Friday, May 26, 2006

On the Domestic Front ...

Warning: this post includes information that may spoil your enjoyment of a favourite piece of recorded music.

Zeppo Bakunin's been on my case over the past couple of days on the subject of music theory - he reckons I should get into it as a hobby. All I'd need do, initially at least, is take myself off to the local library, or the second hand book shops, and start tracking down text books and other works of reference. And maybe a few miniature scores as well. Then perhaps I could start blogging on the subject of musical recordings and dishing the dirt on conductors who rush the openings of violin concerti or skip repeats in the last movements of famous symphonies. Or, a particular gripe that makes one set of CDs I've got more or less unbearable to listen to, record important sections of major choral works with key instruments in the orchestral score completely missing. It's a flute playing counterpoint grace notes to a trumpet part, for anyone who might be interested, and hearing the phantom notes in my head just isn't the same.

It sounds like a good idea as it would combine quite nicely with the blogging hobby, and I might eventually end up with the web-site to visit for tips on how to buy classical recordings. Such as - any conductor who gets through the fourth movement of Saint-Saens' Symphony No 3 op 78 (the "Organ Symphony") in less than 8' 28 is stiffing you on the Maestoso. That benchmark is taken from a 1982 Karajan recording. I chose it because, out of all the recordings available in the record shop where I bought it, it had the longest final movement. Old Herbie must have slowed down in his later years.

It also sounds like a bad idea - because right now, some of you at least, are looking at your CD racks where the Saint-Saens' Symphony No 3 enoys pride of place, thinking I really don't want to know. Bugger that Gummo Trotsky for bringing the subject up at all.


Anonymous said...

Not sure that too many people have a sant saens shaped CD on their rack. I mentioned opera in our world a couple of nights ago and felt vaguely as if I had thrown a gangrenous leg into a really crowded train.

- barista

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