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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: March 3, 2006 Archive

I have a little list...

Posted at 10:03 AM on March 3, 2006 by John Zech
Filed under: The blog

My wife once told me that when she and a female coworker discussed certain men they'd seen recently in the movies or on TV, if the guy was dishy they would say "he's on the list." The cream of the crop made it to the "laminated list," and once you were on that, you were there to stay.

That got me to thinking about what my "laminated list" would be in classical radio terms. When I used to hand off to Tom Crann every morning we often talked about pieces we played again and again on the radio and never got tired of hearing.

Yesterday I was reminded that Handel's Water Music was on that list. So are my favorite recordings of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances Suite #2 (especially the Bergamasca). These are some of the pieces that make me start humming or whistling along before I even realize it.

So what's on your list?

Has Greg Sandow seen the future?

Posted at 6:48 PM on March 3, 2006 by Don Lee

John Zech put out an enticing invitation in his latest post...one I'm going to let percolate over the weekend. It'll be interesting to see what music pops into my head. For today I want to issue an invitation of my own, one I hope you'll accept over the weekend. This may prod you:

The classical music business wont be able to exist much longer in its present form. That doesnt mean that classical music will disappear (though some of our classical music institutions orchestras, opera companies, and the rest, including some name-brand groups might well collapse). But I think classical music will have to learn to understand itself in a new way. Itll have to transform itself both externally, in the way it presents itself to the world, and internally, in the way that its taught, played, analyzed, and composed.

The quote is from Chapter One of a book about the future of classical music that Village Voice critic Greg Sandow is writing online. He promises Chapter Two on Monday, so now would be a good time to start following the action. It's actually his second attempt; his first effort bogged down, but I very much admired the effort so I'm eager to see how he does this time around. It could be fun to get a group following along on these pages.