GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Diletante on November 24, 2008, 06:22:24 AM

Title: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on November 24, 2008, 06:22:24 AM
Hi there.

Maybe you remember the time when you were new to classical music and had all these stupid ideas about it. Care to share them?

I remember that in my first concert (some months ago), when the orchestra started tuning (or whatever the word is), I actually thought they had started playing! I remember I thought: "wow, that doesn't sound good...". Then, after a while they stopped, the conductor walked in and I felt incredibly stupid.

But, hey, I didn't applaude between the movements!  :)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 24, 2008, 06:28:33 AM
I used to think that composers writing tonal music in the 20th Century were "regressive".  ::)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Opus106 on November 24, 2008, 06:54:59 AM
I thought I'd never get Mahler. This was true till about a few weeks ago. The stupid thing about that was, I'd never listened to much of the symphonies. The sixth, only a couple of times, and that too from somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Ugh! on November 24, 2008, 07:05:19 AM
I thought there was nothing more to Stravinsky than Rite  $:)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: The new erato on November 24, 2008, 07:32:22 AM
I thought there was nothing more to Stravinsky than Rite  $:)
and you found out you were wrong instead of rite?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 24, 2008, 07:36:25 AM
You might even say it's sacre-legious.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: edward on November 24, 2008, 07:41:27 AM
I first heard the suites from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet in the late '80s and they did nothing for me then....and then I finally listened to the whole ballet this year.

If there's a stupid competition, I win! ;)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 24, 2008, 08:29:49 AM
This blinkered Wagnerian ignored (most of) Schumann's music until 2002 (age 41)...
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 24, 2008, 09:01:11 AM
I came straight out of nursery rhymes and thought Kuhlau a great master. My horizons were first stretched by a Myra Hess piano album. I wish I still had it.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Novi on November 24, 2008, 09:12:54 AM
I thought Bach's WTC was scored for keyboard and chorus. Seriously :-[. I bought the Gould recording and remembering telling my sister that I didn't like it because there were monks chanting in the background or something.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 24, 2008, 09:43:05 AM
I used to think that composers writing tonal music in the 20th Century were "regressive".  ::)

Hahahaha, now there's funny.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: rappy on November 24, 2008, 09:49:21 AM
I used to think that R. Strauss was not the greatest genius there has ever been.

 0:)

When I was 14, I registered at GMG and asked why Romantic composers didn't write as many symphonies as Haydn and Mozart did.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 24, 2008, 10:03:44 AM
I thought Bach's WTC was scored for keyboard and chorus. Seriously :-[. I bought the Gould recording and remembering telling my sister that I didn't like it because there were monks chanting in the background or something.

I think that's funny, too.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 24, 2008, 10:21:24 AM
Hahahaha, now there's funny.

Yes, especially if you look at my current favorites (Sibelius, Nielsen, Delius, Honegger). :D

The sad thing is that some people haven't grown out of it (cf. the Schonberg on Sibelius thread :o)!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: ChamberNut on November 24, 2008, 11:15:49 AM
I never ever thought I could listen and enjoy Wagner.  I was wrong.  :)

Also didn't think I could ever enjoy Bartok's quartets.  Wrong again.  :)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: ChamberNut on November 24, 2008, 11:22:27 AM
Here's another stupidity.

At first, I thought Schubert's Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished" was just the nickname of the symphony.   :P :-[
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Opus106 on November 24, 2008, 11:28:19 AM
At first, I thought Schubert's Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished" was just the nickname of the symphony.   :P :-[

Isn't it?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: ChamberNut on November 24, 2008, 11:37:07 AM
Isn't it?

What I meant was that if Schubert had written S# 8 to it's completion (ie. 4 standard movements), would he have named it "Unfinished"?   :D

What do you mean, who's on first?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Opus106 on November 24, 2008, 11:43:17 AM
What I meant was that if Schubert had written S# 8 to it's completion (ie. 4 standard movements), would he have named it "Unfinished"?   :D

Ah...

Quote
What do you mean, who's on first?
Was that a pop. culture reference? Sorry, I don't get it. :(
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Keemun on November 24, 2008, 12:02:07 PM
Was that a pop. culture reference? Sorry, I don't get it. :(

Yes, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/v/VW_qa6swnOM
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Opus106 on November 24, 2008, 12:02:26 PM
>> Two Orchestral Stupidities (http://wiki.killuglyradio.com/wiki/Two_Orchestral_Stupidities) by Frank Zappa (published in 'Musician' magazine 1981)

"greedy bunch of mechanics" ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Opus106 on November 24, 2008, 12:09:54 PM
Yes, here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/v/VW_qa6swnOM

Thanks. That was good! ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 24, 2008, 02:51:59 PM
I used to think that composers writing tonal music in the 20th Century were "regressive".  ::)
Sorry for the confusion. I meant that your making that statement was funny, not that thinking tonal composers were regressive was funny. Writing tonal music in the 20th century was regressive.

Doesn't mean the music is necessarily bad. The composers you mentioned--Sibelius, Nielsen, Delius, Honegger--all wrote decent stuff. Well, three out of four.

And many other fine composers over the next hundred years found ways to deal with the tonality of the past. But that's just the point. It's a system of the past. And we aren't living in the past. We're alive in 2008. Many things have happened since 1908. You can't really just behave, as a composer, as if none of that ever happened, can you?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 24, 2008, 03:11:52 PM
Quote from: some guy
Writing tonal music in the 20th century was regressive.

I should probably clarify as well — I used to think that only the avant-garde were the only composers that were relevant and that everyone that didn't fall in were "backsliders". The idea that tonality had an expiration date of about 1912 seems laughable to me. Vaughan Williams's 6th symphony (composed in 1946) is just as much of its time as Boulez's Notations (1945).

Quote from: some guy
Well, three out of four.

Not many Delians on this forum! :)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: rappy on November 24, 2008, 03:14:11 PM
Tonality is not a system of the past, it's a natural phenomenon of the human nature. The human spirit naturally relates a chain of notes to a fundamental note.

Quote
You can't really just behave, as a composer, as if none of that ever happened, can you?

No, you can't. You can for example learn that the idea of replacing a system which fulfils the human way of percieving notes by an arbitrarily constructed system the way Schönberg and his followers was a meander.

It's like saying: Let's stop flavouring with salt, we must find something new: now you may only ingredient twice if you've used all the other ingredients before.

