundtrack for a battle, the action rising and falling in frenzied rushes, random changes in mood taking place seemingly only for the purpose of jarring contrast. It’s all tone poems and martial melodrama, no melody.

    I still can’t stand opera.

    As an antidote, I’m tempted to offer Haydn’s #16, but I mentioned Vivaldi so let’s have a listen:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @Sparkon


    Symphony No. 5... no melody.
     
    It can definitely be difficult to adjust brain to Mahler, and even it will be some years until the ears adjust - but this claim of lack of melody is strange, when the melody of this symphony is very memorable and develops in a smooth way, which now seems almost inevitable to our ears.

    It could help the brain to tune in, if you will listen to 5th symphony on organ (if you play a keyboard instrument).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCKcVKQ7zPc

    Or perhaps 5th Symphony on piano? (transcription of the popular 3rd movement).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUOoN2lFP8Q

  285. To the admin : Okay so you did it again, you blocked my legitimate factual and innocuous response to an insulting and slanderous post, and I do not know why you are specifically blocking my posting while allowing other ugly, odious postings to go through, so I am finished with your phoney pseudo “Forum”, and I will never post here again. You can shove this insult to my intelligence up your leftist asses, you unfair creeps.

    AJM

  286. @Pincher Martin

    It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say ‘turn the ill-willed gossip into art’, and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art.
     
    Neither can I. I'm strongly against the many abuses of historical fiction and films. Such abominations almost always distort not only history but art.

    But one difference between Shaffer's Amadeus and, say, Oliver Stone's JFK is that the former has those prestigious literary antecedents I mentioned in my last post. So it's a little like complaining that a remake of Shakespeare's Richard II isn't historically accurate.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Lace

    I don’t think my reply to you was very well-written nor clear. I don’t think the predecessors, however reputable, had written anything decent about Mozart and Salieri either. And your reports of these I couldn’t believe.

    But I think this brings up something I hadn’t thought about so specifically till I read Peter Gay’s book (which I was primarily doing to sharpen up some program notes for a concert), and I knew he was a fine writer from Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience, Victoria to Freud. It’s been 20 years, so I only got the facts straight about the protagonists, and am not sure he didn’t also include Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov–although those names would seem impossible for me to forget (I may have anyway.) What I’m getting at is the ‘recentness’ of wrong historical facts. All through Shakespeare and Racine, you are going to find great license taken–and take it way back further to Greece and Rome, and it’s difficult to believe that Shakespeare could have known many facts about Cleopatra, Antony and Julius Caesar (over a couple of plays), and impossible to believe Racine knew anything to speak of about Athalie and Jezebel, her mother, beyond Kings and Chronicles. Shakespeare used Plutarch as a major source, who is also not nearly always concerned primarily with the historical facts, and writing about non-mortal Theseus is like being accurate about Helen and Paris in the Iliad or her re-appearance in Troilus and Cressida.

    But Mozart had died in 1791 and Salieri in 1825, so it was still pretty fresh for Pushkin. So no, I wouldn’t ‘pin the blame’ more on Shaffer for the falseness, although he deserves plenty anyway for lying to recent generations about the story–who were, like me till you informed me, unaware of what Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already scurrilously done. Anyway, your point about JFK is good, I’m probably also annoyed that there were already suspect, totally fake scholars such as Jack Marks aka Jamake Highwater (the Greek-Jewish modern dancer who posed as a Blackfoot Indian and made a huge career on it till outed by Hank Adams, a real Indian, and later by Susan Sontag, with whom he’d been lightly acquainted at Hollywood High.) He wrote a completely crackers essay in his book Shadow Show (after he’d been outed, but not yet by Sontag) about the supremacy of Mozart and the mediocrity and evil of Salieri–which takes a nerve when you’re a fake Indian and by then known for it.

    Steve’s idea of a movie about the Shaffers is excellent if it would have an audience, which is fairly hard to imagine when things like the Oscars, as one example, seem to be primarily concerned with such matters as whether enough black female directors have been nominated. It would be a matter of people in the business too, and he’s only been dead since 2016. Some of the French directors like Arnaud Desplechins (A Christmas Tale with Catherine Deneuve) could do it (he could manage the twists and turns), but I also think people want to believe Amadeus is true. I still think it’s a particularly ugly example–all three, Pushkin, R-K and Shaffer.

    Well, so much for my naivete about historical accuracy. Has to be actual historians like Gibbon, I guess, and not expect much from popular cinema, nor any historical novel.

    • Replies: @Etruscan Film Star
    @Lace


    All through Shakespeare and Racine, you are going to find great license taken–and take it way back further to Greece and Rome, and it’s difficult to believe that Shakespeare could have known many facts about Cleopatra, Antony and Julius Caesar (over a couple of plays) ...
     
    You mean, the real author of the plays and poems credited to an actor / theater manager named Shakespeare.
  287. @martin_2
    @Whitehall

    Indian music can be really good. It is the only art music that I can listen to apart from Western Classical music. Chinese music is awful. The Indians have therefore not really taken much interest in Western music, but unsurprisingly the Chinese have.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_15tmRLsAA

    (It starts a bit slow.)

    Replies: @Lace

    Definitely agree. I’m most familiar with South Indian music, but have heard some North Indian. Much more South Indian, because I used to be a huge fan (and still am, just haven’t had a chance to go for awhile) of Bharatya Natyam dance. There used to be frequent performances of this South Indian dance, which, with a dancer such as the great Viti Prakesh, is totally mesmerizing and otherworldly. Yesterday, I met a girl at the pharmacy who is from Central India, but said she didn’t know so much about dance there, but her dream was to go to Pondicherry of Indian ‘beauty spots’. I’m sure I would too, but Goa especially.

    Borough of Manhattan Community College, through World Music Institute, had a glorious concert of South Indian music in their auditorium some 25 years ago that I went to. Those magical instruments like the vina, the drone going at all times. Beautiful stuff. I studied some of the theory, and was especially interested in the srutis, which are (I believe) the 3 levels of pitch within one pitch on the Western diatonic scale. The American composer Harry Partch built some instruments to play these ‘inner pitches’ and quarter-tones, and that was quite a rich experience too. Dean Drummond used to own the Partch instruments, and sadly passed away about 3 years ago.

    But Indian music can be literally hypnotic. I’d also recommend Vietnamese of Eastern musics, and you might change your mind about Chinese if you see a performance of Peking opera, even it sounds like cats ‘meowing’. I loved it, and there’s also the movie Farewell, My Concubine that is about Peking Opera.

  288. @Old Palo Altan
    @reiner Tor

    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.

    Along with the evidence my own ears, that's enough for me.

    Replies: @Sparkon, @vinteuil

    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.

    (1) What RVW actually wrote was that “Intimate acquaintance with the executive side of music in orchestra, chorus and opera made even Mahler into a very tolerable imitation of a composer” – which, I have to admit, was a pretty insightful remark, given RVW’s prejudices.

    (2) Kingsley Amis was quite the wag – but he would have done better to have said this about himself than to have said it about Mahler.

    (3) Brahms, aged 57, is supposed to have met Mahler, aged 30, in Budapest, in 1890. And he is supposed to have come away impressed by Mahler’s conducting of Don Giovanni.

    I can find no evidence that he ever heard a note of any of Mahler’s compositions.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @vinteuil

    It can be some years for listeners' ears to adjust to Mahler's language. I don't say this as a particularly criticism of Mahler - the difficulty of the brain to initially "tune to" this music, is partly a result of the original and idiosyncratic writing, and that is not an unhealthy thing.

    In my case, I was a quite musically trained as a child, and I also had often been to concerts. But when I first go to a concert of a Mahler symphony (I think I was about 12 years old), I remember that I didn't enjoy it and almost didn't hear anything.

    It was only when I was around 20 years old, and was listening to Karajan's 1970s CDs of Mahler on a my family's very good and expensive hi-fi, that my brain has finally "tuned into" Mahler's symphonies.

    Now, looking backwards, it seems quite strange that there are still people who do not appreciate Mahler symphonies. But then even someone like myself (who has trained in music and was training for hours as a teenager for music exams, and transcribing), could find it quite difficult to understand Mahler's music, until years later, and when I was much older.

    -

    For Bruckner, I learned to appreciate his symphonies earlier - when I was about 17 or 18. I had a complete boxset of all Bruckner's symphonies, and I used to listen to Bruckner's symphony after symphony, and imagine it was someone improvising on a keyboard (with "strings" setting on the Yamaha). This way (as a pianist) you can envisage a lot of more of the Bruckner logic and start to appreciate his quite seeming initially strange symphonies.

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @vinteuil

    That "even" makes the quote more damning than ever.

