Author Topic: Unpopular Opinions  (Read 295120 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2580 on: September 04, 2018, 05:51:18 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.

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.

Ah, yes, now I remember and can see where you're coming from. Yes, splitting songs published as a single opus over several discs under the ridiculous pretext that they were not composed all at the same time is particularly annoying. And the comparison with collected poetry volumes actually only gives the lie to his idea.

Printed poetry collections are as lovingly assembled as an opus of a composer’s varied settings, but this does not mean the poems therein are designed to be read aloud from cover to cover: the compiler of these volumes, whether or not the poet himself, would expect items to be selected by the reader according to taste or need. The anthology (or indeed opus number) might be likened to a well-ordered jewel case from which precious items may be extracted for use, depending on the occasion: the wearing in public of every item therein on a single occasion would be both impractical and vulgar. There is little evidence, especially from concert practice of the time (where items from the Schubert and Schumann cycles were often ruthlessly excerpted), that Brahms’s publications were conceived within a spirit of cyclic unity that called for an integral performance of the entire group. (emphasis mine)

Well, precisely: just give us the whole opus as it was published and let us extract whatever we want, or even play them all in a row, if we so wish and spare us your arseholery --- indeed, an apt description.

At least in the Schumann box he had the decency not to split the great cycles (for lack of a better word). I once wanted to listen to the Kerner-Lieder and I was relieved to find them all, in order, on a single disc.

But now that I think of it, if you have enough patience you could reassemble the split opuses yourself.  :)

“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2581 on: September 04, 2018, 05:53:20 AM »
Tell me your preferred plural of "octopus" and I'll tell you why it's probably wrong...

Octopussies?  :D
“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2582 on: September 04, 2018, 06:02:44 AM »
the plural of opus is opera.

As per Merriam-Webster, opuses can be used as well.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opus
“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2583 on: September 04, 2018, 07:11:39 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...
According to Garner's Modern American Usage:

"Because this word is actually of Greek origin -- not Latin -- the classical plural is octopodes, not octopi. But the standard plural in American and British English is octopuses. Still, some writers mistakenly use the supposed latin plural. Occasionally the pedantical octopodes appears, but it is relatively rare."

However you may wish to temper your enthusiasm for Garner's Modern American Usage after reading this entry from the letter P:

"Pubes (pubic hair) has two syllables, pyoo-beez. It's sometimes mispronounced 'pyoobs'."

Shameful post.

I do like the booklet where Charles Mingus asked his psychoanalyst to try writing about music. And any where the musicians get to speak for themselves (again a luxury usually only afforded to Mingus).

Offline North Star

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2584 on: September 04, 2018, 07:19:58 AM »
According to Garner's Modern American Usage:

"Because this word is actually of Greek origin -- not Latin -- the classical plural is octopodes, not octopi. But the standard plural in American and British English is octopuses. Still, some writers mistakenly use the supposed latin plural. Occasionally the pedantical octopodes appears, but it is relatively rare."

However you may wish to temper your enthusiasm for Garner's Modern American Usage after reading this entry from the letter P:

"Pubes (pubic hair) has two syllables, pyoo-beez. It's sometimes mispronounced 'pyoobs'."

I do like the booklet where Charles Mingus asked his psychoanalyst to try writing about music. And any where the musicians get to speak for themselves (again a luxury usually only afforded to Mingus).
Garner's is right on both issues, but of course the frequency of the two-syllable pronunciation of pubis is about the same as the use of the Greek plural form 'octopodes'. And, yeah.. those old jazz liner notes can be painful/funny reading.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2585 on: September 30, 2020, 07:19:41 AM »
Let's reboot this thread with a bang!

Sinfonia domestica > Ein Heldenleben

Offline ritter

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2586 on: September 30, 2020, 07:43:46 AM »
Let's reboot this thread with a bang!

Sinfonia domestica > Ein Heldenleben
Last night's electoral debate, and now this!...The end is nigh!  :D
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Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2587 on: September 30, 2020, 11:36:35 AM »
The Star Wars Extended Universe (now known as Star Wars Legends) is superior to the Disney reboot and sequel trilogy, but not because it’s better written/produced (it isn’t) or has more interesting ideas or whatever (it doesn’t). It’s the sheer unbridled chaos of dozens of writers working to tight deadlines and largely unaware of each other’s work that makes it charming. I much prefer a canon where the Death Star has at least four separate origin stories, all dashed off by different writers in limited detail thanks to time constraints, to one where it has a single definitive origin within a streamlined and unified canon.

For the same reason, most fanfiction is superior to canonical sequels within blockbuster, mass-market media franchises. Audience fragmentation is actually good.

Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2588 on: September 30, 2020, 11:38:09 AM »
On a related note, I’m tired of people trying to finish Mahler’s 10th when they could instead be writing Mahler’s 11th.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2589 on: October 01, 2020, 01:47:31 AM »
Let's reboot this thread with a bang!

Sinfonia domestica > Ein Heldenleben

... or possibly Sinfonia domestica just a rehash of Ein Heldenleben with bathwater

Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2590 on: October 01, 2020, 02:27:42 AM »
For the same reason, most fanfiction is superior to canonical sequels within blockbuster, mass-market media franchises.
This sounds like damning with faint praise. I admit that in the early 2000s during the long wait between Harry Potter vols. 5 and 6? I sunk to reading one or two fanfictions. They were more like Bridget Jones novels (of which I have not read any but back in the 1990s I watched "Singles" and "Sleepless in Seattle" which are a bit like US parallels, I guess) with the HP protagonists young professionals in the 20s and entangled in love polygons. Utter trash!