(Of course tonality doesn't mean I-V-I)

Sorry, can't express myself too well in English.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 24, 2008, 03:36:47 PM
Quote from: some guy
Well, three out of four.
Not many Delians on this forum! :)

Hah! How did you know? (Good one, Corey!!) ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: eyeresist on November 24, 2008, 05:33:46 PM
When I was 14, I registered at GMG and asked why Romantic composers didn't write as many symphonies as Haydn and Mozart did.

That's not a stupid question.
 

the liberating twelve-tone method did not make tonality obsolete

Liberating? Surely serialism is no less constricting than conventional tonality.
 
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 24, 2008, 05:43:45 PM
the liberating twelve-tone method did not make tonality obsolete

Plus there were lots of things going on in the last century besides the liberating twelve-tone method, some of them having naught to do with tonality in any way, a- or pan- or serial or whatever (serialism being a kind of tonality, after all, or at least to do with pitch being at the center of things still).

One frequently sees the twentieth century described as an arch: tonality - serialism - tonality. This is not simply an oversimplification; it is a grotesque perversion of what actually went on in those hundred years.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: c#minor on November 24, 2008, 06:20:52 PM
ahh and the arugument begins. "Tonal is better", "No post-tonal is better" blah blah blah. We have both, why not enjoy them both  ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: c#minor on November 24, 2008, 06:22:28 PM
my contribution to this thread is when i was utterly confused why four "songs" were listed under one symphony.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2008, 06:28:27 PM
Tonality is not a system of the past, it's a natural phenomenon of the human nature. The human spirit naturally relates a chain of notes to a fundamental note.

Not necessarily. What's "natural" is the human imagination. Trying to curb it is what's unnatural.

If your perception is such you can't stomach dissonant music that's one thing - and, yes, completely natural.

But those who warm to dissonance have all the "natural" hardware you have. We're not mutants. 

Quote
It's like saying: Let's stop flavouring with salt, we must find something new:

There are any NUMBER of ways to flavor food. Salt being only one. No reason at all this philosophy can't be applied to music!!



Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2008, 06:34:15 PM
ahh and the arugument begins. "Tonal is better" ;D

Yes, and it's ironic in the extreme such sentiments should show up in a thread about past musical misconceptions! :D

The future may be different for them!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Chrone on November 24, 2008, 07:08:44 PM
"For years I thought the Goldberg Variations was something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg tried on their wedding night."

(although my vote for funniest line in that movie is "That's OK, we can walk to the curb from here.")
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Chrone on November 24, 2008, 07:10:42 PM
"For years I thought the Goldberg Variations was something Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg tried on their wedding night."

(although my vote for funniest line in that movie is "That's OK, we can walk to the curb from here.")

Did I just confuse Annie Hall with Stardust Memories?

The horror. The horror.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 24, 2008, 07:12:35 PM
ahh and the arugument begins. "Tonal is better", "No post-tonal is better" blah blah blah. We have both, why not enjoy them both  ;D

That was my point.

Yes, and it's ironic in the extreme such sentiments should show up in a thread about past musical misconceptions! :D

The future may be different for them!

For whom? Currently sitting on my desk are Boulez's Le marteau sans maître, a box set of Fauré's chamber music and a recording of Delius's Sea Drift. Surely that isn't hiding behind garden fences, is it? :)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2008, 07:34:27 PM
For whom?

For those who criticize dissonant/serial music (the anti-modernists).

Quote
Currently sitting on my desk are Boulez's Le marteau sans maître, a box set of Fauré's chamber music and a recording of Delius's Sea Drift. Surely that isn't hiding behind garden fences, is it? :)

No, no - that's just the sort of eclecticism that does the body good! But some people don't see it that way. Especially in regards to music such as Boulez.

My dream is one day it'll 'click' for them.


Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 24, 2008, 08:51:39 PM
Did I just confuse Annie Hall with Stardust Memories?

Well, your second quote is from Annie Hall:

"That's OK, we can walk to the curb from here."

Don't know about the first quote.


Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: eyeresist on November 24, 2008, 09:15:34 PM
It's like saying: Let's stop flavouring with salt, we must find something new: now you may only ingredient twice if you've used all the other ingredients before.

Coffee with salt instead of sugar is The Coffee Of The Future!

Boulez: "Anyone who has not seen the necessity of salt in their coffee instead of sugar is USELESS!"

Schoenberg: "I hope that one day the postman will whistle happily whilst putting salt in his coffee."

Pretty much everyone else: "From now on, I'm drinking tea."
 
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: The Six on November 24, 2008, 09:43:25 PM
Tonality is not a system of the past, it's a natural phenomenon of the human nature. The human spirit naturally relates a chain of notes to a fundamental note.

Doesn't primitivism show the opposite, that tonality is a sophisticated system, and not something that comes naturally to humans?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Mozart on November 24, 2008, 10:07:10 PM
I used to do pushups to Mozart's 40th symphony...before I even knew anything about classical music. The first movement was just energetic and made me want to keep going. My classical music folder was a few single movement pieces of various composers...

and the first time I was actually moved by a piece of classical music...I was quite stoned  >:D (shsshhh)

It was Beethoven's moonlight sonata...and the third movement, I just couldn't follow how 1 person could be playing it. I felt the noted pounding on my brain and it felt all tingly.

And the first opera I ever heard was Mozart's Figaro, I would listen on my way to class. And of course like in any crowded school it takes 20 minutes to find a parking spot, so I would listen to it really loud with the windows down and I'd be singing along.

Ohh also, I would listen to Vivaldi really loud in my car, one of the first pieces I heard were the 4 seasons..and everytime before the 3rd movement of summer it would get quiet...and then BOOOM! It would scare me to death and almost caused me to crash 2-3 times hehe. Ok not crash but move the steering wheel a little.


And I used to listen to a paganini violin concerto over and over, that was pretty stupid.

Haha ok last one, I was listening to Brahms 1st symphony during a math test...and I just started humming along while everyone was hysterically cracking up. And then I couldn't get the tune out of my head...lets see 5^4= dararara
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: rappy on November 25, 2008, 02:04:18 AM
Doesn't primitivism show the opposite, that tonality is a sophisticated system, and not something that comes naturally to humans?

No, you can even find major scales in other cultures. Of course not everywhere - but then I'm not speaking about major/minor tonality. But all cultures I've read about built up their scales if done naturally by singing and not randomly, fitting to the proportions of their instruments, beginning with the a fundamental tone and then reaching the fifth / fourth.