    Amis says the same in one of his novels, and is perhaps here making the same point in answer to a journalist's question. The longer dissection of Mahler which the novel contains is quite brilliant, as learned music critics have more or less reluctantly admitted.

    I am happy to believe that Mahler was a great conductor; my ears tell me, quite independently of what anybody else might think or say, that as a composer he is not only forgettable, but will one day again be as forgotten as he was before the Jews took him up around 1960.

  289. @Lace
    @Sparkon

    Haydn's Op. 33 string quartets of 1781 inspired Mozart's 'Haydn Quartets', op. 10, of 1782-1785. Both 6 are inspired and glorious, as are the last symphonies of both. I just recently discovered them, and listened to one by Haydn followed by one by Mozart, but I don't think they correspond quite like that. But these are worth listening to over and over. Some of Haydn's symphonies I would find indistinquishable from Mozart were I not to know beforehand, although I think Mozart's seem a little more sensual, although both are the epitome of refinement.

    They were good friends, too, and often played chamber music together. After Mozart's death, Haydn taught his sons, and later he also taught Beethoven.

    Once in a great while Haydn's operas are revived, usually by small companies, although I think NYCOpera did some way back in the 60s before I got here. But that is one form he was surely good at, but where the works did not become popular as did Mozart's celestial operas.

    But, speaking of friendships, although Salieri and Mozart were more competitive and less friendly than Mozart and Haydn, Amadeus is a complete travesty and falsification. All scholars know it, and Peter Gay's bio of Mozart articulates it perfectly. Salieri admired Mozart and most certainly did not poison him. It's a disgrace how Peter Shaffer misrepresented both Salieri and Mozart, and that play makes both of them look bad, frankly. The film is often in lists of 'greatest films ever made', when it is totally false: Salieri and Mozart were respectful of each other and Salieri conducted Mozart works after Mozart died, as well as tuturing Mozart's son Franz. And yet non-musicians and scholars were treated to this hugely false film. Mozart's life was dramatic enough, but THIS is the film that ought to get 'historical context' more than Gone With the Wind. They'll get to all of D.W. Griffith's films soon enough. Unbelievably stupid--like banning To Kill A Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn because words necessary for dialogues might offend delicate black souls (not other POC, Hispanics, you'll notice are hardly even marginal in the murderous rampage of BLM.)

    I want to get time to listen to some of Haydn's operas, and think I did hear one once. Bound to be good. I don't think his piano sonatas are quite as great as Mozart's, and he quit writing for the piano after a time because he was not a really great pianist himself.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Pincher Martin, @Etruscan Film Star

    The reason why Haydn is less popular than Mozart among casual listeners is that there is no movie about Haydn.

    To me they are equally superlative — using basically the same musical language, but with intriguing differences. Mozart’s music strikes me as more “feminine,” Haydn’s as more “masculine.” It’s a subtle distinction; the only specific trait I can point to is that Haydn uses timpani more often in his orchestral scores.

    We all wish they could have continued their earthly creative lives forever, but that would deny them the joys of the Other Side that they earned.

    • Agree: Lace
  290. @Lace
    @Pincher Martin

    I don't think my reply to you was very well-written nor clear. I don't think the predecessors, however reputable, had written anything decent about Mozart and Salieri either. And your reports of these I couldn't believe.

    But I think this brings up something I hadn't thought about so specifically till I read Peter Gay's book (which I was primarily doing to sharpen up some program notes for a concert), and I knew he was a fine writer from Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience, Victoria to Freud. It's been 20 years, so I only got the facts straight about the protagonists, and am not sure he didn't also include Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov--although those names would seem impossible for me to forget (I may have anyway.) What I'm getting at is the 'recentness' of wrong historical facts. All through Shakespeare and Racine, you are going to find great license taken--and take it way back further to Greece and Rome, and it's difficult to believe that Shakespeare could have known many facts about Cleopatra, Antony and Julius Caesar (over a couple of plays), and impossible to believe Racine knew anything to speak of about Athalie and Jezebel, her mother, beyond Kings and Chronicles. Shakespeare used Plutarch as a major source, who is also not nearly always concerned primarily with the historical facts, and writing about non-mortal Theseus is like being accurate about Helen and Paris in the Iliad or her re-appearance in Troilus and Cressida.

    But Mozart had died in 1791 and Salieri in 1825, so it was still pretty fresh for Pushkin. So no, I wouldn't 'pin the blame' more on Shaffer for the falseness, although he deserves plenty anyway for lying to recent generations about the story--who were, like me till you informed me, unaware of what Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already scurrilously done. Anyway, your point about JFK is good, I'm probably also annoyed that there were already suspect, totally fake scholars such as Jack Marks aka Jamake Highwater (the Greek-Jewish modern dancer who posed as a Blackfoot Indian and made a huge career on it till outed by Hank Adams, a real Indian, and later by Susan Sontag, with whom he'd been lightly acquainted at Hollywood High.) He wrote a completely crackers essay in his book Shadow Show (after he'd been outed, but not yet by Sontag) about the supremacy of Mozart and the mediocrity and evil of Salieri--which takes a nerve when you're a fake Indian and by then known for it.

    Steve's idea of a movie about the Shaffers is excellent if it would have an audience, which is fairly hard to imagine when things like the Oscars, as one example, seem to be primarily concerned with such matters as whether enough black female directors have been nominated. It would be a matter of people in the business too, and he's only been dead since 2016. Some of the French directors like Arnaud Desplechins (A Christmas Tale with Catherine Deneuve) could do it (he could manage the twists and turns), but I also think people want to believe Amadeus is true. I still think it's a particularly ugly example--all three, Pushkin, R-K and Shaffer.

    Well, so much for my naivete about historical accuracy. Has to be actual historians like Gibbon, I guess, and not expect much from popular cinema, nor any historical novel.

    Replies: @Etruscan Film Star

    All through Shakespeare and Racine, you are going to find great license taken–and take it way back further to Greece and Rome, and it’s difficult to believe that Shakespeare could have known many facts about Cleopatra, Antony and Julius Caesar (over a couple of plays) …

    You mean, the real author of the plays and poems credited to an actor / theater manager named Shakespeare.

  291. Sorry, but the presence of Bach on that list is ludicrous. The composer of the Mass in B Minor, the Christmas Oratorio, and hundreds of cantatas is less popular than…Rameau? and a host of obscure opera composers…just because there are thousands of opera houses that perform operas frequently, but don’t perform Bach? Not the best standard for popularity, let alone worth!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Telemachos

    The list measures popularity in opera houses.

  292. @Telemachos
    Sorry, but the presence of Bach on that list is ludicrous. The composer of the Mass in B Minor, the Christmas Oratorio, and hundreds of cantatas is less popular than...Rameau? and a host of obscure opera composers...just because there are thousands of opera houses that perform operas frequently, but don't perform Bach? Not the best standard for popularity, let alone worth!

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The list measures popularity in opera houses.

  293. @Kylie
    @Jim Don Bob

    https://youtu.be/5PYt2HlBuyI

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    A young Placido Domingo:

  294. @vinteuil
    @Old Palo Altan


    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.
     

    (1) What RVW actually wrote was that “Intimate acquaintance with the executive side of music in orchestra, chorus and opera made even Mahler into a very tolerable imitation of a composer” - which, I have to admit, was a pretty insightful remark, given RVW's prejudices.

    (2) Kingsley Amis was quite the wag - but he would have done better to have said this about himself than to have said it about Mahler.

    (3) Brahms, aged 57, is supposed to have met Mahler, aged 30, in Budapest, in 1890. And he is supposed to have come away impressed by Mahler's conducting of Don Giovanni.

    I can find no evidence that he ever heard a note of any of Mahler's compositions.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Old Palo Altan

    It can be some years for listeners’ ears to adjust to Mahler’s language. I don’t say this as a particularly criticism of Mahler – the difficulty of the brain to initially “tune to” this music, is partly a result of the original and idiosyncratic writing, and that is not an unhealthy thing.

    In my case, I was a quite musically trained as a child, and I also had often been to concerts. But when I first go to a concert of a Mahler symphony (I think I was about 12 years old), I remember that I didn’t enjoy it and almost didn’t hear anything.

    It was only when I was around 20 years old, and was listening to Karajan’s 1970s CDs of Mahler on a my family’s very good and expensive hi-fi, that my brain has finally “tuned into” Mahler’s symphonies.

    Now, looking backwards, it seems quite strange that there are still people who do not appreciate Mahler symphonies. But then even someone like myself (who has trained in music and was training for hours as a teenager for music exams, and transcribing), could find it quite difficult to understand Mahler’s music, until years later, and when I was much older.

