23. November 2006 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

Oooh! I didn’t notice this blog entry by James Reel. He’s responding to something I wrote earlier about listening.

(I think this post will be disjointed, so do forgive! We are busy with food preparation and I’m kind of popping in and out of blogworld right now.)

But James is right; there’s a lot of music that simply doesn’t work on the radio or in the car. When I’ve gone down to SoCal to visit our daughter I’ve brought along some classical music that I finally gave up on. The works were too difficult to really listen to in the car. On those drives, in fact, I’m much more likely to listen to Suzanne Vega, The Roches, a bit ‘o Sondheim or even Cat Stevens or some other pop or musical theatre music. (Oh for an iPod hook up in our Honda! We had one for the Mazda, but the Honda has yet to get this put in.) The volume changes of much of my favorite music is too extreme, and some of the music is far too delicate to appreciate. Or too complex. And the darn car noise interferes with “classical” music more than it seems to with pop. (I hate the word “pop” so if anyone can find a better word do tell!)

And then there’s this from James Reel:

Still, there are listeners (or should they be called hearers?) out there who complain bitterly when we play anything post-Brahms. Some people even complain about Samuel Barber, who?s almost as Romantic as you can get in a 20th-century idiom, even in his thornier works like his Piano Concerto and Piano Sonata. As Patty, an oboist, might point out, Barber was capable of writing some marvelously romantic melodies, and he assigned some of his greatest effusions for the oboe; consider his School for Scandal Overture, and the slow movements of his Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 1. (If Patty has any objection to Barber?s Piano Concerto, I suspect it?s that the traitor gave the big tune in the slow movement to the flute.)

Well, I guess it’s okay to occasionally give the flute player something. Maybe.

And thanks, James, for responding to my post in that blog ‘o yours. I’m sorry I didn’t see it earlier.

Yes, I like a lot of what Barber wrote. I even attempted to write a poem once about the slow movement of the Violin Concerto, but writing about listening and what that listening does to my insides turned out to be nearly impossible. (Most men who read what I wrote thought it was all about sex which simply wasn’t true. But of course there is something about music ….)

Anyway, check out what James has to say.

Then go eat some turkey or something.
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