Again, dissonant and atonal music is not the same. I'm not against dissonant music, in fact, atonal music - the one which is based on a arbitrarily constructed system - has been composed only by a small group, it's just that the group caused more a stir than others.
And even there some composers have written really great works when they listened to their inner voice and contradicted the rules (A. Berg as the most prominent example).
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Grazioso on November 25, 2008, 05:22:25 AM
Speaking of tonality, serialism, etc., that was my big classical music blunder. I came to classical music largely through a college "appreciation of music" course, wherein the textbook dutifully implied that 20th century music was indeed the province of the avante-garde (dodecaphony, aleatory techniques, etc.), leading one to believe that tonality just died and the only significant composers were guys like Schoenberg, Stockhausen, and Cage. It took me a while to realize that's utter nonsense, and that all of that is just one strand of a kaleidoscopic 20th-century classical music scene, that in fact there's a vast amount of superb music of that century still beholden to traditional tonality, albeit typically with a very expanded harmonic palette compared to what came before. Sorry, folks, Romanticism and its offshoots never died but continue unabated today.

Now, much if not most of the music I listen to comes from the 20th century, but very little of it is truly, exclusively atonal, serial, etc
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Grazioso on November 25, 2008, 05:30:04 AM
a system of the past. And we aren't living in the past. We're alive in 2008. Many things have happened since 1908. You can't really just behave, as a composer, as if none of that ever happened, can you?


As an artist, you're free to develop your own way of saying things, and that might included either drawing from or ignoring past techniques. And in 2008, one could argue that Schoenberg's "discoveries" of the 1920's and 30's are, after all, almost a century old and therefore "a system of the past."
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 25, 2008, 06:04:18 AM
Boulez: "Anyone who has not seen the necessity of salt in their coffee instead of sugar is USELESS!"

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 25, 2008, 09:13:42 AM
Romanticism in music is hardly related to tonality. It may be tonal or it may not, so it's hardly surprising that it is still 'alive'.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: c#minor on November 25, 2008, 05:32:08 PM
a stupiditiy that i once had, and have been glad to overcome, is the need to argue whether tonality or atonality is better... ;D


and by the way, music never dies until it ceases to be played
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Grazioso on November 26, 2008, 05:36:48 AM
Grazioso, that's because we tend to focus on major breakthroughs, developments and achievements that are profoundly realized, though these things never make something completely obsolete (it's more of an expansion, door/path opener) it's justifiably deemed more substantial & important in the larger picture and hence more written and talked about. The 20th century was one of major innovation and experimentation. That's not to say someone can still come along and write a great piece that happens to be completely tonal but...

...and it can even be found in certain aspects of figures like Schoenberg & Stockhausen believe it or not.  :o

E.g., Verklärte Nacht.

I take your point about breakthroughs, though I think it's potentially misleading and harmful to look at artistic history as progressive or teleological since the focus tends to fall too squarely on the artists who break with existing forms and ideals. One then tends to equate the quality and importance of an artist's work with how dramatically he breaks from tradition. An artist may come up with a novel approach, but that doesn't mean the work he applies it to is necessarily rewarding to most listeners. Would you steer someone new to 20th-century literature first to Joyce and Pynchon and imply that they're indicative of or superior to everything else written during that hundred-year span?

I would certainly caution anyone new to 20th-century classical music not to be snared by the trap of thinking the avant-garde to be the indicative, dominant, or best strand(s) of music. There's a vast array of 20th-century music that's more readily approachable and conventionally beautiful. I don't imply that the latter is superior, but I do recognize that's what most listeners want, and it would be a crying shame were they to miss many riches of 20th-century (and contemporary) music because of misguided fears.

Quote
Romanticism in music is hardly related to tonality.

On the contrary. While musical Romanticism has certain philosophical components that can be applied to music created with a wide variety of techniques, at the same time Romanticism is most closely associated with the great 19th-century composers/compositions who brought it to its first fruition, and they by and large wrote in a traditional tonal dialect, notwithstanding men like Wagner and Liszt stretching it to its breaking point.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Christo on November 26, 2008, 06:22:03 AM
This blinkered Wagnerian ignored (most of) Schumann's music until 2002 (age 41)...

Here's one that ignored most of Schumann's music until 2008 (age 46) ... and still sticks to that unenlightened opinion.  :-X  (He even fell asleep during a live concert once in his life, in the open air in a park in Rome ... a piano recital of Schumann's music).  ;)

Still, no stupidity here.  0:)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: J.Z. Herrenberg on November 26, 2008, 08:52:32 AM
Here's one that ignored most of Schumann's music until 2008 (age 46) ... and still sticks to that unenlightened opinion.  :-X  (He even fell asleep during a live concert once in his life, in the open air in a park in Rome ... a piano recital of Schumann's music).  ;)

Still, no stupidity here.  0:)

I know for a fact you aren't stupid and I don't begrudge you your salubrious nap.  0:)

Schumann is still great, though.  ;)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Haffner on November 26, 2008, 09:00:55 AM
I used to think that Mozart and J. Haydn were the last of the great composers. Eeeeewwwps!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Mark G. Simon on November 26, 2008, 09:13:21 AM
The tonality vs. atonality issue is in itself one of the major classical music stupidities. Schoenberg opened up a whole new chromatic territory to music, and it is understandable that some might become so intoxicated with the new possibilities as to imagine that they render the old practicies obsolete. By now, though, it's clear that this is a supplementary resource not a replacement. The total chromatic pitch space developed in the 20th century makes for wider possibilities of musical expression in which alternate formulations of tonality may develop, or not, according to the tastes of composers and audiences. Given the persistence of demand among listeners for tonally-centered music, I think it inevitable that new tonal systems will arise, systems which would have been unthinkable without concepts introduced by atonalists in the past 50 years. At the same time, truly atonal music will not go away.

It may happen that 100 years from now our understanding of harmony will have expanded so that our present concepts of tonality and atonality are subsumed into one larger unified concept.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Brewski on November 26, 2008, 09:21:14 AM
By now, though, it's clear that this is a supplementary resource not a replacement.

