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Classical Notes: August 19, 2008 Archive

Elvis + Lenny = John Philip Sousa?

Posted at 5:00 AM on August 19, 2008 by John Birge (2 Comments)

A nice tribute to The March King from the Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout. Here's Sousa's foolproof recipe for a march:

"It must be as free from padding as a marble statue. Every line must be carved with unerring skill." Once the musical fat is trimmed away, he explained, a good march "stimulates every center of vitality, wakens the imagination and spurs patriotic impulses which may have been dormant for years."

Read the whole thing here.

And if you've never seen the Muppets version, talk about stimulating "every center of vitality"!!

Then, of course, there's Cameron Carpenter's astonishing one man band. No piccolos, but keep your eyes on the feet:

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Stealth Advertising

Posted at 8:04 AM on August 19, 2008 by Rex Levang

If you're interested in this stuff, you'll notice that opera shows up in advertising with some regularity. Often it's one more recycling of the Ride of the Valkyries or the William Tell Overture.

Here's one that's a little more subtle. From publicity material from the technology company Lockheed Martin:

Between the idea and the achievement, there is one important word: how.

And it is the how that makes all the difference.

And from the 1911 opera "Der Rosenkavalier":


These things are mysteries, so many mysteries.
And we are put here so that we may endure it.
And in the "how" -- there lies all the difference.

Where do people come up with these ideas?