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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: June 28, 2006 Archive

More on Richard Rodgers

Posted at 8:39 AM on June 28, 2006 by Rex Levang

Couple other Richard Rodgers waltzes, continuing John's thread of a few days back: "Lover" and "Falling in Love with Love." (At least I think that last one is in waltz time.)

People have pointed out -- and rightly -- the differences between Rodgers and Hart, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. But there's also a continuity there. Some of the thumbprints remain the same. A liking for waltzes is one.

Another example: take the first phrase of "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," slow it down, and smoosh the repeated notes into one long note -- and you'll get something quite close to the first phrase of "The Blue Room." And yet they have two different lyricists.

Any other composer thumbprints that people have noticed?

Pope vs. pop

Posted at 5:22 PM on June 28, 2006 by Don Lee (1 Comments)

Again today I'm indebted to John Birge for pointing out an interesting news item: Pope Benedict XVI, a classical music lover, has spoken out against contemporary, popularized liturgical music. Quoted in London's Telegraph, the pope says he prefers church music that follows "the traditional path of Gregorian chants or sacred polyphonic choral music."

I'm a big fan of pop and rock, electric guitars and amplified sound. I understand why it's been brought into church: newer-sounding music can make the worship experience more vital and appealing to some churchgoers…if it's well done.

But often, it isn't well done. And there's a larger reason for coming down on the traditional side: Worship in the Catholic Church, especially, is built on ritual that connects back to the foundations of the faith. Music that does not reinforce the ritual is at odds with the entire experience.

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