My favorite sentence of your great post.  As a huge fan of atonality, I nevertheless don't see it as "the way of all music" but as "an option for some music."  And your comment predicting how we might see harmony a century from now is a prescient one; I hope you are right.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: edward on November 26, 2008, 09:58:18 AM
The tonality vs. atonality issue is in itself one of the major classical music stupidities.
Absolutely. It seems to be a characteristic of the human mind that makes such false dichotomies so appealing. Many of my favourite composers of the last 50 years or so have been ones who have transcended this issue in their music (Ligeti, Kurtag, Schnittke and Rihm, for example, though I think there's a strong case for saying that some kind of tonality exists in, say, late Boulez).
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 26, 2008, 11:33:07 AM
I would certainly caution anyone new to 20th-century classical music not to be snared by the trap of thinking the avant-garde to be the indicative, dominant, or best strand(s) of music. There's a vast array of 20th-century music that's more readily approachable and conventionally beautiful. I don't imply that the latter is superior, but I do recognize that's what most listeners want, and it would be a crying shame were they to miss many riches of 20th-century (and contemporary) music because of misguided fears.
And I would caution anyone new to 20th century classical music not to be snared by the trap of thinking that "the avant-garde" (to borrow Grazioso's misleading term) is less approachable or less beautiful than some of the more conservative (regressive) strands. It is a crying shame that the persistent narrative that Schoenberg, Varese, Cage, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Dhomont, Boulez, et. al. are "difficult" or "inaccessible" or "unmusical" (and other canards) does indeed put people off a lot of very fine music before they've even heard it, and continues to keep them from enjoying it even after they've heard it. (I was at a concert recently that included Schoenberg's third string quartet, a lovely piece with easily recognizable themes. The first comment I heard, from a guy in his thirties I would guess, was that this is music that's really more suited for analysis than enjoyment. He cannot have heard the ravishing sounds those four musicians had just made.)

Indeed, I would caution anyone new to 20th century classical music not be cautious.

Otherwise, I do wish our discussions could get out of the tonality/atonality pit. God, there's so much more to 20th century music than that distinction! There are rhythmic explorations, instrumental explorations, at least three separate explorations of "noise," the most recent called simply "noise music." There is indeterminacy (giving up control) and aleatory (giving up some control in carefully controlled ways) and multimedia and mixed media and danger music and anti-music and Fluxus and minimalism (which itself has several distinct strands--think Young, Reich, and Feldman, at least) and polystylism and spectralism and electroacoustic and live electronics and improvisation and concept music and soundscape music and computer music and turntablism and what I like to call "tafelmusik," music created by playing miscellaneous items--acoustic, electric, electronic--spread out on a table.

In most of those, pitch is not the primary component (as it is in tonal and serial musics). Indeed, I often wonder if anyone talking about the contrasts between tonal and "atonal" (a mostly meaningless term) and serial realizes how close these are--they all use relationships between pitches to construct musical compositions.

That's my sermon, and I'm stickin' to it!!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 26, 2008, 01:09:14 PM

While musical Romanticism has certain philosophical components that can be applied to music created with a wide variety of techniques, at the same time Romanticism is most closely associated with the great 19th-century composers/compositions who brought it to its first fruition, and they by and large wrote in a traditional tonal dialect, notwithstanding men like Wagner and Liszt stretching it to its breaking point.
You are confusing romanticism in music with the Romantic movement (or period if you prefer). Perhaps I should have clarified this by not beginning the sentence with the word so that you could see it was not capitalised. In later forms of romanticism, the means is variation of interval to build up or release tension. I have written this kind of music myself. It is entirely atonal though not serial. All notes are equal, as are also chords, although in my system a chord can only have three different notes plus 'accidentals'.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: CRCulver on November 26, 2008, 10:57:46 PM
It may happen that 100 years from now our understanding of harmony will have expanded so that our present concepts of tonality and atonality are subsumed into one larger unified concept.

Already done to some extent with Dalbavie and his notion of "metatonality".
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: DavidW on November 27, 2008, 06:22:58 AM
Replying to the original post-- my newbie stupidities:

* I thought that Beethoven's late string quartets were atonal.
* The Appassionata was too strange to be listenable.
* Amadeus is a factual account.
* Handel was English.
* Schoenberg, Berg and Webern revolutionized music because they were sick of music sounding good.
* Mahler must be a great composer just because his symphonies were so LOOOONG and the cds so expensive.
* Nobody listens to Haydn because he's boring and tedious.

Those were the times! :D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: mn dave on November 27, 2008, 06:26:52 AM
Mostly pronunciations of composers' names. I still have some wrong probably.  ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on November 27, 2008, 07:06:15 AM
Mostly pronunciations of composers' names. I still have some wrong probably.  ;D

That's probably because of the bad habit Germans have of spelling Schoenberg and pronouncing Stockhausen...
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: marvinbrown on November 27, 2008, 07:06:56 AM


  At one point in the past I stupidly went looking for complete recordings of Schubert's 7th symphony  ::)  ::)!  There is a 6th Symphony for Schubert and the 8th is the "Unfinished" so logic says that there must be a 7th  ??? ??? No??  Maybe they should call that "The Missing" symphony  ::) ::) ::)!!!!!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on November 27, 2008, 07:15:09 AM
I still sometimes catch myself saying "ahp" instead of "opus", as in "Beethoven's 5th Symphony, 'ahp' 67." :D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Mark G. Simon on November 27, 2008, 07:43:50 AM
Already done to some extent with Dalbavie and his notion of "metatonality".

If the idea catches on with the musical community at large so that it becomes intrinsic to the way people think of music, then it will have succeeded .
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 27, 2008, 10:51:11 AM
All sound has a pitch
Well, all sounds can be perceived as higher or lower, yes. I was referring to the distinction between pitched and unpitched that has pitched sounds consisting of periodic waveforms and nonpitched sounds as nonperiodic. That's all.

don't risk confusing any of these 'methods', 'camps', 'trends', 'gimmicks' et al. with real musical substance.
Whether or not the words "real musical substance" have any content could probably be debated until kingdom come, and beyond, but that's not what the topic was at all. The topic was whether or not tonality and atonality are the only things going on in the twentieth century. Not whether any of those things are any good or not, but whether they could be/should be part of the discussion. In any case, since "'methods', 'camps', 'trends', 'gimmicks' et al." will determine what kind of music will result, they are certainly legitimate topics even if we're foolhardy enough to be discussing "real musical substance."

Don't risk confusing your own tastes, opinions, prejudices with real musical acumen. If a person who has listened to music carefully all his life, who enjoys Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Beethoven's Ninth and Bartók's string quartets and Stockhausen's Hymnen--if that person can also get pleasure from Cage's Cartridge Music and Karkowski's One and Many and Mumma's Hornpipe, then the odds are that the latter three have as much "musical substance" as the former four, even if they do nothing for you. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 27, 2008, 01:18:54 PM
So you would argue that there is no real substance found in the works of say, J.S. Bach, Brahms or Wagner?

No, I would not.