    For Bruckner, I learned to appreciate his symphonies earlier – when I was about 17 or 18. I had a complete boxset of all Bruckner’s symphonies, and I used to listen to Bruckner’s symphony after symphony, and imagine it was someone improvising on a keyboard (with “strings” setting on the Yamaha). This way (as a pianist) you can envisage a lot of more of the Bruckner logic and start to appreciate his quite seeming initially strange symphonies.

  295. @Sparkon
    @Old Palo Altan

    I can only agree with your remark. I am still trying to make it through Mahler's Symphony No. 5, which could be the soundtrack for a battle, the action rising and falling in frenzied rushes, random changes in mood taking place seemingly only for the purpose of jarring contrast. It's all tone poems and martial melodrama, no melody.

    I still can't stand opera.

    As an antidote, I'm tempted to offer Haydn's #16, but I mentioned Vivaldi so let's have a listen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuQ1Hfy_DNA



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0lq1GCvfBQ

    Replies: @Dmitry

    Symphony No. 5… no melody.

    It can definitely be difficult to adjust brain to Mahler, and even it will be some years until the ears adjust – but this claim of lack of melody is strange, when the melody of this symphony is very memorable and develops in a smooth way, which now seems almost inevitable to our ears.

    It could help the brain to tune in, if you will listen to 5th symphony on organ (if you play a keyboard instrument).

    Or perhaps 5th Symphony on piano? (transcription of the popular 3rd movement).

  296. @Lace
    @Pincher Martin

    Very good points, and utterly fascinating. Thank you. Of course, Shaffer would have known all this, so wasn't exactly forced to continue this, as you point out:


    So it’s really hard to pin the full blame on Shaffer for this defamatory history. He updated the vicious rumor, but he neither invented it nor was he the first to turn the ill-willed gossip into art.
     
    It makes it all the more shocking, because you can say 'turn the ill-willed gossip into art', and I see that in this case, this kind of fictionalizing I cannot respect as art. And am astonished at all of them. It was too important a historical matter to exploit in such a cheap way. There is a way in which I think the film of Amadeus is worse than the film of Caligula--at least it was overt porn.

    So the public has always been tabloid-y. If instead, the comaraderie of Mozart and Haydn were portrayed, it would bore bloody hell out of the public: You'd mainly get the 7 quartets Haydn wrote, and the 7 Mozart wrote in homage to his friend. They'd be ravishing, even supernal, but who could possibly stay awake for that? Even if Salieri were a supporting character, and Haydn's unpleasant wife appeared from time to time--too tame. Maybe Eric Rohmer could have pulled it off. He was good at making the bourgeois more magical than it usually seems to be.

    Replies: @Dmitry

    I watched “Amadeus” this summer, for the first time. I don’t think anyone watches “Amadeus” as if it is a factual documentary film, and it can be judged as a form of entertainment, independently of the real history.

    It is performed in English and has a very strong atmosphere of New York Broadway. After watching “Amadeus” I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.

    The main problem of “Amadeus” (judged as a film), seemed to be a lot of uncharismatic actors. For example, actor for Mozart and his wife, were both very boring. As a result, Salieri was the most sympathetic figure of the film, if only because the actor for Salieri seemed more much more charismatic than the actor for Mozart.

    I enjoyed the film as a kind of New York theatre play, just using Prague settings – its reminded me of watching some other American plays.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Dmitry

    Knowledgeable people don't, but even I, very experienced with Mozart and many other composers, haven't always been so keenly interested in their bios, and when Amadeus opened, people were not at all concerned that it is not factually true. Once you know that, it can make sense maybe--as you and Steve have enjoyed it--but I guess I just don't like historical fiction of any kind, theatrical or literary. Directors get so 'expressionistic' with things sometimes, although as Pincher as told us, Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already villainized Salieri. I hadn't known this was so common.

    I would prefer a documentary or very accurate written account--as Saint-Simon's is of Louis XIV, among many. And again Gibbon, which changed my whole perspective on culture, politics, existence. I mentioned the trash movie Caligula, which was, of course, nonsense by Guccione, and all the actors pretended they 'didn't know what they were getting into', viz., Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, Malcolm MacDowell, John Gielgud, but everybody definitely knew what they were going to that for, what they 'wanted to see', and nobody cared about Caligula's particular wicked acts--fictional or factual were all fine in that, and probably little research was done anyway.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Dmitry

    After watching “Amadeus” I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.


    Well of course you did - everybody involved at the writing and production level was a Jew.

    I heartily agree with you about the actors, but this was no error on the producer's part: making the sublime Catholic genius Mozart into a lewd ape was the whole point of the show.

    And at one point in the film the Trinity is figuratively extinguished - those of you who don't know what I am talking about are either not Christians or not very exemplary observers.

  297. @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    There are a lot of people who think Mahler was a great composer, and maybe he is. I had to sing in the Resurrection Symphony in Aspen when I was 16, it was rather thrilling, but I haven't studied him closely through the years. 'Re-doing' the Beethoven symphonies does not sound more than just an interesting idiosyncrasy of Mahler himself, a step beyond students copying Raphaels and Rembrandts. Just thought I'd mention that something that was not trying to 'replace' the Beethoven Symphonies, Liszt did do this, and I played all of these in a summer master-class course with Nadia Boulanger in the early 70s. Glenn Gould recorded them (or some of them, I want to hear all of what Gould ever did), which I hadn't know, and I've heard the 7th Symphony thus far. I think Gould is one of the 2 or 3 greatest pianists ever to have lived (maybe Liszt himself being the other one), and he also did marvelous transcriptions of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and the fabulous Overture to Die Meistersinger, the latter of which actually really works on the piano (the 'Idyll' needs the lavishness of the strings.) You would enjoy these if you're a Gould fan--I'm a Gould maniac.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @reiner Tor

    Profession of Mahler was a mainly a conductor, but as an unusually controlling conductor, who has rescored composers for specific concerts that he is hired to conduct.

    For example, in New York, in 1909. he was hired to perform Bach in New York.

    So for this New York concert, Mahler rescored different works of Bach, to create a 4 movements’ suite. It reminds a bit of the equivalent today of DJ making a “mixtape”, and the suite moves from minor pieces to major – i.e. creating a happy finale for the concert.

    • Thanks: Lace
    • Replies: @Lace
    @Dmitry

    Dmitry--just to say that all of this clump of posts, primarily about Mahler, are appreciated, and I will take some more time with him. (I just haven't.) At this point, I don't know enough to actually say anything, except for singing in the 'Resurrection' when 16, and also I have seen Jerome Robbins's ballet for Suzanne Farrell In Memory of... The music is Berg's Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel) of 1935 (written on the death of Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler's widow, and Walter Gropius). I only saw it once, toward the end of Farrell's career, and it was moving. Since this isn't 'straight Mahler', I thought you might not know it.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

  298. @Dmitry
    @Lace

    Profession of Mahler was a mainly a conductor, but as an unusually controlling conductor, who has rescored composers for specific concerts that he is hired to conduct.

    For example, in New York, in 1909. he was hired to perform Bach in New York.

    So for this New York concert, Mahler rescored different works of Bach, to create a 4 movements' suite. It reminds a bit of the equivalent today of DJ making a "mixtape", and the suite moves from minor pieces to major - i.e. creating a happy finale for the concert.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2XC2tZGLmQ

    Replies: @Lace

    Dmitry–just to say that all of this clump of posts, primarily about Mahler, are appreciated, and I will take some more time with him. (I just haven’t.) At this point, I don’t know enough to actually say anything, except for singing in the ‘Resurrection’ when 16, and also I have seen Jerome Robbins’s ballet for Suzanne Farrell In Memory of… The music is Berg’s Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel) of 1935 (written on the death of Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler’s widow, and Walter Gropius). I only saw it once, toward the end of Farrell’s career, and it was moving. Since this isn’t ‘straight Mahler’, I thought you might not know it.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Lace

    I neglected to add this about the Berg: "based on themes from Mahler, a Carpathian folk song, and Bach's O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20."

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Lace

    If connections with Mahler are somehow relevant, then let me say that one of my close cousins was for thirty years a member of the lay board which ran the Concertgebouw and an early Mahler champion (I've got pictures of him with Mahler in fact), and another presently living cousin is the descendent of a woman who was the lover of Alphonse Diepenbrock, Mahler's friend and himself of course a composer of note. She lived in Vienna for a time and there was part of the Mahler circle, being particularly close to his wife.

    None of that makes me think any more of the man as a composer, although I am happy to know that he was an outstanding conductor, to which honourable function, as Brahms pointed out, he ought to have limited himself.

