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  1. #61
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    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    Meanwhile, earlier today while I was watching the Fognini/Coric match in Monte Carlo, I was reminded about the impact of one White Stripes song on not just music but also sports.


  2. #62
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    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    Oh, fun sidebar.... Back when I played in the local billiards league, I ran the table on three different occasions while Seven Nation Army was playing in the bar.

  3. #63
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    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    There are so many examples of how great music influenced (or at least made an appearance) in popular culture. Two really stand out to me. (And both happen to be examples of opera. My apologies. There are so many other examples featuring other genres.)

    The scene in Philadelphia featuring Maria Callas's La Mamma Morta...


  4. #64
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    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    This is the other that immediately jumps out to me--Duettino Sull'aria, Le nozze di Figaro.


  5. #65

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    "Compared to grand opera, all other forms of art shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so.".........I wish I could remember who said that, and I couldn't find it on a Google search.

    But it was an intentional and obvious take-off on George Patton's: "Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so."

    I do love opera......the most thrilling moments in opera are very high on the list of the most thrilling moments in music for me. BUT, I also understand the rationale of the detractors......the amazing cost of opera productions; the long stretches of less than thrilling music when dialogue is being sung without much going on musically; the related concept that many operas are far longer than they need to be; the inability to understand the lyrics; the fact that most operas fall into one of 2 categories.....great tragedies, where everyone you care about dies at the end; and the occasional comedies, where everyone marries someone at the end. Reality is usually thrown out the window, of course.

    I also have problems with sitting through certain operas. For example, "Die Walküre" is three long acts. If I could go back in time and talk to Wagner, I would tell him that the almost 3 hours of the first 2 acts could easily be cut to one 45-minute act that would easily have time for the amount of plot and for all the really good music that occurs in the first 2 acts. The third act is, in my opinion, his masterpiece, and I wouldn't touch a note of it. Some people criticize the 3rd act for being too heavy on the instrumental music, but it is exactly in the orchestration of the 3rd act that Wagner shows what he is capable of. And besides, who doesn't find it entertaining to watch twelve 300-pound sopranos being flown across the stage?

    And, as I commented way up thread, some of my favorite opera moments are operatic duets. And the one just above from Le Nozze di Figaro is another one that is way up there. Still, I always thought it a bit unrealistic that an entire prison would be brought to a stand-still by an operatic duet. (though I loved that movie!!!)

    GH

  6. #66

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    The Theme Song to The Wire - Way Down in the Hole
    One of the best television series of all time found a theme song that fits the themes of the series in so many ways, and then used five different recordings for each of the shows seasons reflecting differences in the tone each season.


  7. #67

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    About Opera.
    It is an acquired taste, as they are certainly long. But length cannot be the issue because some other things in life are super long and still engage you completely. How long is The Godfather II? And yet you sit through it never distracted.
    My problem with opera is the same thing as my problem with modern musicals, which are the modern version. I simply can't sit through people singing in life. That was the reason I hated La La Land and I can't stand a Disney musical.
    But again, that is me. I know I listen to an inordinate amount of lousy stuff and there are many operatic pieces that are favorites of mine (Nessum Dorma, the love duet from Madame Butterfly). So every now and then I become less barbaric. Music wise.
    Starry starry night

  8. #68
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    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    I generally don't like operas, ponchi, and for similar reasons as you. When I lived in DC and went to operas, I knew exactly which two or three arias I wanted to hear. I would wait for them. And until we got to those sections, I spent less time listening to the opera and more time inspecting the stage, the costumes, etc.

    To some degree, it's the same situation for me when it comes to concerti or even sonatas. Almost every sonata I ever learned had at least one movement I didn't like. And within a movement, there are typically parts of the movement I don't care for--for whatever reason. I can't think of a single concerto where I love all of it from beginning to end.

    But I can think of one piano sonata I absolutely adore from beginning to end in all three movements--Alberto Ginastera's Argentine Dances. But that is the ONLY one. Grieg's piano sonata (op. 7) would be another if the third movement had never happened. That movement was a waste of ink and paper. I was always left wondering, "What the **** was he thinking?"

  9. #69

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    Sort of agreeing and disagreeing on piano concerti at the same time.....I've performed 4 of them, each many times, and I pretty obviously chose some of the really popular ones to learn (Grieg A Minor, Tchaikovsky 1, Rachmaninoff 2, and Prokofiev 3). To consider 3 of those in light of what you said:

    First, Tchaikovsky.....There are some very flawed parts from the standpoint of composition, but from the standpoint of audience interest, I think the 2nd movement is weakest, and not entirely so. The opening theme, which returns, is gorgeous, presented first as a flute solo. But the really fast part of the 2nd movement (which is the "slow" movement) is really weirdly inserted and ruins the concept of a movement that should have been the lyrical part of the concerto.

    Rach 2: That second movement is a travesty. First, it is not that interesting to begin with, and secondly, it is 3 times longer than it should have been. The first and third movements represent some of Rachmaninoff's masterpieces. So the concerto will always be deservedly popular, but it could have been so much better with a better 2nd movement.

    So, Grieg A minor: Incredibly popular and over-performed. Still, I think this is the one that maintains quality and audience-appeal best through all 3 movements. My favorite movement has always been the 3rd movement. I think it is interesting that it has never gotten the love that the first movement has. But all 3 movements are wonderful.

    Now, and I'll hide this at the end of the note. I was not going to post this, but I thought....If Dry is brave enough, I should be.....My last performance of Grieg A minor was on October 15, 2011 with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina. I thought that performance was on YouTube, but I couldn't find it. Still there is a CD called "Masterworks I" made by that symphony that includes that live performance. That performance also has been played from time to time on North Carolina Public Radio's program called "Carolina Live." If you listen, please be kind, and remember that it was a live performance. That might help you forgive the fact that I left out a measure in the 3rd movement that resulted in it sounding a bit weird for a moment....people who didn't know the piece really well didn't notice, but my piano teacher did, of course.

    Most of my performances were before YouTube was what it has become. Maybe Dry and I were both lucky that way.

    GH

  10. #70

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    Now, and I'll hide this at the end of the note. I was not going to post this, but I thought....If Dry is brave enough, I should be.....My last performance of Grieg A minor was on October 15, 2011 with the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina. I thought that performance was on YouTube, but I couldn't find it.
    Nice try. Let's bring attention to this in bold, shall we. I don't see Grieg in A Minor, but there's other stuff, all full symphony performances from what I can tell. What else did you play besides that in those final performances in 2011? Do you remember? Cause I'm totally going to post whatever I find.

    And of course we'll be kind. But it won't be forced, we're all just impressed by your various talents.

  11. #71

    Re: Great Moments in the History of Music

    Grieg is all that I played with that orchestra in late 2011. I totally enjoyed that performance and working with that orchestra and that wonderful director.

    But that date, which is totally unforgettable to me, is mostly unforgettable for a different reason. I had a very close personal friend who died in Florida that day, basically about an hour before my performance. I didn't know about it until after the performance.
    But though I knew him in person, many of you knew him on TAT......he went by Stinger, and died quite unexpectedly that day. I know I posted about that in the In Memoriam then. Several of you commented on his death.

    That performance was also notable because my long-time piano teacher was there. She was 94 at the time. She died not long ago at the age of 100....almost 101. I dedicated that performance to her. It was not the last time she heard me play. She still was teaching piano at the time of that particular performance. She was in rather phenomenal shape until very shortly before her death.

    GH

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