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A Classical Music Work You Really Cannot Listen To

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Posted on August 8, 2015 at 20:57:34
John C. - Aussie
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There are a few modern works I find difficulty listening to but that could be due to unfamiliarity so it would be unfair to list them.

BUT my pet hate is Ravel's "Bolero". To me it is repetitive, irritating and boring music. Sort of a bit like quite a lot (but not all) of modern rock music which I studiously avoid.

Any works in your list?

John

What can be more subjective than music? It reflects our individual tastes, says he enjoying many thousand albums on a Meridian Sooloos Server.

 

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RE: A Classical Music Work You Really Cannot Listen To, posted on August 8, 2015 at 21:39:29
ahendler
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Ravel also hated the fact that Bolero became known by many people as his most famous work. I don't care for most of Phillip Glasses work although his 2nd violin concerto is quite good
Alan

 

Fun topic, posted on August 8, 2015 at 22:28:49
Chris from Lafayette
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I don't mind Bolero at all, but there are some pieces that do send me running the other way:
  • Schoenberg's crappy orchestration of the Brahms Piano Quartet, Op. 25
  • Shostakovitch's crappy re-orchestration of the Schumann Cello Concerto
  • Mahler's crappy re-orchestration of the Schumann Symphonies
There are other pieces that I can't listen to either - and some of them have nothing to with orchestration! ;-)

 

Cage's 4'33" because, well, you know [nt], posted on August 9, 2015 at 01:20:32
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

Ives' 4th, much of the French Jazz-inflected Classical school: Ibert, Milhaud...., posted on August 9, 2015 at 08:01:40
jdaniel@jps.net
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so unrelentingly tart, like guzzling lime juice.

 

RE: For me, L'Arlesienne, for him...., posted on August 9, 2015 at 09:56:51
kitch29
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The tacked-on ending to..., posted on August 9, 2015 at 10:45:35
Jim Treanor
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Prokofiev's Seventh Symphony.


Jim
http://jimtranr.com

 

L' Arlesienne finale? da Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah da da da da Dah , posted on August 9, 2015 at 11:37:20
jdaniel@jps.net
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Not music to be listened to with a hangover....

 

The "happy" version! [nt] ;-), posted on August 9, 2015 at 12:13:23
Chris from Lafayette
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I've realized recently, posted on August 9, 2015 at 13:21:49
mbnx01
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I'm not much of a Prokofiev fan.

The warhorses, sure. But a lot of his output just seems pointless.




"To Learn Who Rules Over You, Simply Find Out Who You Are Not Allowed to Criticize."

-Voltaire

 

RE: Exactamundo! nt, posted on August 9, 2015 at 14:43:05
kitch29
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Still waiting for Pachelbel to shoot himself with his Canon...., posted on August 9, 2015 at 15:47:15
andy evans
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.... and the one that goes "boom", not the Japanese SLR.....

 

Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto, posted on August 9, 2015 at 15:54:28
TGR
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Makes me want to go screaming from the room. In recent years I have had to sit through it live twice in order to hear other music that I truly wanted to hear - hell in the concert hall. And in general I like Tchaikovsky, but not this work.

 

Funny, and completely understand, posted on August 9, 2015 at 15:57:00
TGR
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A few years ago I went to hear the Redwood Symphony perform the Mahler re-orchestration of the Eroica - and I hated it. For that matter, I also hated Mozart's version of Handel's Messiah when I heard that.

 

Ditto., posted on August 9, 2015 at 18:56:49
jbrrp1
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I'm just not much into piano concertos, in general, but that one takes the cake for me, too. And I have had the same fate of having to weather it to get to the pieces I really showed up for.

 

Yes - for Messiah, we really need the full Goosens/Beecham treatment! [nt] ;-), posted on August 9, 2015 at 23:36:43
Chris from Lafayette
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Tchaikovsky "Rococo Variations"........., posted on August 9, 2015 at 23:43:14
Todd Krieger
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To me, this piece is even more monotonous than "Bolero"....... The single most boring classical work I know of.
   

