16. July 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Still, was Central Park last night any place for a guy who was executive editor at the legendary Crawdaddy from 1971 to 1979, when my generation’s main exposure to Ludvig Van was via Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange?

As it happens, I have become obsessed with Beethoven in the past two years. Yes, there is a bit of the political to it — this is the man who always took the part of average folk and famously promoted the view (in his Ninth Symphony) that “all men are brothers.” His “Ode to Joy” accompanied the tearing down of the Berlin Wall — and was played when Kosovo declared its independence. But it is much more than that. Earlier this year, I was in London for my daughter’s wedding and “somehow” found a way to catch three Beethoven concerts within five days. Oh, I made it to the wedding, too.

In fact, if you had told me two years ago that I would spend the morning of my 60th birthday — and the evening of my 25th wedding anniversary — with Ludwig van Beethoven, I would have laughed, or perhaps played a chord of “Wild Thing” on my guitar. After all, until that time, I did not know the difference between a cadenza and a concerto, an oboe and a bassoon. So how did this former rock ‘n roll writer/editor become obsessed with Beethoven?

Read it all.

16. July 2009 · Comments Off on Such a Deal! · Categories: Symphony, Videos

I don’t need another set of the Beethoven Symphonies, but if I did, I’d quickly hop over to iTunes and buy Nikolaus Harnoncourt/Chamber Orchestra Of Europe set of all nine symphonies for only $14.99. You can’t beat the price, to be sure. I don’t see any live performance YouTube videos of Harnoncourt conducting a Beethoven symphony, so an overture will have to suffice:

… but if you want to hear the conductor and the chamber orchestra playing a bit of Beethoven’s fifth, there’s this recording (this is not from the set on iTunes:

16. July 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

spotted… manboy in minivan jamming out to oboe music?

16. July 2009 · Comments Off on It’s Never Too Late · Categories: Links

… to go back to school!

It was starting to get embarrassing: I’d been living in New York City for 20 years and had never been to the symphony.

I considered myself a well educated person, read books and magazines, spent hours at art museums. But for some reason, live classical music intimidated me. Maybe it was the tuxedos and evening gowns worn by the members of the New York Philharmonic, or those mysterious pauses between movements when everyone seemed to know not to applaud.

So last fall I audited a music appreciation course at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York — the first time I had been back to college since I graduated in 1976. I wanted to learn just enough about Western classical music to enjoy an evening at the opera or a chamber music performance. I also wanted to finish what I’d started in my first semester of college when I signed up for — then dropped out of — an introductory music class.

You can read the whole thing if you’d like.