Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Follow up on Scottish Fantasy.

Usually when I quote a blogger or a web author it might generate some interest in my regular readers (and thank you for that) or perhaps a drive by commentator. Unless, the author is a blogger who is a regular I do not get comments. I certainly don't get visits by the bigs. The "biggest commentator" to date is Chris Muir creator, drawer, and author of the cartoon Day by Day (scroll to the bottom of Blogger Beer, dinner before desserts).

Anyway I received the following comment in reply to my blog & criticism of criticism on Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy:
I stumbled upon this somewhat belatedly, so maybe I'm too late for my comment to matter. Nevertheless, here goes . . .

Although I understand what you're trying to say, I think it would be fair to mention that the quotation was taken from one of my concert programme notes. By their very nature, these are addressed specifically to people who are already "devoted classical music listeners". However, even if I had been talking to complete newcomers, I might well have used much the same words - the only "attitude" I have is the "inclusive" one of encouragement. Please look again at the quotation: I hope you will see that, although I was encouraging people to listen to the first four movements, I was in no way knocking the finale.
Source: Blogger Beer Comments from – Bruch's Scottish Fantasy

Intelligent commentary is never late and thanks for commenting on my notes on your review.

I guess what I am trying to point out to devoted classical music listeners is their tastes in music differ even with respect to the catchy tunes of classical music. I play what I think are "rocking" (or speaker-busters) pieces and I get impatient looks and mannerisms from those around me. Finally when (for example) March Slave (a speaker buster) is over I get applause not from the piece but from its finally being over. What I am saying is we have to have patience in our evangelization (note to self: Schubert's March Militaire it's what is playing right now and I really like this work) and even if the gold is not the piece we play for them it is what is needed.

In addition, when reading CD notes on works usually it seems the piece motivating my purchase is often "poo-pooed" or "dissed". I use language a little stronger than what it really deserves but that is how I feel when I read how my favorite is the easier to play or the less complicated work. However, I do realize it is what it is and classical music in general is easier to gauge things such as complexity or difficulty than in many other musical forms. Despite that I do get over it and listen to what I enjoy.

However, we do agree it often pays to listen to the other music on the recording. I find this invariably true even when purchasing pop-CDs. I buy the CD for a particular hit and after a while find the best music is often other works on the recording.

Getting caught by the catchy tune and working outwards from there isn't the only way, but it is a very common way to get hooked on classical music - it was the way I got started.

Paul S.

P.S. What is a "hardcore classical music listener"? I have this rather lurid image of someone getting his rocks off to Richard Strauss's "Dance of the Seven Veils"!
Source: Ibid

What is a hardcore classical music listener? The kind you target your notes to.