 

Very Performance Dependent......, posted on August 10, 2015 at 00:05:18
Todd Krieger
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This is one piece of music that the performer/performance is everything..... With many performers, the concerto bores me to tears.... But with Van Cliburn or Vladimir Horowitz, there is no piano concerto I like better. (Although the Brahms Two, Beethoven One, Mozart 24 and 25, and Rachmaninoff Three come close.)
   

 

My wife, who is a cellist, agrees with you [nt], posted on August 10, 2015 at 00:31:20
Amphissa
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.

"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1, posted on August 10, 2015 at 07:38:42
rbolaw
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For obvious reasons. Honorable mentions: Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite no. 1; Schubert, "Unfinished" Symphony; Verdi, March from Aida; Weinberger, Polka and Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper.

 

Nice Alto Sax Solos, tho... nt, posted on August 10, 2015 at 08:08:28
oldmkvi
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/

 

RE: A Classical Music Work You Really Cannot Listen To, posted on August 10, 2015 at 10:05:35
mkuller
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...any of the discordant stuff from modern composers.

 

Dah Dah da Dah Dah ... Dah Dah da Dah Dah ... nt, posted on August 10, 2015 at 10:58:09
rbolaw
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RE: Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1, posted on August 10, 2015 at 11:07:29
Todd Krieger
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The Elgar "Pomp" and Verdi "Aida" March were both pieces I liked as a child, but over the years, I realized these were pieces in which it didn't matter who performed or conducted them..... Works that a conductor can't mess up, but can't do anything extraordinary with either. (The one interesting thing about "Aida" is that it's often performed with long straight tubed "herald" trumpets. These instruments tend to have major intonation problems.)

Another work that does absolutely nothing for me is Johann Strauss Sr. "Radetzky" March. The march performed every New Year's Day in Vienna, in which the entire audience claps rhythmically to the music.
   

 

RE: Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1, posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:19:34
rbolaw
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You put your finger on the problem with all of this music for me: hearing it (and playing it) too often, starting in childhood.

 

Wow!. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:32:31
Chris from Lafayette
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What other selections from the "50 Famous Platinum Hits of Classical Music" do you despise? ;-)

BTW, I'm surprised you've encountered the Weinberger Polka and Fugue that often. ;-)

 

But that piece is almost as much Fitzenhagen as it is Tchaikovsky, posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:35:31
Chris from Lafayette
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Does your wife like the original un-Fitzenhagenized Urtext (available on a couple of recordings) any better?

 

Another listener casualty of the Second Vienna School and their followers! [nt] ;-), posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:37:00
Chris from Lafayette
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I hereby sentence you to listen to the end of. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:40:39
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . the Coronation Ode 50 times straight through - there are at least two recordings of it, so what are you waiting for? ;-)

 

My piano teacher used to say. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:45:43
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . that the only music by Prokofiev that was worthwhile was Peter and the Wolf.

As for me, I'm a BIG fan - for instance, Prokofiev's Second is my favorite Violin Concerto by anyone.

 

RE: Another listener casualty of the Second Vienna School and their followers! [nt] ;-), posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:54:08
rbolaw
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I wonder what you and others of this view think about modern discordant literature, theater, painting and sculpture?
Of course, the modernist movement, in its final years when I was a child and beginning music student, is considered old history by today's scholars. We are in the post-modernist era now. So if you are still complaining about the Second Viennese Movement, you are doing so as an historian or -gasp- musicologist.:-)

 

RE: Wow!. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 12:55:34
rbolaw
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"Despise" is the wrong word. More like, "heard or played too often".

 

Regardless, twleve-tone music did irreparable damage to many listeners. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 13:41:34
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . many of whom are still alive. It now appears as if it's been a musical dead end (thank goodness!). But if it's history, it's living history, and it's still performed and still having its injurious and alienating effects on the classical audience as a whole. Of course, I'm not denying that there's a fragment of the listening public (and the performing fraternity) that's "into" dodecaphony.