Yea lots of experimenting took place, so what, most of it falls under the masquerading failed 'invalid' category I mentioned a few posts up though. It is a meaningless distraction from the real stuff, no matter what they (or you) want to call it.

A category you have made up. It's a meaningless category and distracts you from ever really hearing or enjoying quite a lot of music, I would guess. Fitting the facts to your theory instead of your theory to the facts. (And why you want to limit others similarly is anyone's guess.)

Which allows me--finally!!--to contribute to this thread according to the OPs original intent. I was at a new music concert a couple of years back. There was a piano piece being played, and it became clear to me that the pianist was not going to be doing any of the playing directly on the harp that I enjoy. I was disappointed. About halfway through, I noticed that my disappointment was keeping me from enjoying, from even hearing, the music right in front of me. Fortunately, I was able to readjust, to give up my expectations, my desires for what the piece should do, in time to hear what the piece was actually saying and enjoy it on its own terms.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 27, 2008, 04:11:24 PM
Hahaha, I've been wondering when you'd run out of arguments and fall back on your trademark dismissal.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Subotnick on November 27, 2008, 05:06:12 PM
I remember many moons ago when I first came across two different recordings of Beethoven's 5th. There was a few minutes difference in the running time between the two and I thought, "OMG! They've missed bits out!"

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 27, 2008, 06:04:56 PM
With 'some guy' claiming tonal music is essentially passe...and then buying into and touting things like 'anti-music', 'danger-music, 'noise-music', 'random-music', 'multi-media music'...and so many other ridiculous things as being major hip & happening modern 20th century musical extraveganzas who needs an arguement, the cluelessness is pretty much self evident from the get-go. Sorry bud.

Your second straw man in this conversation. I was neither "touting" these things (one of which you just made up) nor claiming them as "major hip & happening modern 20th century musical extraveganzas" (sic). They are things that happened but which are never part of the discussion (which is dominated by the tonality/atonality thing). In this discussion that has been my only point about them.

By the way, my dear James, if my cluelessness (ad hominem) is self evident, then surely it's otiose to respond at all, eh? Even with "pfff whatever..." Sorry dude, ya can't wriggle out of this one that easily!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on November 27, 2008, 06:31:57 PM
Heh, I find it kind of funny how this thread was supposed to be light and somehow ended up as a tonality vs. atonality discussion. I guess every forum has one of those topics that always come up, no matter what the current talk is.

Quote
New topic: My socks smell.

Poster 1: My socks really smell!
Poster 2: Haha, but mine smell worse!
Poster 3: Mine smell worse than Berg's music.
Poster 4: Say what?
Poster 3: Look, I'm doing him a favor calling it 'music' at all.

etc. etc.

-----------------

Anyway, another stupidity of mine, but this hasn't got much to do with classical music ignorance, it's just a general stupidity:

I put on Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 on my radio for a friend of mine and I told him:

"Now, this is Chopin's piano concerto. Actually, it's the first piano concerto. Chopin composed two piano concertos: the first and the second."

 :P
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 28, 2008, 11:09:50 AM
For all the other members of the forum other than James, I'll add installations to my previous list of twentieth century practices other than tonality/atonality. Installations have been a significant component of music making in the past fifty or sixty years. As I was glancing over my collection just now, I saw Christina Kubisch's name and realized my omission. Brandon LaBelle, Michele Bokanowski, Natasha Barrett are a few others who do or have done installations.

And I'll go ahead and repeat, in case this point's been lost in the shuffle, my previous suggestion to everyone to be less cautious, more open (like Zappa's parachute, you know). You could let other people decide for you what the masterpieces are that will constitute your listening experience, but where's the adventure in that?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: some guy on November 28, 2008, 12:08:30 PM
James, you're hardly worth the powder and shot, but I am curious. Have you actually ever heard any of the stuff you persistently diss? Or are you just talking through your hat? It does appear that you don't actually know what you're talking about but are just blowing hot air. If the best you've got is "pfff," I suppose that's what we'll have to keep thinking, eh? I think your persistent efforts to make everyone else close their minds as tightly as yours are doomed to failure. Hope so, anyway!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 28, 2008, 02:43:55 PM
I hope you chaps are about done with this now. It is verging on being silly. Point(s) made, let's move along.

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia - RV 095 Concerto in D La Pastorella 2nd mvmt - Largo
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on November 28, 2008, 03:07:38 PM
I guess this could sort of count as an stupidity:

An acquaintance of mine once told me that he had met this old man who was into classical music and had a vast collection. When the old man asked him if he wanted to hear something, he said he wanted to hear "Für Elise". He then told me: "Wow, and he put on 'Für Elise' for me. It was great!"

 :(
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 28, 2008, 03:19:08 PM
I guess this could sort of count as an stupidity:

An acquaintance of mine once told me that he had met this old man who was into classical music and had a vast collection. When the old man asked him if he wanted to hear something, he said he wanted to hear "Für Elise". He then told me: "Wow, and he put on 'Für Elise' for me. It was great!"

 :(

Yes, a true rarity. What were the odds?  ;D

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Collegium Musicum 90 / Standage - RV 112 Concerto in C for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: The new erato on December 02, 2008, 03:33:03 AM
I guess this could sort of count as an stupidity:

An acquaintance of mine once told me that he had met this old man who was into classical music and had a vast collection. When the old man asked him if he wanted to hear something, he said he wanted to hear "Für Elise". He then told me: "Wow, and he put on 'Für Elise' for me. It was great!"

 :(
I got my first "Für Elise" about a month ago (in the Brendel brilliant box) despite having approx 200 Beethoven CDs already.  :(
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on December 02, 2008, 03:57:26 AM
When I was a kid taking piano lessons I thought Bela Bartok was a woman, just like Anna-Magdalena Bach.
In those days I also believed Hanna Barbera was a woman.

Me too hehe.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I used to believe Richard Strauss was related to Johann Strauss Jr. and lived in the same time. I didn't think he was his father, but maybe his uncle or something.  :P
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on December 02, 2008, 04:30:02 AM
One thing I was never stupid enough to believe, however, not even when I was going through the stupidest, most embarrassing of all human stages, the teen years, - was that a preference for musical second-fiddles over the great composers, is a sign of maturity.

It's just a mark of mediocrity...

It's not a sign of maturity, nor it is a mark of mediocrity — it's simply personal taste.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on December 02, 2008, 04:31:12 AM
It's not a sign of maturity, nor it is a mark of mediocrity — it's simply personal taste.

