Saturday, January 29, 2005

Classic Trained

My fella is into Philip Glass in a big way. Whenever we use his car (which isn't often because I'm such a control freak that I like to be in the driving seat), we have to listen to Mr Glass. Usually after about ten minutes I beg him to turn it off - "It's like sitting on an aeroplane and have a small child behind you constantly kick the back of your chair" I moan. He usually complies, calling me a philistine. (Phyllis Stine is one of his many nicknames for me) Which I cheerfully admit I am. I am, have you seen what this blog is called?

I don't mind some classical music though, in its place. And although it's not really classical, when I was 14 I discovered the music of George Gershwin, and particularly Rhapsody in Blue which I thought was absolutely fantastic. I had it on a tape on my walkman and would listen to it, particularly when playing truant from school to avoid Sports, which I did for 2 years (is this a record - can I have a medal for ingenious excuses?) Some of Rhapsody in Blue is bloody difficult to play on the piano and I always end up giving up about halfway through. It's also one of those things that gets labelled as "middle-brow", probably because quite a lot of it sounds like it wouldn't be out of place in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Some of it is very pompous and silly. Some of it is cloyingly sentimental, and some of it is just downright slutty!

But I still love it. And the opening credits of the Woody Allan film Manhattan continue to send goose-bumps down my spine and make me wish that I lived in New York, New York.

4 comments:

Sparky said...

1) Philip Glass sets my teeth on edge. The last time I went to Atlantic City (Blackpool on speed and steroids -- you'd love it), the din of 2,000 slot machines in one of the Trump casinos sounded exactly like it could have been Philp Glass.

2) I'm totally with you on the Gershwin stuff -- those orchestra pieces of his really give me goosebumps.

mark Q said...

the constant battle of varied musical tastes sounds very familiar. my choices tend to be tame and moody, or just standard 80's pop fare. my boyfriend loves anything with a thumping, pumping techno-beat. since we take his car, more often than not, it can get quite painful. if you aren't in the mood for it, club music can send you right over the edge. i'm usually about one kylie minogue away from grabbing the steering wheel and ending it for us all. it's not quite as bad as that, but you get the picture. as for the gershwin, i have long been a fan- of rhapsody in blue in particular. however, the older i get the more campy the whole thing sounds. it's like the point of my life, whenever it was, that the 1812 overture sounded a little less awe- inspiring and a little more silly. to each their own.

comatose said...

Philip Glass is bearable in small doses I think, depending on how algorithmic and repetitive that particular piece is. I'm very intolerant about what goes in my ears. One of the things I will not tolerate is Bon Jovi (yeuch!)

mike said...

...but, darling, Philip Glass is HIDEOUSLY middle-brow! It's got this awful sheen of coffee-table "tastefulness" to it, which makes me wanna HURL. And talk about using the same old tricks over and over again...

Your partner should think about graduating to Steve Reich and Terry Riley. (Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" being a good place to start.) Admittedly, this won't be of any use to YOU, but at least you'll get to suffer with Class. :-)