As for your question about modernism in general, the term just covers too many things to make a flat statement about it. I think the movement has contributed some effective and worthy products to society - especially in the areas of architecture and typography. (I love Helvetica!)

 

RE: Regardless, twleve-tone music did irreparable damage to many listeners. . . , posted on August 10, 2015 at 14:12:34
rbolaw
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I do think there are links between modernism in the various disciplines, and I should have included design and architecture, as you say.

As for "irreparable damage", I wouldn't use that phrase, but modernism has had a permanent cultural impact. Anyone who likes the theme from "Jaws" (inspired by the Sacrificial Dance of the Rite of Spring), or uses an iMac, iPhone, iPad, or i-anything, has felt its impact.

My personal modernist bÍte noire is architecture, not music. I wish the World Trade Center could have been taken down peacefully, with nobody getting hurt. Lincoln Center isn't quite as bad, but is still bad enough.

 

I don't have much of a problem with 'modernism' per se..., posted on August 10, 2015 at 18:12:07
Ivan303
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I just don't like to LISTEN to it. ;-)





 

People here Loves them some 19th Century Music !, posted on August 10, 2015 at 20:41:22
oldmkvi
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In other news, Stockhausen Festival in full swing at my place...

 

I never try to ..., posted on August 10, 2015 at 23:29:18
maxim
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listen to what I can't listen to ...

why bother? so much good stuff around ...

 

Spookily, I have trouble with Beethoven's Appassionata, posted on August 11, 2015 at 02:06:42
andy evans
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I like a lot of Beethoven sonatas, and curiously the most played give me the most trouble. The first movement of the Moonlight is frankly boring, to me at least.

The Appassionata seems to me to be "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing....". I think the actual thematic material of the first movement is relatively weak and it's just an anger fest - a genius flailing around in some kind of rant against the world. It's disturbing....

As they say in school, "Discuss........."

 

RE: A Classical Music Work You Really Cannot Listen To, posted on August 11, 2015 at 05:34:21
Larry I
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There are some works I heard that I have no big interest in hearing again, but, I don't think that "hate" would be the way I would characterize my feelings. I suppose something that is played a lot and which I am all too familiar with and which I cannot avoid, might fall int that category, but, for the most part I will simply avoid that music. The thing that does annoy me a bit is listening to the morning and evening rush hour popular classics on the one decent FM station in the Washington DC area (the Baltimore station does not always come in cleanly). The play list is too short so one ends up hearing the "Carmen Suite" all too often. At least that station has a digital subcarrier that offers vocal music, but, it too, has a somewhat limited playlist (predominantly Baroque opera selections). I like modern composers/compositions that often make "hate" lists, and very little of that music is played on the radio (how long would I have to listen before someone like Kaija Saariaho is played on this station?).

While I don't really "hate" anything, I have bought CDs that I have listened to only once and probably will never listen to again. A collection of Leroy Anderson works comes to mind.

 

RE: Spookily, I have trouble with Beethoven's Appassionata, posted on August 11, 2015 at 07:24:26
rbolaw
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One problem may be that you've simply heard it and/or played it too often. I find it hard to listen to Beethoven's fifth symphony, especially the first movement, for that reason.
Beethoven's relentlessness can wear you out. He never knew there would be recordings and people listening to the same thing endlessly. In his time he had only one chance to grab the listener by the throat.
The late string quartets are another matter.

 

I'll be posting about Stockhausen very soon! [nt] ;-), posted on August 11, 2015 at 07:50:53
Chris from Lafayette
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I agree about parts of the first movement, posted on August 11, 2015 at 08:03:37
Chris from Lafayette
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I've never liked those sudden fortissimo chords which alternate between the two hands - such a cheap effect! (It can be mitigated a bit if the pianist plays them poco piu mosso IMHO.) The second and third movements are wonderful though. In the third movement, I always think about the story of the great Rubinstein (i.e., ANTON Rubinstein) playing the movement so fast that, by the time he got to the coda, his arms and fingers locked up and he couldn't go on, slamming the piano lid down in disgust - the audience is said to have gone wild with cheers and applause! Even Czerny says the the last movement should not be played too fast, but my imprint performances were Richter and Moravec, so I've never liked performances with more moderate tempos - LOL!