  299. @Dmitry
    @Lace

    I watched "Amadeus" this summer, for the first time. I don't think anyone watches "Amadeus" as if it is a factual documentary film, and it can be judged as a form of entertainment, independently of the real history.

    It is performed in English and has a very strong atmosphere of New York Broadway. After watching "Amadeus" I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.

    The main problem of "Amadeus" (judged as a film), seemed to be a lot of uncharismatic actors. For example, actor for Mozart and his wife, were both very boring. As a result, Salieri was the most sympathetic figure of the film, if only because the actor for Salieri seemed more much more charismatic than the actor for Mozart.

    I enjoyed the film as a kind of New York theatre play, just using Prague settings - its reminded me of watching some other American plays.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

    Knowledgeable people don’t, but even I, very experienced with Mozart and many other composers, haven’t always been so keenly interested in their bios, and when Amadeus opened, people were not at all concerned that it is not factually true. Once you know that, it can make sense maybe–as you and Steve have enjoyed it–but I guess I just don’t like historical fiction of any kind, theatrical or literary. Directors get so ‘expressionistic’ with things sometimes, although as Pincher as told us, Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already villainized Salieri. I hadn’t known this was so common.

    I would prefer a documentary or very accurate written account–as Saint-Simon’s is of Louis XIV, among many. And again Gibbon, which changed my whole perspective on culture, politics, existence. I mentioned the trash movie Caligula, which was, of course, nonsense by Guccione, and all the actors pretended they ‘didn’t know what they were getting into’, viz., Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, Malcolm MacDowell, John Gielgud, but everybody definitely knew what they were going to that for, what they ‘wanted to see’, and nobody cared about Caligula’s particular wicked acts–fictional or factual were all fine in that, and probably little research was done anyway.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Lace


    I mentioned the trash movie Caligula, which was, of course, nonsense by Guccione, and all the actors pretended they ‘didn’t know what they were getting into’, viz., Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, Malcolm MacDowell, John Gielgud...
     
    I am sure they all knew how much money they were being paid.

    Michael Caine said something like this about one of his movies - Yes the movie is dreadful and I never saw it, but the house it bought is quite nice.
  300. @Lace
    @Dmitry

    Dmitry--just to say that all of this clump of posts, primarily about Mahler, are appreciated, and I will take some more time with him. (I just haven't.) At this point, I don't know enough to actually say anything, except for singing in the 'Resurrection' when 16, and also I have seen Jerome Robbins's ballet for Suzanne Farrell In Memory of... The music is Berg's Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel) of 1935 (written on the death of Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler's widow, and Walter Gropius). I only saw it once, toward the end of Farrell's career, and it was moving. Since this isn't 'straight Mahler', I thought you might not know it.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

    I neglected to add this about the Berg: “based on themes from Mahler, a Carpathian folk song, and Bach’s O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20.”

  301. @Kylie
    @slumber_j

    "Schubert’s many song settings don’t get him on the list I guess, but I’m a fan. Anyway, he died really young too."

    I adore Schubert and often listen to his Lieder. He is mein Geliebte. Yes, he died young, too young.

    Hans Hotter is my favorite interpreter of Schubert's Lieder. I like to listen to this on New Year's Day to start the year out right:

    https://youtu.be/lcr1LUAYXYY

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Uncle Dan, @slumber_j, @AceDeuce

    BTW–“Starting the year out right” didn’t work this year….

  302. @Lace
    @Dmitry

    Knowledgeable people don't, but even I, very experienced with Mozart and many other composers, haven't always been so keenly interested in their bios, and when Amadeus opened, people were not at all concerned that it is not factually true. Once you know that, it can make sense maybe--as you and Steve have enjoyed it--but I guess I just don't like historical fiction of any kind, theatrical or literary. Directors get so 'expressionistic' with things sometimes, although as Pincher as told us, Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov had already villainized Salieri. I hadn't known this was so common.

    I would prefer a documentary or very accurate written account--as Saint-Simon's is of Louis XIV, among many. And again Gibbon, which changed my whole perspective on culture, politics, existence. I mentioned the trash movie Caligula, which was, of course, nonsense by Guccione, and all the actors pretended they 'didn't know what they were getting into', viz., Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, Malcolm MacDowell, John Gielgud, but everybody definitely knew what they were going to that for, what they 'wanted to see', and nobody cared about Caligula's particular wicked acts--fictional or factual were all fine in that, and probably little research was done anyway.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    I mentioned the trash movie Caligula, which was, of course, nonsense by Guccione, and all the actors pretended they ‘didn’t know what they were getting into’, viz., Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole, Malcolm MacDowell, John Gielgud…

    I am sure they all knew how much money they were being paid.

    Michael Caine said something like this about one of his movies – Yes the movie is dreadful and I never saw it, but the house it bought is quite nice.

  303. @Dmitry
    @Lace

    I watched "Amadeus" this summer, for the first time. I don't think anyone watches "Amadeus" as if it is a factual documentary film, and it can be judged as a form of entertainment, independently of the real history.

    It is performed in English and has a very strong atmosphere of New York Broadway. After watching "Amadeus" I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.

    The main problem of "Amadeus" (judged as a film), seemed to be a lot of uncharismatic actors. For example, actor for Mozart and his wife, were both very boring. As a result, Salieri was the most sympathetic figure of the film, if only because the actor for Salieri seemed more much more charismatic than the actor for Mozart.

    I enjoyed the film as a kind of New York theatre play, just using Prague settings - its reminded me of watching some other American plays.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

    After watching “Amadeus” I felt like I had just been to a theatre night in New York.

    Well of course you did – everybody involved at the writing and production level was a Jew.

    I heartily agree with you about the actors, but this was no error on the producer’s part: making the sublime Catholic genius Mozart into a lewd ape was the whole point of the show.

    And at one point in the film the Trinity is figuratively extinguished – those of you who don’t know what I am talking about are either not Christians or not very exemplary observers.

  304. @Lace
    @Dmitry

    Dmitry--just to say that all of this clump of posts, primarily about Mahler, are appreciated, and I will take some more time with him. (I just haven't.) At this point, I don't know enough to actually say anything, except for singing in the 'Resurrection' when 16, and also I have seen Jerome Robbins's ballet for Suzanne Farrell In Memory of... The music is Berg's Violin Concerto (To the Memory of an Angel) of 1935 (written on the death of Manon Gropius, daughter of Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler's widow, and Walter Gropius). I only saw it once, toward the end of Farrell's career, and it was moving. Since this isn't 'straight Mahler', I thought you might not know it.

    Replies: @Lace, @Old Palo Altan

    If connections with Mahler are somehow relevant, then let me say that one of my close cousins was for thirty years a member of the lay board which ran the Concertgebouw and an early Mahler champion (I’ve got pictures of him with Mahler in fact), and another presently living cousin is the descendent of a woman who was the lover of Alphonse Diepenbrock, Mahler’s friend and himself of course a composer of note. She lived in Vienna for a time and there was part of the Mahler circle, being particularly close to his wife.

    None of that makes me think any more of the man as a composer, although I am happy to know that he was an outstanding conductor, to which honourable function, as Brahms pointed out, he ought to have limited himself.

  305. @vinteuil
    @Old Palo Altan


    Ralph Vaughan Williams: Mahler is a very tolerable imitation of a composer.

    Kingsley Amis: Mahler lacked talent even more spectacularly than he lacked genius.

    Brahms told him to stick to conducting.
     

    (1) What RVW actually wrote was that “Intimate acquaintance with the executive side of music in orchestra, chorus and opera made even Mahler into a very tolerable imitation of a composer” - which, I have to admit, was a pretty insightful remark, given RVW's prejudices.

    (2) Kingsley Amis was quite the wag - but he would have done better to have said this about himself than to have said it about Mahler.

    (3) Brahms, aged 57, is supposed to have met Mahler, aged 30, in Budapest, in 1890. And he is supposed to have come away impressed by Mahler's conducting of Don Giovanni.

    I can find no evidence that he ever heard a note of any of Mahler's compositions.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @Old Palo Altan

    That “even” makes the quote more damning than ever.

    Amis says the same in one of his novels, and is perhaps here making the same point in answer to a journalist’s question. The longer dissection of Mahler which the novel contains is quite brilliant, as learned music critics have more or less reluctantly admitted.

    I am happy to believe that Mahler was a great conductor; my ears tell me, quite independently of what anybody else might think or say, that as a composer he is not only forgettable, but will one day again be as forgotten as he was before the Jews took him up around 1960.

  306. Well, OPA, I guess you’re just one of those guys with very constrained musical tastes. You’re like little Mikey in that old Quaker Oats commercial for Life Cereal: you hate everything! – and you take pride in hating everything: Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler..

