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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:10 pm 
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andrew wrote:
Terez wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Now, if we change the word Jewish and say, for example, Polish or Croatian, will we not end up having just the same number of great composers?

Chopin is worth at least three or four. :wink:


Btw, I was told (by a Polish pianist friend) that history tends to avoid this point, but Chopin was part-Jewish.


:shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:41 pm 
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andrew wrote:
Btw, I was told (by a Polish pianist friend) that history tends to avoid this point, but Chopin was part-Jewish.

Yeah, that's a rumor, but as far as we know, it's untrue. A few biographies address the rumor. I need to get this book so I can see how it was refuted. It's not that I care - I would actually think it pretty funny if he was part Jew, and Chopin himself was always referring to his nose - but I'm pretty sure it was just a rumor that somehow became accepted as truth. It might have been a Polish attempt to mitigate the things Chopin said about Jews.

richard wrote:
But he was half-French, so maybe he is worth only 2 Poles?

lol. There were also rumors that Chopin's French father was actually the bastard son of a visiting Polish aristocrat. It was really believable, since the province of Lorraine was overflowing with Poles at that time, exiles from some political trouble or another (I forget which). The local governor was a Pole. That's how Nicolas Chopin ended up moving to Poland; he traveled with the steward of the local count to Warsaw to find a job (and to escape the turmoil brewing in France). But unfortunately, that rumor was also addressed in the above book. Apparently bastards were quite common, to the point that a bastard child would be marked so on his baptismal certificate. Nicolas Chopin was apparently pure French. (Though now that I think about it, I somehow doubt that the bastard children were regularly borne by married mothers - that seems like it would have been less socially acceptable. So maybe Nicolas really was half-Polish - they say that he encouraged that rumor himself! - which would make Chopin 3/4 Polish. But recent biographers treat it as a soundly refuted rumor.)

And no one cares much about Chopin's French ancestry since he was raised in Poland and saw himself as a Pole. They say he spoke French (relatively) badly and with a harsh accent until his death.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:10 am 
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Back to pet hates...I was happy to see that Chopin had made the banner again, until I saw the Alberti bass.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Back to pet hates...I was happy to see that Chopin had made the banner again, until I saw the Alberti bass.


Complain, complain, complain.... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Some styles of classical music that I don't like listening to:

Solo Flute
Solo Violin
Harpsichord(for some reason, it just has a "dark" sound to me that is only partially covered up by lively pieces)
Attempts to re-interpret classical compositions with pop arrangements.
Modern classical music that is full of dissonance.
Bach played on banjo

Although I don't hate the stuff on the list, I would much rather hear other things.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:46 pm 
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In-Flight Piano wrote:
Some styles of classical music that I don't like listening to:

Solo Flute
Solo Violin

Even Bach?? :shock: :wink:

Quote:
Harpsichord(for some reason, it just has a "dark" sound to me that is only partially covered up by lively pieces)

That is so odd. I've always thought of it as overly bright.

Quote:
Attempts to re-interpret classical compositions with pop arrangements.

Agreed, though there are some rare exceptions where it's done well. And I like it the other way around quite a bit (though I think it's rare exceptions in both cases - most people suck at music)...I was sitting in the lobby of our music building one day, and one of our theory profs was leaving the building, all the while casting bemused looks in the direction of the room where a string quartet was rehearsing. He looked at me and said, 'That's the Stones.' It was - Paint it Black, actually - but his reaction makes me think that isn't done too often, which is a shame, because I'd really love to hear a string quartet play something like Welcome to the Jungle. I heard a saxophonist practicing in the concert hall the other night, playing AC/DC's Thunderstruck (the guitar part). I couldn't tell if he was gasping quick breaths or circle-breathing, but it was unbelievably virtuosic either way.

Quote:
Modern classical music that is full of dissonance.

Amen!

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:55 am 
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Terez wrote:
In-Flight Piano wrote:
Some styles of classical music that I don't like listening to:

Quote:
Attempts to re-interpret classical compositions with pop arrangements.

