Of the Bartok 2nd Violin Concerto, [log in to unmask] writes:
>I'm not sure that I can give Ravi any sage advice, apart from simply
>to listen to each moment as it comes ...
Very true -- all one can do is listen. Empty your mind of all expectations
and of all music you've heard before (not an easy task) and let the music
take shape in your consciousness on its own terms. My own personal
opinion is this is how you should listen to ALL music, but that is another
I, like Ravi and Mr. Webber, did not immediately 'get' Bartok. Oh, I
responded well enough to the barbarisms of THE MIRACULOUS MANDARIN and
the whirlwind finale of the CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA, but the rewards to
be found in the string quartets, the piano music, the violin music and
CONTRASTS, came slowly. Then, one day - POW - the Violin Concerto was
among the greatest of its kind, the Piano Sonata became one of my favorite
works and I still marvel at the little orchestral suites and the many
felicities of detail in the composition and the orchestration.
What other composers took a while for people to warm up to? Here's a
short list of my own of composers I now enjoy, but found difficult at
some point in my life.
Scriabin - never understood what all the ballyhoo was about. He was
just embraced by the druggies of the 70s for his lofty all-encompassing,
psychedelic ideas rather than for his music, which seemed to sit endlessly
on one chord while various instruments noodle around with something that
was jokingly called a melody.
Haydn? A Mozart wanna be. Always coming in the back door at Esterhazy,
a hired hand, nothing more. Good technique, but a hundred and four of
these things? Why would anybody want his head?
Schubert? Franz, old boy - I got it after the first two times. No need
to do it yet again. And you really should reread some of the poems you
set. You seemed to miss the point.
Bruckner? so Catholic! Again, like Scriabin, the harmonic rhythm of
his works was deadly dull and that incessant ONE-TWO-ONE-TWO-THREE-ONE
rhythm! Oh come on Anton! You sound like Schubert with eight horns.
Elgar? The Enigma Variations are nice enough but all those long-winded
oratorios and stodgy symphonies! What's with the British anyways? Such
a rich warehouse of indigenous folk music and there hasn't been a great
composer since Purcell!
Of course, my opinions changed over time. Anyone else care to share a
list of their own?
Who still listens to Koechlin's SEVEN STARS SYMPHONY once a year to be
sure it was really as bad as he remembers it.
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