    I mean, apart from the odd couple of Wagner & Brahms, is there anything you like?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @vinteuil

    I forgive you that remark: everybody seems touchy these days, and why shouldn't we be?

    I was also thinking of you today as I began War & Peace for the first time in fifty years. Immediately entranced, I reflected that I owed the impulse to taste its glories again to your seeming dislike for Tolstoy . At the rate of a chapter a day, finishing it took me nearly a year back then. I shall be going at an even slower rate this time - perhaps two years of delicious pleasure ahead of me.

    I am hoping that projects like this will keep me going another decade or two ...

    Replies: @vinteuil

  307. @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    There are a lot of people who think Mahler was a great composer, and maybe he is. I had to sing in the Resurrection Symphony in Aspen when I was 16, it was rather thrilling, but I haven't studied him closely through the years. 'Re-doing' the Beethoven symphonies does not sound more than just an interesting idiosyncrasy of Mahler himself, a step beyond students copying Raphaels and Rembrandts. Just thought I'd mention that something that was not trying to 'replace' the Beethoven Symphonies, Liszt did do this, and I played all of these in a summer master-class course with Nadia Boulanger in the early 70s. Glenn Gould recorded them (or some of them, I want to hear all of what Gould ever did), which I hadn't know, and I've heard the 7th Symphony thus far. I think Gould is one of the 2 or 3 greatest pianists ever to have lived (maybe Liszt himself being the other one), and he also did marvelous transcriptions of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and the fabulous Overture to Die Meistersinger, the latter of which actually really works on the piano (the 'Idyll' needs the lavishness of the strings.) You would enjoy these if you're a Gould fan--I'm a Gould maniac.

    Replies: @Dmitry, @reiner Tor

    Liszt made piano versions of the Beethoven symphonies. It was needed at the time because symphonic orchestras were few and far between. In the absence of recordings, this was the only chance most people had of ever hearing the Beethoven symphonies.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    Thank you, I know--I think my long comment was a bit slipshod and didn't make it clear that I myself had played all these Liszt transcriptions when we went through all 9 of the Beethovens in the early 70s in Nadia Boulanger's class at Fontainebleau. I had to do it for the master class, and it was great, although I didn't think particularly of Liszt at the time (and Boulanger didn't emphasize anything but Beethoven, which was the right way for that), although I do think of him all the time for his original pieces, of course, and love his Sonate almost more than any other big Romantic piece--I was just thinking about how I wish Gould had done that as well as the Beethoven transcriptions: I think he did several, but not all, of Liszt's transcriptions, and I'm going to listen to all that are there. Thus far, I've heard only the 7th. I think it's the first time I hear of anyone recording those Liszt transcription.

    Replies: @vinteuil, @Old Palo Altan

  308. @vinteuil
    Well, OPA, I guess you're just one of those guys with very constrained musical tastes. You're like little Mikey in that old Quaker Oats commercial for Life Cereal: you hate everything! - and you take pride in hating everything: Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler..

    I mean, apart from the odd couple of Wagner & Brahms, is there anything you like?

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    I forgive you that remark: everybody seems touchy these days, and why shouldn’t we be?

    I was also thinking of you today as I began War & Peace for the first time in fifty years. Immediately entranced, I reflected that I owed the impulse to taste its glories again to your seeming dislike for Tolstoy . At the rate of a chapter a day, finishing it took me nearly a year back then. I shall be going at an even slower rate this time – perhaps two years of delicious pleasure ahead of me.

    I am hoping that projects like this will keep me going another decade or two …

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Old Palo Altan

    OPA, you're impossible.

  309. @reiner Tor
    @utu

    I have never heard Mahler’s “updated” versions of the Beethoven symphonies, nor am I much interested in them, but Mahler was certainly a great composer of symphonies. I don’t really understand how that could be denied.

    Replies: @Lace, @vinteuil, @CBTerry, @Old Palo Altan, @Yevardian

    Mahler was primarily known as a conductor during his lifetime, I assume he just had an idiosyncratic interpretation of the concert notes, ‘updating’ is a bit strong.
    I think utu is (as usual) taking some minor nugget of factual information and going on some crazy tangent with it. I can’t say he isn’t one of the more ‘interesting’ commenters here, at least.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  310. @Lace
    @Old Palo Altan

    An amusing anecdote about Lehar, especially for this thread concerning the 'above average composer Beethoven' is from the 70s, when George Balanchine was choreographing to Lehar, and was being a bit toffee-nosed: He said "Between Lehar and Beethoven, I prefer Lehar; he interesting, less boring". Ballet dancers do often have different tastes in music, although they often overlap--as with Tchaikowsky's great scores for Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake (as well as his Symphony No. 3, from which he made Diamonds on Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d'Amboise for Jewels in the 60s). They often had these very 'tinkly', silly-sounding composers like Minkus for Don Quixote and Adolphe Adam for Giselle. Beethoven would usually be a bit too heavy for most choreographers, although NYCBallet does now have Klavier in their repertory, which is the 2nd movement of Beethoven's enormous Hammerklavier, Op. 106, and is choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Balanchine was just indulging in a bit of snobbery, although he'd used Lehar along with the Strausses to great effect in his great 1977 ballet Vienna Waltzes.

    Replies: @CBTerry

    I admire Balanchine as a choreographer but the portrait that emerges from Gelsey Kirkland’s autobiography is not pleasant: he demanded almost cult-like devotion from his dancers (for example, because Balanchine had bad-mouthed the Maryinksy, nobody except Kirkland went to see them during the NYC Ballet’s Russian tour — a stop where she met Baryshnikov) but more alarmingly he was ignorant of human physiology and kinsethetics, resulting in injuries to his dancers. And nobody could tell him anything.

    Interestingly Diaghilev also denigrated Beethoven, or so I read many years ago.

    You are definitely right about ballet composers / compositions. Indeed La Bayadere by Minkus is often considered the pinnacle of classical ballet. It is wonderful to watch, but the music is forgettable.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @CBTerry

    I'm sorry I didn't see your comment till just now. Gelsey's book is and has always been controversial. You get just the opposite from Suzanne Farrell's, so I'm not going to comment too much about that, since I didn't ever see Kirkland at NYCB and saw Farrell, Balanchine's favourite, many times.

    Balanchine simply was a cult. It had to be to be what it was during those years when it actually meant something that NYCB wouldn't announce the casts until a week before. But the Cult had to exist for NYCB to be what it was, and I saw what they really were all about in the 70s. He definitely had his other favourites who did not have problems with Balanchine. He was not in love with Patricia McBride, but the ballets he made on her are fantastic. I saw her a lot in person too, and she is the lightest, most exquisite dancer I've ever seen. He was in love with Farrell, with her famous rebuffing and leaving the company for 6-7 years, but the dancers he thought were able to do certain things he was just as professional with, although always favouring Farrell (and she was quite something.) And Peter Martins was run out of his job there due to #MeToo, without even being accused of anything serious--it was definitely possible that he only slept with the best dancers (and maybe that's why they got even better...you know, things like that work wonders), and some neglected ones threw all the dirt at him during that period in 2017. He should never have been forced out of the company, had not raped anyone, and had not even been accused of that. Just cheap rumours.

    There are lots of *bad things* about everybody, and lots especially about dancers like Nureyev and even Fonteyn's association with Central American dictators (wasn't she married to one?) On a lower level, look how the old movie stars behaved. It's much tighter now, and duller as well.

    But Gelsey Kirkland was no angel. The little I could stand to read of that book was trashy and/or vindictive. With #MeToo, a lot of balletomane women rushed to her defense. She just couldn't mesh with Balanchine. She was a fine dancer, but if you were neurotic, Balanchine wasn't somebody who was going to bother with that, you had to be tough, and you could not expect to 'teach him' anything. That's why D'Amboise, Hayden, Farrell, McBride, Villella, and quite a few others were able to concentrate on what HE wanted--and in this case, the genius was such that the authoritarianism was appropriate. She just wasn't interested in this Balanchine Cult that much, and she also had serious drug problems. But Baryshnikov, however excellent it was that he danced with NYCB at least a year and some more, wasn't able to be a part of it. You should watch the youtube of Baryshnikov and McBride doing Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. They're both incredibly, but she is even better than he was in this one.

    Which does not mean I am saying he didn't do 'unfair things' to Kirkland. But people tend to idolize their various kinds of stars and expect them to be perfect human beings as well. Well, let them get out onstage then. They can then preach morality a little more convincingly.

  311. @reiner Tor
    @Lace

    Liszt made piano versions of the Beethoven symphonies. It was needed at the time because symphonic orchestras were few and far between. In the absence of recordings, this was the only chance most people had of ever hearing the Beethoven symphonies.