Agreed, though there are some rare exceptions where it's done well. And I like it the other way around quite a bit (though I think it's rare exceptions in both cases - most people suck at music)...I was sitting in the lobby of our music building one day, and one of our theory profs was leaving the building, all the while casting bemused looks in the direction of the room where a string quartet was rehearsing. He looked at me and said, 'That's the Stones.' It was - Paint it Black, actually - but his reaction makes me think that isn't done too often, which is a shame, because I'd really love to hear a string quartet play something like Welcome to the Jungle. I heard a saxophonist practicing in the concert hall the other night, playing AC/DC's Thunderstruck (the guitar part). I couldn't tell if he was gasping quick breaths or circle-breathing, but it was unbelievably virtuosic either way.

Quote:
Modern classical music that is full of dissonance.

Amen!


I once posted such an arrangement, which I made for the piano, on this site and it was not appreciated. If I remember, the reaction was, "I hope this is not the sort of stuff you will be posting."

I was thinking of dissonance the other day. there is a Lyric Piece by Grieg where there is a sequence of 24 bars (6/8) where there are 7ths and 2nds and yet one would not say the piece is full of dissonance. Maybe one should say "where dissonance is used to produce ugliness"?

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:17 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Maybe one should say "where dissonance is used to produce ugliness"?

To twist a well-known proverb: Ugliness is in the ear of the beholder! I admit it took some time before I started finding beauty in Schoenberg's music, but nowadays I even enjoy listening to Ligeti. These people weren't actually trying to sound ugly.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:21 pm 
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What Lyric Piece are you referring to?

And I actually found a little Schoenberg that I like to! Except I can't remember the name right now. It's something like 6 Little Pieces, or something like that (printed it out, but it's at home).

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:59 pm 
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I am referring to op 54/2, but of course that type of dissonance has since become a cliché.

As I mentioned earlier, Schoenberg is dreary to my ears, and I find little difference between his Peléas and Mélisande and his Moses and Aaron, but the Gurrelieder, them I like. I do however, recall enjoying a symphony by Einojuhani Rautavaara (What I name! aT first to remember it I had to think, "I know you honey!" :)) only to find out it is serial (but fortunately not a killer).

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:48 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
What Lyric Piece are you referring to?

And I actually found a little Schoenberg that I like to! Except I can't remember the name right now. It's something like 6 Little Pieces, or something like that (printed it out, but it's at home).


There is some Schoenberg that I don't mind such as the Verklaert Nacht, his early Chamber Symphony, and the String Quartet #4 at least. Of course the early stuff is before his serial stuff and to me has somewhat a sense of a late Mahler development section after it went over the tonal precipice. It could also be that over the years, movie music during tense, dramatic scenes often resembles Schoenberg and company so the sound is not as foreign as it once was.

I actually like the Penderecki "Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima", and that really can't be classified as much of anything but ugly. But its purpose was to convey the ugly aftermath of the nuclear bomb. I am also quite fond of the Berg Violin Concerto and the Rite of Spring.

To me, it is not so much the amount of dissonance, it is whether it is used with a purpose. I'm reminded of styles of jazz, not necessarily the wild modern modal stuff, but even ballads where everything is harmonized with some dissonance. The basic harmonic units of jazz are 7th chords (dissonant by nature, all containing a 7th or in in version a 2nd) with the addition of 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. These dissonances actually give the lushness to the harmonies and we do not necesarily perceive them as "dissonant" (in fact they are often referred to a "tensions")

I'm reminded of some early level students when they run into certain dissonances for the first time. Particularly when they are practicing slowly, it comes out more. They first think that they have played something wrong. Then they try just that, playing louder and louder (I guess thinking that that will make it go away), and then decide that it is wrong. Over the years, I have learned to point these things out on new pieces. I show them that when it is in context at the tempo that we will play that it works. I have them try it out and listen to the sound of the "clash" (and then with the resolution) so they can get used to it and then tell them that if when they practice they don't hear that "clash" then they are playing it wrong.

