Dead White Guys

Bach-cropped

Bach-cropped

Mahler-cropped

Mahler-cropped

Ravel-cropped

Ravel-cropped

Beethoven-cropped

Beethoven-cropped

Dvorak-cropped

Dvorak-cropped

Stravinsky-cropped

Stravinsky-cropped

Brahms-cropped-2

Brahms-cropped-2

Rachmaninoff-cropped

Rachmaninoff-cropped

{"visible_panels":"4","visible_panels_960":"4","visible_panels_800":"4","visible_panels_650":"4","visible_panels_500":"4","width":"1000","height":"500","orientation":"horizontal","panel_distance":"0","max_openedaccordion_size":"100%","open_panel_on":"hover","shadow":"true","autoplay":"true","mouse_wheel":"false"}

Memoir of an Addiction

until my mid-twenties, I thought the prospect of going to see a group of people dressed as penguins playing music by irrelevant dead white guys was tantamount to watching grey paint dry on a cloudy day. but as I grew bored with pop music and the three-minute format I decided to look for something more.

my mom was an ethnomusicologist, so exotic music was very much part of my childhood. but save ballet, she didn’t have any interest in the western classics. I prided myself on being open to different genres, so my music collection ran the gamut from soul to deep purple to weirder stuff like the flying lizards and early Adam and the Ants.

I thought the 3 classical recordings i had – Chopin waltzes, Copland and Ravel hits (pretty good makeout music) – would be the only ones I ever needed. but then I got struck by lightning when I heard the overture to the Force of Destiny by Verdi, which completely blew my mind. I guess I was in the right space to really listen to it. so I wanted to know more about this art form, especially when I discovered that it encompassed history and culture and politics and technology.

a thousand years worth of material. amazonia! I’ve been exploring this realm for over 30 years and I’m still discovering new tributaries and new vistas.

this website is designed for the person I was; filled with curiosity, yet not knowing a sonata from a frittata.

what is classical music? some thoughts

what is classical music? some thoughts

for clarity’s sake and because we’re talking about 1000 years of material, I’ll concentrate on the years 1600- present for now. periods and approximate dates: baroque: 1600-1750 classical: 1750-1830 romantic: 1830-1910 usually divided into early/late modern 1910-  cultures show their best selves through their arts. the arts are Europe and its diaspora’s towering achievement, not…