 

For me, Leroy Anderson GT. Kaija Saariaho! ;-), posted on August 11, 2015 at 08:17:40
Chris from Lafayette
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Although I have to admit, I've heard only one work by Saariaho. (It was during a concert by Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony, and I couldn't escape in time!)

However, there's always the chance I'll reverse my opinion as I get to know more of Saariaho's music. (I'd give it a chance of 0.003%!)

 

RE: But that piece is almost as much Fitzenhagen as it is Tchaikovsky, posted on August 11, 2015 at 08:39:15
Amphissa
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Not really. We've got the recordings by Knushevitsky, Isserlis and Webber.


"Life without music is a mistake" (Nietzsche)

 

...and the Fall of Western Civilization. I did my part! nt, posted on August 11, 2015 at 08:46:05
oldmkvi
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I love Stockhausen - here's why. . . , posted on August 11, 2015 at 09:13:00
Chris from Lafayette
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Hint: I just downloaded the 24/96 version of this:



I'm grooving to it right now! And I know people here will get tired of my quoting this, but, as Stockhausen himself said, "She has the ability to make people like my music!"

 

Beautiful, Alluring, Can Count Like Mad... , posted on August 11, 2015 at 09:24:23
oldmkvi
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I'll check it out.
I love his Zeitmas for WW Quintet, fair amount of other stuff with Clarinet.
One Piano piece with a Ring-Modulator made my Kefs sound like they were being SHREDDED- Freaked me out the first time!

 

RE: I never try to ..., posted on August 11, 2015 at 09:58:02
Background music that is barely audible can be a very valuable thing, IMO.

If I'm busy around the house but within earshot of the sweet spot I call my listening room, I will sometimes play recordings that I know I don't really "like" in order to keep them on the ol' backburner for a while. While I may not like this or that in the here and now, I want to keep my mind open to the possibility that my personal sentiments will change at some point in the future.

The music I dislike today could make sense to me tomorrow, for a variety of reasons. I don't want to miss what I might end up missing so I try to listen (at least once) to as many different things as possible.

 

Actually, it's all too listenable, posted on August 11, 2015 at 10:45:19
The "Second Viennese School" made it's debut during the bloom of Classical Romanticism for a good reason IMO. That reason? The "classicists" ignored and/or did not bother to memorialize as musical subject matter, too many different aspects of the human experience. By the time Romanticism reached full swing, it was high time for a musical mudbath of some kind.

I think that Beethoven probably was the first major talent to sense and recognize that classical music could use a boost or a change of some kind.

It turned out that the rising middle classes couldn't have cared less, though. It was too late for "The New Romanticism" as envisioned by Schoenberg. The New Romanticism (if it can be called that) turned out to be something akin to *classically informed folk music*.

 

Exactly...(nt), posted on August 11, 2015 at 10:47:29
mkuller
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(nt)

 

RE: I never try to ..., posted on August 11, 2015 at 11:30:59
maxim
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Sounds to me you are talking about music you are curious about, even if you do not like it yet; not the music "you really do not like".

I too explore music in the background that I do not know. But not the music I know and "really do not like".

 

Actually, I'm talking about..., posted on August 11, 2015 at 11:38:04
... music that I don't necessarily "like" but am curious about (on some level) just the same.

Even if the music at first seems neither pleasing or curiosity-inspiring I might decide to listen to it, at least from afar. I can't change my mind about music that I have not heard and memorized to some degree, I want it to be stored in memory for future reference.

And yes - sometimes I'll listen to such music more than once, occasionally or in series.