    Replies: @Lace

    Thank you, I know–I think my long comment was a bit slipshod and didn’t make it clear that I myself had played all these Liszt transcriptions when we went through all 9 of the Beethovens in the early 70s in Nadia Boulanger’s class at Fontainebleau. I had to do it for the master class, and it was great, although I didn’t think particularly of Liszt at the time (and Boulanger didn’t emphasize anything but Beethoven, which was the right way for that), although I do think of him all the time for his original pieces, of course, and love his Sonate almost more than any other big Romantic piece–I was just thinking about how I wish Gould had done that as well as the Beethoven transcriptions: I think he did several, but not all, of Liszt’s transcriptions, and I’m going to listen to all that are there. Thus far, I’ve heard only the 7th. I think it’s the first time I hear of anyone recording those Liszt transcription.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Lace

    Wow, Lace - I'm simply astonished to find myself in the presence of one who studied with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Aaron Copland.

    So what was she like?

    Replies: @Lace

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Lace

    Some of us knew immediately what you meant: bravo, very difficult stuff.

    Liszt is wonderful in so many ways, and yet so few people seem to have any time for him. It is typical of the great Gould that he saw straight through the anti-hype to the gold beneath.

    My own outsider's appreciation of Boulanger is mostly as the person who brought the early baroque to life with her recordings of Monteverdi. Eclipsed in many ways today but, as John Eliot Gardiner and many others recognised, the best of all possible rebirths:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyigIcK8bwk

  312. @Old Palo Altan
    @vinteuil

    I forgive you that remark: everybody seems touchy these days, and why shouldn't we be?

    I was also thinking of you today as I began War & Peace for the first time in fifty years. Immediately entranced, I reflected that I owed the impulse to taste its glories again to your seeming dislike for Tolstoy . At the rate of a chapter a day, finishing it took me nearly a year back then. I shall be going at an even slower rate this time - perhaps two years of delicious pleasure ahead of me.

    I am hoping that projects like this will keep me going another decade or two ...

    Replies: @vinteuil

    OPA, you’re impossible.

  313. @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    Thank you, I know--I think my long comment was a bit slipshod and didn't make it clear that I myself had played all these Liszt transcriptions when we went through all 9 of the Beethovens in the early 70s in Nadia Boulanger's class at Fontainebleau. I had to do it for the master class, and it was great, although I didn't think particularly of Liszt at the time (and Boulanger didn't emphasize anything but Beethoven, which was the right way for that), although I do think of him all the time for his original pieces, of course, and love his Sonate almost more than any other big Romantic piece--I was just thinking about how I wish Gould had done that as well as the Beethoven transcriptions: I think he did several, but not all, of Liszt's transcriptions, and I'm going to listen to all that are there. Thus far, I've heard only the 7th. I think it's the first time I hear of anyone recording those Liszt transcription.

    Replies: @vinteuil, @Old Palo Altan

    Wow, Lace – I’m simply astonished to find myself in the presence of one who studied with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Aaron Copland.

    So what was she like?

    • Replies: @Lace
    @vinteuil

    Hi--I had meant that long thesis about Boulanger as reply to you, I don't know how I didn't think to click it. Old Palo Altan wrote an appreciative comment, and I hope you see it. I covered this quite big personality as best I could in this limited format.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  314. After my first year at Juilliard (with Ilona Kabos, also a wonderful musician), which was also the first year for the school at Lincoln Center, I went to Fontainebleau for the summer because I wanted more rigorous theory than was taught in Juilliard classes (it’s primarily for getting going in your solo profession, and is very good at that.) This was as a result of strong recommendation by a musician very influential on me at the time, and I’m glad I did it. I then came back to New York and did my sophomore year at Juilliard. But I didn’t return for the 3rd year there till 1978.

    I then went to Paris for a year 1971-1972. The classes and lessons were at Nadia’s apartment (she owned the building and some others as well) at 36, rue ballu, whereas the ones at Fontainebleau were literally in the Palais de Fontainebleau.

    In either case, she was thrilling to study with, the sharpest of ears, warm and thoughtful, dreadfully severe sometimes (and sometimes unnecessarily so.) During that year’s Christmas, I went to London to see Mme. Kabos, and it was the last I’d see her.

    It was interesting to be studying with these two top–tier women at the same time. Nadia was all fastidiousness and forcing Dubois Traite d’Harmonie, and did expect more of me in particular than was quite fair, but I still got an enormous amount out of it, and loved Paris. The reason I say it wasn’t fair is because I had to prepare all the Liszt Beethovens at Fontainebleau, and all the difficult pieces we did at the master class in Paris–meaning the Liszt Sonata, Schubert Wanderer Fantasy, Schumann Fantasie, many more–because I was the only one able to play them in her class at the time, and have always been a great sightreader (but that was for the Liszt-Beethovens, these I had to prepare, and it was too exhausting); the fact that Nadia and Ilona were both well-known in the music world does not mean that Nadia is not a much more household word, nor does it mean that at that time Ilona had the most fashionable piano class in the world–teaching in London and at Juilliard. Ilona’s class was all Ferraris and Rolls-Royces, everybody could play at a profesionnal level, and she was not involved with anything but getting students ready for major concert careers.

    I say all this because you can see something of Nadia’s character in it: There are the books about her, of course. Nadia’s focus was absolute severe rigour, and faithfulness to the score–but she was not really a great pianist herself, although she could play of course, and often did in the classes. She was more of an organist as far as instrumentalists go. Ilona was an interesting contrast because she was much more sensual and could bring out the exciting, even glamorous aspects out of a piece. The two women knew each other, and Nadia was more disapproving; Ilona did not live a life of a kind of ‘musical nun’ as did Nadia, replete with wearing ancient-styled clothes 30 years out of date. Nadia knew about formality and refinement and many kinds of excellence, but she knew absolutely nothing of sensuality, and had nothing to do with it after her youth (and that is still not talked about publicly.)

    Her days of the really famous composer-students had long gone by the time I got to her. Copland, Harris, Thompson, the others–was over, although she also had many professional pianists that would coach her–as Cortot–before a concert. Her devotion to the art was quite total, but I’m sure she was disappointed as part of her aging process, that, even though her ear and knowledge were as sharp as ever, she was not the ‘trendy thing’ she once was–even if she was still probably the most famous music teacher in the world, if you had to choose one She was very fond of me, and I of her, and I was the only student whose Paris recital that year she went to. I was deeply honoured, the other students wanted to kill me, but I didn’t care. She brought Jeremy Menuhin with her.

    Now that I look back, he aging may have caused her quite sudden mood changes that made little sense, but that you didn’t think about because you knew you were in the presence of this great person. If someone somehow wrote a parallel 5th, you’d think it was Hiroshima.

    But that year in Paris determined the course of my life. She was one of the two most important influences, and the other is personal (this would have infuriated her if she’d known it, but it was my life, even though I was just 20.) The last time I saw her was on my 20th birthday, and I didn’t even know she knew. She always gave music as a gift, and always included was a piece by her sister Lili, whose early death she never got over, and held a wake for every year. She was also very charming in so many ways, and despite the severity, could be quite delightful, and the best way of saying it was that she was often just very moving herself, in her dedication to the art, and the way she’d sometimes just break into the Prelude of Ravel’s Le Tombeau, because she loved it–right in the middle of the class and just for the pleasure of listening to it. She wanted me to stay at least 2 more years, but it had been hard on me, as I had very quickly established a life in New York, and much as I loved Paris and had fabulous experiences, I couldn’t stay just to write counterpoint and be the ‘slave-pianist’ for all the master classes.

    I did various jobs from 1972 to 1978, then returned to Juilliard for 3 years in order to finish my B.M. and my M.M. That second period at Juilliard was very infused with what I had worked and learned under Nadia, and some of the sloppiness you’d find in the classrooms I could see very clearly: I had been lucky and been one of the last recipients of the old Solfege madams, although it may still be strict at the Paris Conservatory–which turned out all the great French musicians, Boulanger, Faure, Ravel. I don’t know what it’s like now.

    • Replies: @Lace
    @Lace

    although she also had many professional pianists that would coach her–as Cortot–before a concert.

    should be, of course, 'had many professional pianists that would come to her for coaching before a concert.'