Hear, hear!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: DavidW on December 02, 2008, 05:11:12 AM
One thing I was never stupid enough to believe, however, not even when I was going through the stupidest, most embarrassing of all human stages, the teen years, - was that a preference for musical second-fiddles over the great composers, is a sign of maturity.

It's just a mark of mediocrity...

That just sounds more like justification for spending lots of money to hear esoteric music and add to the cd collection.  When you think about it chastising people for preferring Mozart to Dittersdorf is merely defensive.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Christo on December 02, 2008, 12:26:22 PM
One thing I was never stupid enough to believe, however, not even when I was going through the stupidest, most embarrassing of all human stages, the teen years, - was that a preference for musical second-fiddles over the great composers, is a sign of maturity.

It's just a mark of mediocrity...

Of course Eduard Tubin, Vagn Holmboe, Ralph Vaughan Williams, or Joly Braga Santos, are pure geniuses. But I disagree with you that we better forget about their lesser gifted colleagues.  :)

Indeed, I personally sometimes found hints of genuine inspiration in minor composers like e.g. Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, even Richard Strauss. No doubt, a large part of their compositional work is of lesser interest and better forgotten. But do you really believe we shouldn't spoil our time with them at all?  ::)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Kullervo on December 02, 2008, 12:34:42 PM
Of course Eduard Tubin, Vagn Holmboe, Ralph Vaughan Williams, or Joly Braga Santos, are pure geniuses. But I disagree with you that we better forget about their lesser gifted colleagues.  :)

Indeed, I personally sometimes found hints of genuine inspiration in minor composers like e.g. Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, even Richard Strauss. No doubt, a large part of their compositional work is of lesser interest and better forgotten. But do you really believe we shouldn't spoil our time with them at all?  ::)

Christo has hit it on the mark. They're not 2nd-tier composers to those that love their music (although I'd argue against calling Dittersdorf a 2nd-tier composer — He's 3rd-tier, at best >:D).
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Renfield on December 04, 2008, 06:21:14 PM
I think my greatest crime against classical music from my earliest listening days is considering Beethoven's 7th symphony a sequence of shallow, happy-go-lucky tunes with a euphoric conclusion.

Nowadays, I cringe even as I type that.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: CRCulver on December 05, 2008, 12:28:00 AM
One of my stupidities: thinking that the exceedingly large dynamic range on a recording of a Kancheli piece was the result of incompetent sound engineers at Deutsche Grammophon.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Mozart on December 05, 2008, 09:30:58 PM
I think my greatest crime against classical music from my earliest listening days is considering Beethoven's 7th symphony a sequence of shallow, happy-go-lucky tunes with a euphoric conclusion.

Nowadays, I cringe even as I type that.

I called the 1st movement of Beethoven's 9th "no big whoop"
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Norseman on December 07, 2008, 02:41:55 AM
Here's a stupidity for ya: When I was younger, at the time I first started caring a little more about vocal music, for a little while I thought the difference between the different singing voice groups (tenor, bass etc) was much greater than it actually is. I remember thinking that e.g. the tenor range started at about where the bass range ends! I think it has something to do with how different those voices usually sound, even when they're singing the exact same note.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Est.1965 on December 07, 2008, 06:56:04 AM
I gave up the violin in primary school so I could watch Batman, which was on at the same time.
Then in high school I lost my cello.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Mark G. Simon on December 07, 2008, 07:29:52 AM

Then in high school I lost my cello.

But, assuming you left it in the back of a taxi, that would put you in the same class as Yo-Yo Ma.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: c#minor on December 07, 2008, 09:13:35 AM
I only would listen to piano music until I was about 17. I thought the rest wasn't worth listening to. Though piano music still holds a special place in my heart I am not so stupid to disregard the wonders of instruments other than my own.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: MISHUGINA on December 08, 2008, 10:27:22 PM
if this isn't pure classical stupidity (or ownage) I don't know what:

http://csobassblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/high-fidelity.html
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: mr_espansiva on December 16, 2008, 07:01:19 AM
First time I heard Ravel's Piano Concerto live, I was expecting it to start with a crack of a whip!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: eyeresist on December 18, 2008, 06:20:49 PM
I gave up the violin in primary school so I could watch Batman, which was on at the same time.
Batman was a great show.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: The new erato on December 18, 2008, 11:50:47 PM
First time I heard Ravel's Piano Concerto live, I was expecting it to start with a crack of a whip!
But more important; whom were you expecting them to whip?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on December 19, 2008, 02:54:47 AM
But more important; whom were you expecting them to whip?

The pianist? (Get started already!)

--------------------

Two more stupidities:

1) I used to think that it was a shame that the classical repertoire was so very small compared to popular music. I thought there were just a handful of composers (Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and a few others) who had composed just a handful of compositions each.  ::)

2) I tried to get a friend of mine into classical music (the only 'classical' he'd listened to was Vanessa-Mae's rendition of Toccata and Fugue and some electronic-classical-fusion-thing of one of Vivaldi's Four Seasons [Spring or Autumn, can't remember which]).

Anyway, I was making him listen to the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, a movement that I find very easily likeable because of its sheer energy. At the end of it, this conversation ensued:


Friend: That sounds nice! Is that the original recording?
Me:      What do you mean?
Friend:  You know, the original.
Me:      Huh?
Friend: You know, man, when this was composed, was it recorded back then?
Me:
      (Trying to keep a straight face.) Dude, this was composed more than 100 years ago. They couldn't record it back then.
Friend: Oh.


Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Anne on December 19, 2008, 12:54:14 PM
I don't know what made me think this but I thought every book about music would be filled with musical notes and no text.  I was filled with chagrin when I discovered that was not the case and lamented all the years I could have been learning about music on my own.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: pcrespoy on December 23, 2008, 06:05:09 AM
I dislike the music of Debussy,Ravel,Once I told a girl from musical school,I dislike the music of Debussy and any musian at the same priod,as Scalati...,Shame!!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on December 24, 2008, 06:02:24 AM
Yesterday I was talking to this hard-rock fan (who, to be honest, wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed) and more or less this conversation ensued:


Guy: So, when you want to relax, what kind of music do you play?
Me:  Erm, classical. You weren't expecting me to relax to rock music, right?
Guy: You mean classical like Beethoven and Mozart?
Me:  Yeah.
Guy: I listen to Beethoven when I want to sleep.
Me:  Ah...
Guy: Yeah, I have the whole Beethoven and just put it on and go to sleep.
Me:  The whole Beethoven? You have the WHOLE Beethoven?
Guy: Yeah. I have it on a CD.
Me:
  (thinking: 'this is gold') On a single CD? Are you sure it's the whole collection?
Guy: Yeah, I just put it on and go to sleep.
Me:  Ah...
(long pause) And how many pieces are on the CD?
Guy: Erm... I don't know. The only thing I know is that it runs for about three hours.