To me Star Wars seems one of the most overrated things in the last 50 years (and as I admitted above I am not beyond enjoying some fantasy/SF, although I prefer books). I am a bit too young to have seen them in the theaters when they came out (some classmates did see Return of the Jedi, I was in 5th grade or so, but I was not that interested and my parents would not have allowed it anyway). When I saw them on TV/video in the 1990s (then in my mid-20s) I found them mildly entertaining but not special at all. I could not be bothered to watch any of the later films. So first I was too young, then too old. It doesn't feel like a great loss.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2591 on: October 01, 2020, 02:23:31 PM »
This sounds like damning with faint praise. I admit that in the early 2000s during the long wait between Harry Potter vols. 5 and 6? I sunk to reading one or two fanfictions. They were more like Bridget Jones novels (of which I have not read any but back in the 1990s I watched "Singles" and "Sleepless in Seattle" which are a bit like US parallels, I guess) with the HP protagonists young professionals in the 20s and entangled in love polygons. Utter trash!

To me Star Wars seems one of the most overrated things in the last 50 years (and as I admitted above I am not beyond enjoying some fantasy/SF, although I prefer books). I am a bit too young to have seen them in the theaters when they came out (some classmates did see Return of the Jedi, I was in 5th grade or so, but I was not that interested and my parents would not have allowed it anyway). When I saw them on TV/video in the 1990s (then in my mid-20s) I found them mildly entertaining but not special at all. I could not be bothered to watch any of the later films. So first I was too young, then too old. It doesn't feel like a great loss.
I think Star Wars is a uniquely American pathology in a lot of respects—I'm not aware of any other places in the world it has taken off. Perhaps more specifically an American liberal pathology: the original trilogy was essentially a cultural critique of the Vietnam era with America itself portrayed as the evil "Empire" and the Jedi and Rebels standing in for the Vietcong (at least that's how it was read by American critics). The prequel trilogy, which came out when I was a child/young teenager, was largely read as a broader critique of American materialism and militarism showing how a nominally democratic yet corrupt Galactic Republic became an Empire, with Revenge of the Sith (2005, I was ~13) seen as a repudiation of George W. Bush in particular. So virtually all of the "meanings" of the series only really have resonance for American audiences.

Also (I'm sure this is obvious but) the target audience for all of these films was children and teenagers. For example my main interest in Revenge of the Sith was not the movie itself (which I never watched in full) but the tie-in Lego sets.

I still think even with fanfiction being largely as you describe it, it still ends up being superior to most of the official canonical material, which is meant more as an indictment of the canonical material. For example the later Harry Potter books are bloated, poorly written, poorly edited rehashes of the original book, as it became more a franchise and merchandising opportunity than a genuine creative project, whereas the fanfiction at least shows a certain amount of passion and interest in the premise. Fanfiction is mostly written by and for teenage girls, so there is a strong focus on romance and sex (due to teenage girls being what they are); I remember after Revenge of the Sith came out there were a large number of fans who thought the canonical romance between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman was poorly written, and therefore rewrote the trilogy in order to instead pair up Hayden Christensen with Ewan MacGregor. That's roughly the equivalent of writing your own coda to Prokofiev 7, which I also think is valid.

In general though yes you're not missing anything. But I think that's a fairly popular opinion, these days....

Offline amw

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2592 on: October 01, 2020, 02:43:31 PM »
Anyway here's a musical opinion: the two-piano version of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances is far superior to the orchestral version.

Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2593 on: October 01, 2020, 03:46:50 PM »
Anyway here's a musical opinion: the two-piano version of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances is far superior to the orchestral version.
I got a CD of the Ashkenazy-Previn version and maybe it's just the pressing/mastering, but between the super rickety pianos and exaggerated stereo separation, it sounds like the engineers found out about stereo that very morning, and is just the most ridiculously exciting thing. Really blew the dust out of my ears.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2594 on: October 02, 2020, 12:51:28 AM »
Anyway here's a musical opinion: the two-piano version of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances is far superior to the orchestral version.

I prefer the two-piano version but wouldn't say it is 'far superior'

Offline Jo498

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2595 on: October 02, 2020, 12:59:01 AM »
I am not familiar enough with the Rachmaninov (esp. not the piano version) but in the case of Brahms' Hungarian dances I clearly prefer the piano (NOT in the case of the f minor quintet/sonata or the Haydn variations although I could concede that the piano versions are relatively underappreciated) whereas in the case of Dvoraks Slavonic dances I like the orchestral version much better. (This is probably a common, not unpopular opinion.)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Florestan

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2596 on: October 02, 2020, 01:21:28 AM »
Where are the opinions supposed to be unpopular, on GMG or in the world at large? Sometimes the two categories are polar opposites.   ;D
“Play Mozart in memory of me --- and I will hear you.” — Chopin

Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2597 on: October 02, 2020, 04:16:23 AM »
in the case of Brahms' Hungarian dances I clearly prefer the piano
Any love for piano-violin arrangements by e.g. Joachim?

Offline BWV 1080

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2598 on: October 02, 2020, 04:23:54 AM »
Schubert is boring

Offline Brian

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Re: Unpopular Opinions
« Reply #2599 on: October 02, 2020, 04:38:32 AM »