 

Worse... Moonlight Sonata..., posted on August 11, 2015 at 12:59:33
kuma
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Partly due to I played it too many times when I was a kid.

Sick of it now.

 

What do you think of the works of. . ., posted on August 11, 2015 at 13:52:48
Larry I
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Magnus Lindberg, Ms. Saariaho's slightly younger compatriot? Even among fans of modern music, so many composers and compositions are extremely polarizing and I am often surprised by the likes and dislikes of any given listener.

I have gotten some strange, and wonderful, reactions to recordings I have lent to people in my office. One young fellow, who listens mostly to indie rock, inquired about modern classical music. On a wild hunch, I brought it a copy of Harry Partch's "Delusion of the Fury" and this supposed classical neophyte loved the CD (he went out searching for an LP copy of the music, which I am sure is an extreme rarity). Even stranger was his comment which was that it reminded him of the music of Luciano Berio!

This was almost as surprising as when another youngster asked for jazz recommendations and I brought in a few different recordings, including some Coltrane. He particularly liked the Coltrane and went looking for more of his works. A few weeks later, he said that the jazz album that he liked the most was "Interstellar Space." Who would have expected someone would instantly connect with free jazz?

 

The shirt-fronting aspect of Beethoven?! , posted on August 11, 2015 at 16:58:38
Timbo in Oz
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It's embedded in lots of his music, isn't it?

:-)!

He was going to be HEARD!!!



Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

about half of all classical piano music on a modern grand piano, posted on August 11, 2015 at 17:09:32
Timbo in Oz
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Haydn through to Brahms, at least.

;-) and ;-)!!!

But then again, and thinking about this calmly we would listen to ABC Classic FM at least 7 hours each day, and I never turn it off. Usually the FRKitchen system and the bedroom system are on.

I do turn it -up- sometimes.

Like right now, for the final item but also for the two before.

"Praetorius
Dances from Terpsichore
The Early Music Consort of London/David Munrow
Virgin 3 500003 2
10'00

Palestrina
Magnificat quarti toni (Magnificat on the 4th Tone)
The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
Coro COR16124

Biber
Violin Sonata III in F (1681)
John Holloway, v; Aloysia Assenbaum , o; Lars Ulrick Mortensen, hc
ECM 1791"


Bloody marvellous.



Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

You're right - people's tastes are unpredictable, posted on August 11, 2015 at 18:37:31
Chris from Lafayette
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I think I've told this story before about the guy in my office who was kind of an audiophile and had never heard Dvorak's New World Symphony. I recommended the Jarvi/Cincinnati on Telarc because I think at the time it might have been the only one available on SACD. A few days later, I asked him how he liked it, and he replied, "Well, I thought the Dvorak was kind of corny - but I really liked that Martinu symphony!" (The Martinu Symphony No. 2 was the "filler" on that recording.)



Regarding Mr. Magnus Lindberg, again, I have only one recording: Lisa's sterling Sony release of the Lindberg Violin Concerto - and because I've been able to play it and listen to it more than once, I've reached more of an accommodation with it. The same thing might happen if I listened repeatedly to one of Saariaho's works - you never know! ;-)

 

It's all just tone and color to me..., posted on August 12, 2015 at 05:20:18
Discordant or cordant or what have you. I'll take it if it sounds good, or at least sounds right. I try not to think in terms of single ingredients. I try to think in terms of balance. And when I think of the word "balance", I am once again reminded of the very old music of Gesualdo.

A little discordancy forces sweetness. It makes things sweeter in a painful sort of way. It was like Tabasco on Gesualdo's morning eggs.

"A SWEET disorder in the dress Kindles in clothes a wantonness" - Robert Herrick

 

Missa Solemnis, posted on December 30, 2016 at 17:43:49
Jay Buridan
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Also, Fidelio.

 

Exsultate jubilate, K 165 , posted on January 3, 2017 at 19:36:14
Jay Buridan
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I love Mozart but this must be one of his musical jokes that nobody got.













 

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