That must be some abridged version!  ;D

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Renfield on December 24, 2008, 10:56:26 AM
That must be some abridged version!  ;D

Not to mention a rather odd CD, if it runs for about three hours! :o


I listen to Black Metal before going to sleep, you can tell him: cleans out your ears. 8)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on December 24, 2008, 11:47:31 AM
Not to mention a rather odd CD, if it runs for about three hours! :o

I wondered about that, too. There was actually a bit more conversation after that: he told me he also has a Mozart CD. When I asked him: 'Is the whole Mozart in that CD?', he told me: 'No'.  ???

It was all so bizarre!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Christo on December 25, 2008, 05:43:56 AM
I gave up the violin in primary school so I could watch Batman, which was on at the same time.
Then in high school I lost my cello.

My favourite tragedy in a nutshell. With superb understatement. For me, the winning entry in this thread!  :D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Henritus on January 06, 2009, 04:57:26 PM
This thread made my day.  :D
Ok, I think I can contribute a little.

 When I started collecting classical LPs in my early teenage years:

- my first 30 or so albums were all symphonies/orchestral pieces and concertoes because I thought I was getting more music (since played by large number of musicians) for the same money.

- I used to have a compilations of last movements from concertos on tape, so that I wouldn't have to listen through boring slow movements.

- I had a haydn violin concerto album by Grumiaux and Raymond Leppard, and I was genuinly concerned if Leppard was making enough money to buy food since I thought he was only good enough for conducting orchestral accompaniment.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: marvinbrown on January 07, 2009, 03:31:52 AM


  Here's another one for you:  I thought that most of J.S. Bach's cantatas were....oh what's the expression I am looking for....."ONE AND THE SAME"  ::)!!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 07, 2009, 06:59:27 PM
- I had a haydn violin concerto album by Grumiaux and Raymond Leppard, and I was genuinly concerned if Leppard was making enough money to buy food since I thought he was only good enough for conducting orchestral accompaniment.

That one made me laugh. :)


Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on July 26, 2009, 09:16:19 PM
Oh dear. Today I was talking with this guy who just wasn't very bright. Besides, he was completely ignorant about classical music, even more than the regular person. I mean, every person I've ever mentioned Tchaikovsky to had at least heard his name. This guy had no friggin' clue. Some conversations we had:

Me: So, do you read?
Guy: Erm... No, not really.
Me: Really? Why?
Guy: Well, I don't have any books.


Me: (puts on a familiar moment of the 4th movement of LvB's 9th) So, this is Beethoven.
Guy: Oh yeah, that sounds familiar! (pause) Y'know, I once saw a video of Beethoven with the, you know, stick.
Me: Huh? A video of Beethoven conducting?
Guy: Yeah! He had this stick in one hand and made gestures with the other. My uncle has this video!


Guy: (the singing starts "Oh Freunde! Nicht diese Töne!") Hey, that's Beethoven singing, right?


Me: (puts on the first movement of Mozart's 40th) So, this is Mozart. Do you recognize it?
Guy: Oh yeah!
Me: Nice. Do you know where Mozart was from?
Guy: Germany? Italy?
Me: No, he was Austrian.
Guy: Ah, from Australia!
Me: No, from Austria.
Guy: Australia?
Me: No, Austria!
Guy: (blank stare) Austria? Australia? What's the difference?


When he said "that's Beethoven singing" I could barely hold my laughter and my face contorted into a grimace that made him ask: "is something wrong?". I laughed and told him: "oh, it's just that classical music makes me so happy!"  :D

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on July 26, 2009, 11:58:11 PM
Me: So, do you read?
Guy: Erm... No, not really.
Me: Really? Why?
Guy: Well, I don't have any books.


Me: (puts on a familiar moment of the 4th movement of LvB's 9th) So, this is Beethoven.
Guy: Oh yeah, that sounds familiar! (pause) Y'know, I once saw a video of Beethoven with the, you know, stick.
Me: Huh? A video of Beethoven conducting?
Guy: Yeah! He had this stick in one hand and made gestures with the other. My uncle has this video!


Guy: (the singing starts "Oh Freunde! Nicht diese Töne!") Hey, that's Beethoven singing, right?


Me: (puts on the first movement of Mozart's 40th) So, this is Mozart. Do you recognize it?
Guy: Oh yeah!
Me: Nice. Do you know where Mozart was from?
Guy: Germany? Italy?
Me: No, he was Austrian.
Guy: Ah, from Australia!
Me: No, from Austria.
Guy: Australia?
Me: No, Austria!
Guy: (blank stare) Austria? Australia? What's the difference?


Priceless gems, all of them! Thanks for sharing!  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: DFO on July 27, 2009, 02:50:26 AM
Say, Tanuki; wasn't that guy an Argentinian public official? It sounds
like one of them.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Papy Oli on July 27, 2009, 11:36:23 AM
Believing that CD expenses in that field would remain reasonably within budget, and that owning multiple recordings of a single piece was nonsense....

....stupid boy.... ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dana on July 27, 2009, 11:20:32 PM
I bought a very bad bargain recording of the Faure Requiem, then wondered why the music was so bad. Honestly, why did this Faure hack bother writing music at all?


Me: Hey, do you know if Leonard Rose is still alive?
Violinist: You tell me, you're the violist.
Me: (said with much scorn, as though everyone knew this) Leonard Rose is a cellist!
Violinist: Oh...
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Harpo on July 28, 2009, 04:34:40 PM
I bought a very bad bargain recording of the Faure Requiem, then wondered why the music was so bad. Honestly, why did this Faure hack bother writing music at all?


 I LOVE the Faure Requiem! I sang some of his art songs in college and they were beautiful too. I tried some of his piano pieces but they were too hard and probably not as good as the vocal music.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Harpo on July 28, 2009, 04:40:45 PM
When I was 16, I had just come home from music camp and felt very cultured. To show off, I played a 33 1/3 rpm record of some classical pieces for a boy who had come to visit. The first was a Scherzo. He said it sounded awfully fast and I said that scherzo meant lively. I announced that the next piece was an operatic aria by Jussi Bjoerling (a man). When it came on, Mr. Bjoerling sounded like Alvin the chipmunk. I had been playing the record at the wrong speed! Blush.

