Author Topic: Unpopular Opinions  (Read 223005 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2560 on: April 10, 2018, 09:47:11 AM »
Most people here, perhaps, although I wouldn't bet on it --- but when it comes to popularity the world is much larger than GMG.

What is "unpopular" about your opinion, imo, is that you think it matters how popular classical music or composers are with the world beyond GMG.

Is it not enough for you to simply listen to what you enjoy and forget the rest? 

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2561 on: April 10, 2018, 09:51:08 AM »
...Florestan emerges, snarling, from an elevator with Beethoven's fifth playing softly in the background:

"Just once I'd like to hear them play Ferdinand Ries!!!"

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2562 on: April 10, 2018, 09:56:36 AM »
...Florestan emerges, snarling, from an elevator with Beethoven's fifth playing softly in the background:

"Just once I'd like to hear them play Ferdinand Ries!!!"

(* chortle *)
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2563 on: April 10, 2018, 10:00:11 AM »
1. Beethoven's music is much better than, and must be rescued from, its posterity.

2. The German/Austrian canon is a late, nationalistic, ideological fabrication with little real background, if at all: with few exceptions, for each and every composer in its top 10 there is at least one non-German/Austrian, or one neglected German/Austrian, of equal musical quality.

I don't understand 1.
I'd like to apply a few distinctions to 2. There are without question a few extremely important and influential composers from Germany/Austria. I disagree that for Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Wagner there is at least one other composer of similar quality and importance. Maybe Brahms is not quite as important as the others but I think he is still by far the most important non-opera composer of his generation (born between ca. 1820 and 1840). For Bach one could argue Handel (which would be odd because he was German as well) or maybe Rameau. But I don't think many would agree.

EDIT: I might have misunderstood the claim. I do not disagree that for each of the top 10 German/Austrian composers there could be found a roughly equally important composer, if one can pick from the whole of music history (like Monteverdi, Stravinsky etc). But I think that among their respective contemporaries these guys (Bach, Mozart etc.) dominated (or dominate in the retrospective canon) for good musical reasons and that this is not a mere fabrication by Philipp Spitta or other 19th century music historians.

However, I agree that forming composers from about 200 years (say Bach to Schönberg and Hindemith) into one line of tradition and connecting this with something "German" is problematic or even nonsensical and was probably inspired by 19th century nationalism. Germany and Austria were rather distinct countries and different cultures for most of this time. And, more importantly, the influence and impact of these composers, both as input and output, usually was very "European". It is disingenious to think of Haydn and Mozart or of Brahms, Bruckner and Wagner as "national schools" like one could with some justification in the case of the late 19th century Russians. And I would argue that this is precisely why they were so important. They "transcend" the national schools.

It is somewhat different with opera because this was Italian/French dominated, so unlike in instrumental music there was a conscious effort to establish German language opera. But Mozart, who started German Opera for real (there was German baroque opera but it did not amount to a distinct style, I think) also wrote equally or more important operas and his style was strongly italian-influenced. In any case, nobody would seriously claim that German opera was as "dominant" as instrumental music in the canon/repertoire, so this may be a moot point.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 10:24:23 AM by Jo498 »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2564 on: April 10, 2018, 10:01:21 AM »
...Florestan emerges, snarling, from an elevator with Beethoven's fifth playing softly in the background:

"Just once I'd like to hear them play Ferdinand Ries!!!"

That's the spirit!  :laugh:
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Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2565 on: April 10, 2018, 10:21:29 AM »
...Florestan emerges, snarling, from an elevator with Beethoven's fifth playing softly in the background:

"Just once I'd like to hear them play Ferdinand Ries!!!"

And don’t forget: he's knitting.
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Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2566 on: April 10, 2018, 11:20:46 AM »
...Florestan emerges, snarling, from an elevator with Beethoven's fifth playing softly in the background:

"Just once I'd like to hear them play Ferdinand Ries!!!"
Hell yeah! That would be awesome!
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2567 on: April 11, 2018, 12:46:58 PM »
*shrug* One might just as well complain about the sudden profusion of French composers in a certain period, and all those others hanging around Paris.

Culture is not evenly distributed. The arts flourish in certain places at certain times because the conditions are right.
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Offline The Six

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2568 on: May 16, 2018, 03:29:30 AM »
Alberti Bass is awful and Mozart's frequent use of it holds him back from being the greatest composer.