    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously. In an incredible ironic twist, her assistant, Annette Dieudonne (who did all the more thankless tasks like the straight solfege classes), suggested that Xenakis go to Messiaen, who found Xenakis altogether unique and was stunned, knew Xenakis was exceptional. Dieudonne never got any of the credit for all the work she did for Boulanger, but it was she who paved the way for one of the greatest 20th century composers to be lead into his great career. I am surprised that Nadia would be that short-sighted (I think with Ned Rorem it was more a matter of just disapproving of some of the loudness about his private life, but she liked his music--I don't know how much he worked with her, but knew her well), but the fact that her underling, the darling sweet Mlle. Dieudonne, had been so important in securing Xenakis's great future, is spectacularly impressive. In a way, it puts her on the map as much as Mlle. Boulanger, although your mention of Copland does make me know how much I love 'Ballet for Martha'--I'm a huge fan of Martha Graham, and it's her most famous ballet. I should mention that, with all of Xenakis's importance, he will never be popular like some of Copland's music. I don't know if Elliott Carter's will ever be exactly 'popular', but he was perhaps her most distinguished student of the Americans.

    Replies: @vinteuil

  315. @Lace
    After my first year at Juilliard (with Ilona Kabos, also a wonderful musician), which was also the first year for the school at Lincoln Center, I went to Fontainebleau for the summer because I wanted more rigorous theory than was taught in Juilliard classes (it's primarily for getting going in your solo profession, and is very good at that.) This was as a result of strong recommendation by a musician very influential on me at the time, and I'm glad I did it. I then came back to New York and did my sophomore year at Juilliard. But I didn't return for the 3rd year there till 1978.

    I then went to Paris for a year 1971-1972. The classes and lessons were at Nadia's apartment (she owned the building and some others as well) at 36, rue ballu, whereas the ones at Fontainebleau were literally in the Palais de Fontainebleau.

    In either case, she was thrilling to study with, the sharpest of ears, warm and thoughtful, dreadfully severe sometimes (and sometimes unnecessarily so.) During that year's Christmas, I went to London to see Mme. Kabos, and it was the last I'd see her.

    It was interesting to be studying with these two top--tier women at the same time. Nadia was all fastidiousness and forcing Dubois Traite d'Harmonie, and did expect more of me in particular than was quite fair, but I still got an enormous amount out of it, and loved Paris. The reason I say it wasn't fair is because I had to prepare all the Liszt Beethovens at Fontainebleau, and all the difficult pieces we did at the master class in Paris--meaning the Liszt Sonata, Schubert Wanderer Fantasy, Schumann Fantasie, many more--because I was the only one able to play them in her class at the time, and have always been a great sightreader (but that was for the Liszt-Beethovens, these I had to prepare, and it was too exhausting); the fact that Nadia and Ilona were both well-known in the music world does not mean that Nadia is not a much more household word, nor does it mean that at that time Ilona had the most fashionable piano class in the world--teaching in London and at Juilliard. Ilona's class was all Ferraris and Rolls-Royces, everybody could play at a profesionnal level, and she was not involved with anything but getting students ready for major concert careers.

    I say all this because you can see something of Nadia's character in it: There are the books about her, of course. Nadia's focus was absolute severe rigour, and faithfulness to the score--but she was not really a great pianist herself, although she could play of course, and often did in the classes. She was more of an organist as far as instrumentalists go. Ilona was an interesting contrast because she was much more sensual and could bring out the exciting, even glamorous aspects out of a piece. The two women knew each other, and Nadia was more disapproving; Ilona did not live a life of a kind of 'musical nun' as did Nadia, replete with wearing ancient-styled clothes 30 years out of date. Nadia knew about formality and refinement and many kinds of excellence, but she knew absolutely nothing of sensuality, and had nothing to do with it after her youth (and that is still not talked about publicly.)

    Her days of the really famous composer-students had long gone by the time I got to her. Copland, Harris, Thompson, the others--was over, although she also had many professional pianists that would coach her--as Cortot--before a concert. Her devotion to the art was quite total, but I'm sure she was disappointed as part of her aging process, that, even though her ear and knowledge were as sharp as ever, she was not the 'trendy thing' she once was--even if she was still probably the most famous music teacher in the world, if you had to choose one She was very fond of me, and I of her, and I was the only student whose Paris recital that year she went to. I was deeply honoured, the other students wanted to kill me, but I didn't care. She brought Jeremy Menuhin with her.

    Now that I look back, he aging may have caused her quite sudden mood changes that made little sense, but that you didn't think about because you knew you were in the presence of this great person. If someone somehow wrote a parallel 5th, you'd think it was Hiroshima.

    But that year in Paris determined the course of my life. She was one of the two most important influences, and the other is personal (this would have infuriated her if she'd known it, but it was my life, even though I was just 20.) The last time I saw her was on my 20th birthday, and I didn't even know she knew. She always gave music as a gift, and always included was a piece by her sister Lili, whose early death she never got over, and held a wake for every year. She was also very charming in so many ways, and despite the severity, could be quite delightful, and the best way of saying it was that she was often just very moving herself, in her dedication to the art, and the way she'd sometimes just break into the Prelude of Ravel's Le Tombeau, because she loved it--right in the middle of the class and just for the pleasure of listening to it. She wanted me to stay at least 2 more years, but it had been hard on me, as I had very quickly established a life in New York, and much as I loved Paris and had fabulous experiences, I couldn't stay just to write counterpoint and be the 'slave-pianist' for all the master classes.

    I did various jobs from 1972 to 1978, then returned to Juilliard for 3 years in order to finish my B.M. and my M.M. That second period at Juilliard was very infused with what I had worked and learned under Nadia, and some of the sloppiness you'd find in the classrooms I could see very clearly: I had been lucky and been one of the last recipients of the old Solfege madams, although it may still be strict at the Paris Conservatory--which turned out all the great French musicians, Boulanger, Faure, Ravel. I don't know what it's like now.

    Replies: @Lace

    although she also had many professional pianists that would coach her–as Cortot–before a concert.

    should be, of course, ‘had many professional pianists that would come to her for coaching before a concert.’

    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously. In an incredible ironic twist, her assistant, Annette Dieudonne (who did all the more thankless tasks like the straight solfege classes), suggested that Xenakis go to Messiaen, who found Xenakis altogether unique and was stunned, knew Xenakis was exceptional. Dieudonne never got any of the credit for all the work she did for Boulanger, but it was she who paved the way for one of the greatest 20th century composers to be lead into his great career. I am surprised that Nadia would be that short-sighted (I think with Ned Rorem it was more a matter of just disapproving of some of the loudness about his private life, but she liked his music–I don’t know how much he worked with her, but knew her well), but the fact that her underling, the darling sweet Mlle. Dieudonne, had been so important in securing Xenakis’s great future, is spectacularly impressive. In a way, it puts her on the map as much as Mlle. Boulanger, although your mention of Copland does make me know how much I love ‘Ballet for Martha’–I’m a huge fan of Martha Graham, and it’s her most famous ballet. I should mention that, with all of Xenakis’s importance, he will never be popular like some of Copland’s music. I don’t know if Elliott Carter’s will ever be exactly ‘popular’, but he was perhaps her most distinguished student of the Americans.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Lace


    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously.
     
    He was doing noise, she was doing music. She was right to reject him.

    Xenakis was a very minor & justly forgotten guy.

    Elliott Carter, likewise.

    Replies: @Lace

  316. @Lace
    @reiner Tor

    Thank you, I know--I think my long comment was a bit slipshod and didn't make it clear that I myself had played all these Liszt transcriptions when we went through all 9 of the Beethovens in the early 70s in Nadia Boulanger's class at Fontainebleau. I had to do it for the master class, and it was great, although I didn't think particularly of Liszt at the time (and Boulanger didn't emphasize anything but Beethoven, which was the right way for that), although I do think of him all the time for his original pieces, of course, and love his Sonate almost more than any other big Romantic piece--I was just thinking about how I wish Gould had done that as well as the Beethoven transcriptions: I think he did several, but not all, of Liszt's transcriptions, and I'm going to listen to all that are there. Thus far, I've heard only the 7th. I think it's the first time I hear of anyone recording those Liszt transcription.

    Replies: @vinteuil, @Old Palo Altan

    Some of us knew immediately what you meant: bravo, very difficult stuff.

    Liszt is wonderful in so many ways, and yet so few people seem to have any time for him. It is typical of the great Gould that he saw straight through the anti-hype to the gold beneath.

    My own outsider’s appreciation of Boulanger is mostly as the person who brought the early baroque to life with her recordings of Monteverdi. Eclipsed in many ways today but, as John Eliot Gardiner and many others recognised, the best of all possible rebirths:

    • Thanks: Lace
  317. @vinteuil
    @Lace

    Wow, Lace - I'm simply astonished to find myself in the presence of one who studied with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Aaron Copland.

    So what was she like?

    Replies: @Lace

    Hi–I had meant that long thesis about Boulanger as reply to you, I don’t know how I didn’t think to click it. Old Palo Altan wrote an appreciative comment, and I hope you see it. I covered this quite big personality as best I could in this limited format.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Lace

    Thank you, your comment about Nadia Boulanger was most interesting and informative.