I sent this story to a teen magazine for their "My Most Embarrassing Experiences" column. They printed it and gave me $10.

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Air on July 29, 2009, 05:41:59 PM
Quote
This blinkered Wagnerian ignored (most of) Schumann's music until 2002 (age 41)...

Ditto, except I didn't start listening to much Schumann until I was forced to play Papillons two years ago.... I've been a loyal disciple ever since.  I wonder what this is with people and Schumann?
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on July 29, 2009, 10:39:45 PM
I tried some of his piano pieces but they were too hard and probably not as good as the vocal music.

You're quite wrong on that, Faure's piano music is exquisite.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Harpo on July 30, 2009, 05:05:22 AM
You're quite wrong on that, Faure's piano music is exquisite.

You're probably right, since I usually like Faure. I may have just given up playing them because they were hard. We may have some Faure piano recordings in our CD collection--if so, I will listen.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Chaszz on July 31, 2009, 08:33:17 AM
Doesn't primitivism show the opposite, that tonality is a sophisticated system, and not something that comes naturally to humans?

I understand from reading about the history of Western harmony that the addition of the third to the major triad was a daring and somewhat recent invention. Prior to that it was considered a dissonant relationship. Before I read that it would have seemed to me that the third was as natural in relation to the first as is the fifth. So the one-three at least is not "natural" to the human ear in all cultures and times, even though the one-five probably more or less is. And to me that was a big surprise. The one-three-five is perhaps the granddaddy progenitor of what we call tonal music.

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: edward on July 31, 2009, 11:03:37 AM
I bought a very bad bargain recording of the Faure Requiem, then wondered why the music was so bad. Honestly, why did this Faure hack bother writing music at all?
Fortunately I bought the EMI box of the chamber music before the Requiem, which I still dislike.

The chamber music box, though.... wonderful.


My most stupid moments have probably been my "modern music sucks" phase and then its successor, the "conservative 20th century music sucks" phase. Fortunately, both are long since over now.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: 71 dB on July 31, 2009, 12:19:52 PM
Fauré is first rate composer. His chamber music is top quality, the Requiem is one of the most beautiful classical compositions ever and his piano music is wonderful.

 0:)

I had really stupid opinions of classical music before I "found" it, like this: How can I enjoy music composed by simple people who didn't even have electricity?  ;D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Diletante on July 31, 2009, 05:28:42 PM
About two years ago I thought Shostakovich was an "obscure" composer (i.e. not well-known).
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on August 01, 2009, 03:06:12 AM
Fauré is first rate composer. His chamber music is top quality, the Requiem is one of the most beautiful classical compositions ever and his piano music is wonderful.

At last we agree on something!  :)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: 71 dB on August 01, 2009, 03:36:51 AM
At last we agree on something!  :)

I'm sure we agree about many things, you just remember when we don't.  ;)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Florestan on August 02, 2009, 10:23:08 PM
I'm sure we agree about many things, you just remember when we don't.  ;)

 0:)
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: monafam on August 03, 2009, 02:54:12 AM
...and that owning multiple recordings of a single piece was nonsense....

....stupid boy.... ;D

I'm still at this point in my listening career.   :D   

I feel like 75% of my posts might fall in this topic at times, especially if I go out on a limb on something.  As a result, you will see a lot more questions than answers from me.....
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Dana on August 03, 2009, 08:17:04 PM
I think someone around here told a story about their acquaintance saying "I know Beethoven wrote the 9th Symphony... Who wrote the rest of them?!" :D
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Anglican Scholar on August 03, 2009, 08:35:57 PM
This is about classical stupidities, right? Doesn't have to be limited to music? My stupidity involves Ben Nicholson, who is classical in a way. It was in a museum, either Dallas or Fort Worth. I was looking at an object by Nicholson. It was framed in glass, all white, with a cube or two carved inside the flat surface, and a cube or two in relief. My travel companion, who was rather uneducated and who had wandered off, walks back hesitantly toward me and the Nicholson object, looking at it with suspicion. I tell her: "well, this is by Ben Nicholson." She stops, still looking at it with that air of suspicion, and then she asks: "where is the painting?"

At least, she didn't ask to be refunded the cost of the museum ticket.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: Moonfish on June 03, 2018, 02:37:36 PM
*this old thread deserves a bump - some very funny stories in this one*

 :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: RebLem on June 03, 2018, 09:08:47 PM

  At one point in the past I stupidly went looking for complete recordings of Schubert's 7th symphony  ::)  ::)!  There is a 6th Symphony for Schubert and the 8th is the "Unfinished" so logic says that there must be a 7th  ??? ??? No??  Maybe they should call that "The Missing" symphony  ::) ::) ::)!!!!!!  marvin 

Schubert wrote a 7th symphony in piano sketch but he never orchestrated it.  You will find a modern orchestration of it in Marriner's complete set of the symphonies.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: RebLem on June 03, 2018, 09:27:25 PM
When I first started collecting in earnest in the 1970's, I thought buying complete opera recordings was stupid, and I just bought highlights recordings of operas.  That only lasted about 6 months.
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: vandermolen on June 03, 2018, 09:54:04 PM
My brother told me that he started enthusiastically applauding at the end of a work only to realise that it wasn't the end.

I told him that once he had started, to avoid the humiliating of stopping he should have kept going until thrown out.

Although not at a concert I've always enjoyed this experience of my father.

Sitting at the end of a row at the cinema in the days when everyone stood for the National Anthem before the film he got up for it, but as his legs had been crossed, one leg was 'dead' - he therefore fell over and rolled down the steps during the playing of the National Anthem - very disrespectful of him!
Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: NikF on June 03, 2018, 10:13:31 PM
My brother told me that he started enthusiastically applauding at the end of a work only to realise that it wasn't the end.

I told him that once he had started, to avoid the humiliating of stopping he should have kept going until thrown out.

That's my way of thinking.  8)

Also -

Quote
Although not at a concert I've always enjoyed this experience of my father.

Sitting at the end of a row at the cinema in the days when everyone stood for the National Anthem before the film he got up for it, but as his legs had been crossed, one leg was 'dead' - he therefore fell over and rolled down the steps during the playing of the National Anthem - very disrespectful of him!

Ah, so that sort of mishap is inherited? Good stuff.   ;D

Title: Re: Classical stupidities
Post by: ShineyMcShineShine on June 06, 2018, 06:10:34 PM
When I was a little kid I thought being a conductor was the easiest job in the world because all you had to do was stand there and wave a stick.