Is This A Contest?
Last Wednesday, Terry Teachout (About Last Night) quoted Aaron Haspel (God of the Machine) quoting David Hurwitz (Classics Today) on Classical Music’s Ten Dirtiest Secrets:
- Mozart really does all sound the same.
- Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge is just plain ugly.
- Wagner’s operas are much better with cuts.
- No one cares about the first three movements of Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique.
- Schoenberg’s music never sounds more attractive, no matter how many times you listen to it.
- Schumann’s orchestration definitely needs improvement.
- Bruckner couldn’t write a symphonic allegro to save his life.
- Liszt is trash.
- The so-called "happy" ending of Shostakovich’s Fifth is perfectly sincere.
- It’s a good thing that only about 200 Bach cantatas survive.
When I went to school, five out of ten wasn’t a passing grade . . . .
So which five does he agree with? And is there a prize for guessing correctly? Here are my guesses:
- Almost certainly agrees (to judge from previous comments on Schoenberg): 5.
- Probably agrees (its not exactly an iconoclastic view): 6.
- Probably disagrees: 1, 10.
- No clear idea one way or the other: 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9.
If I have to make a specific guess to win a prize, I'll say: 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9. But thats just a guess, not much better than a lottery pick.
Of course, it would be a lot easier to decide whether Teachout or anyone else agrees or should agree with 8 if it said either most Liszt is trash or all Liszt is trash. Theres a big difference. If its most, Ill add 8 to the list and subtract 4 or 7.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 09, 2004 07:39 PM