  318. @Lace
    @vinteuil

    Hi--I had meant that long thesis about Boulanger as reply to you, I don't know how I didn't think to click it. Old Palo Altan wrote an appreciative comment, and I hope you see it. I covered this quite big personality as best I could in this limited format.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thank you, your comment about Nadia Boulanger was most interesting and informative.

    • Thanks: Lace
  319. @CBTerry
    @Lace

    I admire Balanchine as a choreographer but the portrait that emerges from Gelsey Kirkland's autobiography is not pleasant: he demanded almost cult-like devotion from his dancers (for example, because Balanchine had bad-mouthed the Maryinksy, nobody except Kirkland went to see them during the NYC Ballet's Russian tour -- a stop where she met Baryshnikov) but more alarmingly he was ignorant of human physiology and kinsethetics, resulting in injuries to his dancers. And nobody could tell him anything.

    Interestingly Diaghilev also denigrated Beethoven, or so I read many years ago.

    You are definitely right about ballet composers / compositions. Indeed La Bayadere by Minkus is often considered the pinnacle of classical ballet. It is wonderful to watch, but the music is forgettable.

    Replies: @Lace

    I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment till just now. Gelsey’s book is and has always been controversial. You get just the opposite from Suzanne Farrell’s, so I’m not going to comment too much about that, since I didn’t ever see Kirkland at NYCB and saw Farrell, Balanchine’s favourite, many times.

    Balanchine simply was a cult. It had to be to be what it was during those years when it actually meant something that NYCB wouldn’t announce the casts until a week before. But the Cult had to exist for NYCB to be what it was, and I saw what they really were all about in the 70s. He definitely had his other favourites who did not have problems with Balanchine. He was not in love with Patricia McBride, but the ballets he made on her are fantastic. I saw her a lot in person too, and she is the lightest, most exquisite dancer I’ve ever seen. He was in love with Farrell, with her famous rebuffing and leaving the company for 6-7 years, but the dancers he thought were able to do certain things he was just as professional with, although always favouring Farrell (and she was quite something.) And Peter Martins was run out of his job there due to #MeToo, without even being accused of anything serious–it was definitely possible that he only slept with the best dancers (and maybe that’s why they got even better…you know, things like that work wonders), and some neglected ones threw all the dirt at him during that period in 2017. He should never have been forced out of the company, had not raped anyone, and had not even been accused of that. Just cheap rumours.

    There are lots of *bad things* about everybody, and lots especially about dancers like Nureyev and even Fonteyn’s association with Central American dictators (wasn’t she married to one?) On a lower level, look how the old movie stars behaved. It’s much tighter now, and duller as well.

    But Gelsey Kirkland was no angel. The little I could stand to read of that book was trashy and/or vindictive. With #MeToo, a lot of balletomane women rushed to her defense. She just couldn’t mesh with Balanchine. She was a fine dancer, but if you were neurotic, Balanchine wasn’t somebody who was going to bother with that, you had to be tough, and you could not expect to ‘teach him’ anything. That’s why D’Amboise, Hayden, Farrell, McBride, Villella, and quite a few others were able to concentrate on what HE wanted–and in this case, the genius was such that the authoritarianism was appropriate. She just wasn’t interested in this Balanchine Cult that much, and she also had serious drug problems. But Baryshnikov, however excellent it was that he danced with NYCB at least a year and some more, wasn’t able to be a part of it. You should watch the youtube of Baryshnikov and McBride doing Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. They’re both incredibly, but she is even better than he was in this one.

    Which does not mean I am saying he didn’t do ‘unfair things’ to Kirkland. But people tend to idolize their various kinds of stars and expect them to be perfect human beings as well. Well, let them get out onstage then. They can then preach morality a little more convincingly.

  320. @Lace
    @Lace

    although she also had many professional pianists that would coach her–as Cortot–before a concert.

    should be, of course, 'had many professional pianists that would come to her for coaching before a concert.'

    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously. In an incredible ironic twist, her assistant, Annette Dieudonne (who did all the more thankless tasks like the straight solfege classes), suggested that Xenakis go to Messiaen, who found Xenakis altogether unique and was stunned, knew Xenakis was exceptional. Dieudonne never got any of the credit for all the work she did for Boulanger, but it was she who paved the way for one of the greatest 20th century composers to be lead into his great career. I am surprised that Nadia would be that short-sighted (I think with Ned Rorem it was more a matter of just disapproving of some of the loudness about his private life, but she liked his music--I don't know how much he worked with her, but knew her well), but the fact that her underling, the darling sweet Mlle. Dieudonne, had been so important in securing Xenakis's great future, is spectacularly impressive. In a way, it puts her on the map as much as Mlle. Boulanger, although your mention of Copland does make me know how much I love 'Ballet for Martha'--I'm a huge fan of Martha Graham, and it's her most famous ballet. I should mention that, with all of Xenakis's importance, he will never be popular like some of Copland's music. I don't know if Elliott Carter's will ever be exactly 'popular', but he was perhaps her most distinguished student of the Americans.

    Replies: @vinteuil

    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously.

    He was doing noise, she was doing music. She was right to reject him.

    Xenakis was a very minor & justly forgotten guy.

    Elliott Carter, likewise.

    • Troll: Lace
    • Replies: @Lace
    @vinteuil

    I love Xenakis's unique sound-world, and listen to him all the time. Mlle. Boulanger's assistant didn't agree with her boss in this case, and Messiaen helped make his career. It's also good that Mlle. Dieudonne didn't feel she needed to ask Nadia for permission to make this recommendation. Boulanger was a great teacher, but Messiaen was a great composer. It's impossible that Olivier Messiaen would not know some things that Nadia didn't know. As I mentioned in the long comment, Ilona Kabos, who was the top piano teacher in the world in that brief period, definitely knew important things that Nadia did not know. That's why, as well as having this fancy class at Juilliard, she also coached professionals like Ivan Davis and Tamas Vasary. Nobody knows everything.

    I have never been that interested in Carter, but did work on the Piano Sonata for awhile during my last years at Juilliard. I probably will, listen to some, though, just haven't gotten around to it.

    Absolutely disagree, however, that either has been forgotten.

    Nadia would not turn on Pierre Boulez, though, and most people who hate Xenakis hate Boulez too. But usually even people who hate those two are able to appreciate Messiaen's Bird Music. You don't need that much of it, because it can be, maybe, 'too much bird-ecstasy'.

    Anyway, glad you found the comment you asked for.

  321. @vinteuil
    @Lace


    Her worst mistake, in my opinion, was to refuse the young Iannis Xenakis, would not teach him nor take his music seriously.
     
    He was doing noise, she was doing music. She was right to reject him.

    Xenakis was a very minor & justly forgotten guy.

    Elliott Carter, likewise.

    Replies: @Lace

    I love Xenakis’s unique sound-world, and listen to him all the time. Mlle. Boulanger’s assistant didn’t agree with her boss in this case, and Messiaen helped make his career. It’s also good that Mlle. Dieudonne didn’t feel she needed to ask Nadia for permission to make this recommendation. Boulanger was a great teacher, but Messiaen was a great composer. It’s impossible that Olivier Messiaen would not know some things that Nadia didn’t know. As I mentioned in the long comment, Ilona Kabos, who was the top piano teacher in the world in that brief period, definitely knew important things that Nadia did not know. That’s why, as well as having this fancy class at Juilliard, she also coached professionals like Ivan Davis and Tamas Vasary. Nobody knows everything.

    I have never been that interested in Carter, but did work on the Piano Sonata for awhile during my last years at Juilliard. I probably will, listen to some, though, just haven’t gotten around to it.

    Absolutely disagree, however, that either has been forgotten.

    Nadia would not turn on Pierre Boulez, though, and most people who hate Xenakis hate Boulez too. But usually even people who hate those two are able to appreciate Messiaen’s Bird Music. You don’t need that much of it, because it can be, maybe, ‘too much bird-ecstasy’.

    Anyway, glad you found the comment you asked for.

  322. @Buzz Baldrin
    IMO, Mozart was not a composer. His talent was stenography. Fortunately, he was God's stenographer.

    Replies: @DrWatson

    IMO, Mozart was not a composer. His talent was stenography. Fortunately, he was God’s stenographer.

    An accomplished Hungarian organist, Xaver Varnus expressed similar sentiment when he claimed that Bach had a special USB connection to God. Shouldn’t we (as in all of humanity) express gratitude for them rather than arguing petty-mindedly if any Black or whatever composer was better than these geniuses?

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