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2569 on: May 16, 2018, 03:32:38 AM »
Alberti Bass is awful and Mozart's frequent use of it holds him back from being the greatest composer.
The single, actual reason? :laugh:

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2570 on: September 04, 2018, 05:20:12 AM »
I don't know whether this is unpopular or not around here. But it would be unpopular in a room of music reviewers...

*deep breath*

Graham Johnson might be a decent accompanist, but as a writer of booklet notes for his song series on Hyperion he is an exasperating arsehole.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2571 on: September 04, 2018, 05:27:04 AM »
Graham Johnson might be a decent accompanist, but as a writer of booklet notes for his song series on Hyperion he is an exasperating arsehole.

I have the Schumann and the Schubert's Contemporaries boxes but I don't remember his liner notes as being particularly annoying. An example or two of his arseholeness might be useful.  :)
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2572 on: September 04, 2018, 05:35:02 AM »
I have the Schumann and the Schubert's Contemporaries boxes but I don't remember his liner notes as being particularly annoying. An example or two of his arseholeness might be useful.  :)

If you have the complete boxes, most of the arseholery is missing. You need the individual volume booklets, which can be found on the Hyperion website.

I have the Faure series, where he manages to communicate which songs he thinks aren't really worth listening to but he included them in a complete collection, wasn't that nice of him?

But it's the Brahms series that has me seeing red at the moment. Volume 1 will do nicely to illustrate, but I think the first 6 all have the glaring example:

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDJ33121

Each booklet starts with his condescending explanation of why he's right to not group songs together in opuses (the way that the DG and CPO sets of Brahms do). Each booklet is then rife with justifications for grouping songs together, including in opuses.

Starting with the first two songs on Volume 1, which he announces are clearly an intentional pair. He then goes on to convey what a genius Brahms was for putting op.48 together from songs that were composed at different times to different poets.

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Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2573 on: September 04, 2018, 05:37:02 AM »
If you have the complete boxes, most of the arseholery is missing. You need the individual volume booklets, which can be found on the Hyperion website.

But it's the Brahms series that has me seeing red at the moment. Volume 1 will do nicely to illustrate, but I think the first 6 all have the glaring example:

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDJ33121

Each booklet starts with his condescending explanation of why he's right to not group songs together in opuses (the way that the DG and CPO sets of Brahms do). Each booklet is then rife with justifications for grouping songs together, including in opuses.

Starting with the first two songs on Volume 1, which he announces are clearly an intentional pair. He then goes on to convey what a genius Brahms was for putting op.48 together from songs that were composed at different times to different poets.

You what is real assholery? Noting that the plural of opus is opera.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2574 on: September 04, 2018, 05:37:18 AM »
I don't know whether this is unpopular or not around here. But it would be unpopular in a room of music reviewers...

*deep breath*

Graham Johnson might be a decent accompanist, but as a writer of booklet notes for his song series on Hyperion he is an exasperating arsehole.
Relatedly, but perhaps not under the usual rubric of this thread, almost every single jazz album liner note from the 1940s-60s is simply horrible. Maybe 40% of them are written by old white men who are trying to sound cool while they heap praise on the young black artists which, because of the way it's written, doesn't really sound like praise at all, or is remarkably reductive/condescending. Another 40% are highly technical and give no hint that the author takes pleasure in hearing music.

Actually, that last sentence is true in classical music, too.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2575 on: September 04, 2018, 05:39:18 AM »
You what is real assholery? Noting that the plural of opus is opera.

What that is, is fake learning where people forget they're speaking English.

Tell me your preferred plural of "octopus" and I'll tell you why it's probably wrong...
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Online TheGSMoeller

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2576 on: September 04, 2018, 05:40:42 AM »

Tell me your preferred plural of "octopus" and I'll tell you why it's probably wrong...

Octopusses?

Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2577 on: September 04, 2018, 05:41:10 AM »
Relatedly, but perhaps not under the usual rubric of this thread, almost every single jazz album liner note from the 1940s-60s is simply horrible. Maybe 40% of them are written by old white men who are trying to sound cool while they heap praise on the young black artists which, because of the way it's written, doesn't really sound like praise at all, or is remarkably reductive/condescending. Another 40% are highly technical and give no hint that the author takes pleasure in hearing music.

Actually, that last sentence is true in classical music, too.

Shameful post.
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Offline Ken B

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2578 on: September 04, 2018, 05:43:17 AM »
What that is, is fake learning where people forget they're speaking English.

Tell me your preferred plural of "octopus" and I'll tell you why it's probably wrong...

Octopera.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2579 on: September 04, 2018, 05:45:03 AM »
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