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CLASSICAL  November 2006

CLASSICAL November 2006

Subject:

Re: George Lloyd

From:

Jeff Dunn <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 14 Nov 2006 06:30:43 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

As Steve says,

>George Lloyd is one of those composers most people either love or hate.

Aside from the obvious omission, that "most" people have never heard of
him, I find this statement hits on an important issue that is too often
neglected, or worse, replaced with ardent defense of or attack on the
worthiness of a particular composer.

That issue is: how long does it take us to recognize that a composer we
dislike may actually provide as deep an experience for others as we get
from our favorites?

I still remember a dormmate in college who was passionate about classical
music, and would insist to anyone willing to listen that Tchaikovsky was
the supreme composer, and anyone who felt otherwise was wrong--LOGICALLY
wrong!  Then he would enumerate Tchaikovsky's characteristics ad nauseam
until I got tired of arguing with him on the point that it was really
possible someone equally as sophisticated and passionate as he might
aver that another composer was better than Tchaikovsky.

The other side of the coin of the issue is: how long does it take us
to recognize that a composer we like may actually provide a negative
experience for equally sophisticated others?  Rather than address the
very difficult psychological and physiological differences that exist
between listeners, it's easier to blame the Academy, Glock or some other
repressive and predominantly responsible force for the neglect of our
favorites.

With regard to George Lloyd then, I have to report, regretfully,
that I bought several of his CDs and LPs based on the characteristics
cited--conservatism, melodicism, etc.  After a few listenings, I gave
up on the man--for me.  I love melodies, but his didn't do it for me.
His orchestrations didn't flash for me.  It was so easy to give up on
him because there were so many others that appealed to me sooner.  His
music was straightforward enough so I suspected I wouldn't find deeper
things if I kept on suffering.  So instead I went on to others like
Rubbra or Blake or Birtwistle who interested me more.

On the other hand, I rejoice that forums such as this might acquaint
others with his music.  I know composers like Lloyd and Brian bring joy
to many.  Everyone should try them out, and even if I don't like them,
I am grateful that they at least seem to make others happy.  We are
really fortunate in that the music of less universally appealing composers
is far easier to obtain than it once was.  The daunting thing is that
there is so much out there that's being composed all the time, some of
it very nice, but far less likely to be heard than any of Lloyd's
compositions.  For all too many of the folks slaving away writing their
hearts out, their music will be thrown out as gibberish by their heirs,
or if the fruit of their labors does have some days in the sun, it will
more likely after they are composing only for harps in the clouds.

Jeff Dunn
Alameda, CA

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