I'm not sure that art is necessarily intended to always be beautiful. It should be thought provoking and interesting. There is some art in which there is aesthetic "beauty" in the ugliness portrayed. Some of Goya's etchings come to mind where he portrayed ugly scenes about war and did nothing to "beautify" the image.

That of course does not mean that I do not enjoy beautiful art.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:45 am 
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I agree that not all dissonance is bad. The Fugue in b minor from WTC1 has lots of dissonance, but this is my favorite piece of music ever. This is not the ugly kind.

The kind of dissonance that I don't like, is the kind in Lowell Liebermann's Three Impromptus, Op.68.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:59 am 
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RSPI11 wrote:
I'm not sure that art is necessarily intended to always be beautiful. It should be thought provoking and interesting. There is some art in which there is aesthetic "beauty" in the ugliness portrayed. Some of Goya's etchings come to mind where he portrayed ugly scenes about war and did nothing to "beautify" the image.

Preciesely! I used to teach a year-long course in cultural history that approached the arts in chronological fashion. Each style is best appreciated in the novelty that it presented to the times then current, and in the context of the cultural history. To best appreciate the atonal school, one must come to understand the frustration that composers had arrived at with tertian harmony. They felt (wrongly) that they had scaled all its potential, and so abandoned building taller sky scrapers (7th, 9th, 11th, 13th chords) and changed the whole alphabet from tertian harmony to secondal (Bartok), quartal/quintal (Debussy), removed the sign-posts along the roads of scales (whole-tone), liberated symmetry, rhythm and tessituras (Stravinsky), emancipated tonality (Schoenberg), drew on cultural influences (Nationalism), finally (?) going so far as to be overwelmed by mathematics and phasing (E. Carter and others) and even the abandonment of artistic creativity and self itself (Cage and the aleatoric composers). The musique concrete movement at least tried to find other-than-musical sound and manipulate it into sounds never before heard or imagined on planet Earth. The series of wars and atrocities in the 20th century went a long way in stimulating artists everywhere in evey medium.

@Monica: you have the title correct (in English, though)

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:11 am 
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In-Flight piano wrote:
I agree that not all dissonance is bad.

I like to equate musical dissonance with spices in culinary arts. Who in there right mind would pick up an onion and start eating it like an apple? Or pop a clove of garlic into the mouth like a grape? Or put a spoonful of salt, pepper or horseradish in their mouth like a tablespoon of honey? Yuck! Yet who wants to eat food without all of these "ugly" "foul" ingrediants? Not me. Likewise, we need these dissonances to "flavor" our music. Certainly all do not have the same taste for foods, or music. It has taken me a good few decades to appreciate blue cheese, but I love VERY HOT flavors, yet I care nothing for radish. So it is with music, it takes significant understanding to appreciate the "untasty" works. ... but thank God for Rachmaninoff (an out-of-style anachronism) anyway!

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 Post subject: Re: Pet hates
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:47 am 
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RSPIll wrote:
I'm not sure that art is necessarily intended to always be beautiful. It should be thought provoking and interesting. There is some art in which there is aesthetic "beauty" in the ugliness portrayed. Some of Goya's etchings come to mind where he portrayed ugly scenes about war and did nothing to "beautify" the image.

Interesting. I was reading something the other day, I can't remember where, arguing that the notion of artists as our "social conscience", that literature, music, painting can be provocative and challenging, is relatively new. They were saying that artists of all sorts used to be more like craftsmen, serving rather than critiquing society, and the transition from craftsmanship to individualism took place during the 19th century. Goya was indeed named as a pioneer of this new attitude. I think the chronology is a bit off (Mozart toyed with librettos that brushed against the fence of censorship, and challenged the musical conventions of his time in some interesting ways), but I agree with the main point. Nowadays it seems essential that at least some new art should be provocative.

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