Monday, March 26, 2007

The Guard's Question Time II: Fun with Classical Music

Oh shit, quiz time. You know I can't say no. (via Soho the Dog, still my hero) I encourage all of you to play along at home.

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

The Consul is pretty brutal, but you really start to feel those three hours.

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!". Can you imagine what that cadenza would've ended up being?

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives. The end.

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

I don't know, Bananaphone? That's not a real answer. Would Vexations be a more real answer? I suppose there's that new kid who writes really awful sappy music, Greenberg or something?

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

I don't know unlikely it is, but I keep thinking of the part in Symphonie fantasique right before his head gets chopped off. Who needs absolute form when the program tells you where you are in the score?

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

A tie between Poppea in the Clinton White House and Peter Jackson's Ring Cycle.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

I almost want to second Steve Drury's leather pants, but their awexomeness overwhelms me. I haven't actually seen the Stockhausen/clarinet/unitard thing, but I've heard news of a lady instituting an unhealthy regiment of diet and exercise because of it so I have to come out against it.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Yeah, not Paul McCartney. How about Zappa? Whoops. Did you know that Roger Waters also makes mediocre neo-classical music? Also Stewart Copeland! There was actually a Times article about how when rock stars approach traditional forces they always end up sounding like Haydn (Zappa excluded). I wonder what Robert Fripp would come up with, except he's busy still being a rock star.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

This isn't fair since due to a number of influences I'm starting to go on a Sibelius kick right now.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

No way, d00d. I prefer the Seventh anyway, and with my weak to pathetic knowledge of this "classical repertoire" we're trying to talk about here I could probably find some other stuff to listen to.

3 comments:

Kristina said...

¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

I had no idea there was such a thing as Rzewski's 36 (eee) variations of the song. Amazing! Haha I'll have to listen now. Have you heard the original by Quilapayún?

Andy H-D said...

I actually first crossed paths with the song on Charlie Haden's Ballad of the Fallen, so I've never heard the original. Both versions I've definitely sound like the sort of thing that thousands of people could sing at once.

Kristina said...

Ahh... Well El pueblo unido jamás será vencido is definitely used at protests and rallies and it fits in very much with the style of group singing that was popular in Chilean Nueva canción. You should give it a listen, if you're interested. I'd be willing to send it.