Binah (binah1013) wrote,

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Rock Me Amadeus

I heard some of that previously lost aria that Bach wrote as a birthday present for his benefactor Duke Weimar on NPR last week. It was a pretty thing, in my opinion. However, I was curious what Mr. Expert had to say about it after the piece finished. Basically he said it had all the hallmarks of a Bach piece, and it was very nice but not some great undiscovered masterpiece.

I felt kinda dumb waiting anxiously to hear what Mr. Expert thought about the song. I have no emotional investment in Bach (His organ pieces are nice) nor any complex understanding of classical music. But somehow I wanted Mr. Expert to validate my positive impression, which he did, but that's besides the point. I got caught up in some silliness there. In music, I like what I like. Mozart and Weird Al Yankovich both reside happily on my hard drive.

Some comedian once quipped, "Don't tell me you like classical music because you watched Amadeus once!" If I hadn't branched out from Mozart in my classical dabblings, that comment would hit awfully close to home. I do love Mozart and I admit it started from watching Amadeus. But I admit my knowledge of classical music is like a dusting of spice on a patch of sand.

I used to buy all sorts of classical music on tape in the 80's and 90's. I bought Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Mozart's Greatest Hits (silly name, eh?), Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, Handel's Water Music and lots of the big name classics, etc. Often movies and TV shows got me interested in different composers. I learned about Grieg from watching an episode of Beauty and the Beast. I love Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor. From there, I learned about In the Hall of the Mountain King and Morning, great classical music movie standards. The two Fantasia movies put me on a music buying spree.

I made some nice discoveries along the way. On my tape of Ravel's Bolero,the flip side had a lovely composition called Pavane for a Dead Princess. The tape has long gone, but I picked up a classical guitar version on WinMX.

And yet, even though I thought I had given myself a nice overview of the classical genre, I hardly ever recognize the classical music on our public radio station. So clearly, I'm some sad surface dabbler or classical stations delight in playing obscure pieces. I'm going to assume I'm a rube, but I think it would be fun if there was a "Top 40" classical station here in town. I'm not suggesting they limit themselves to 40 compositions, but rather did popular stuff I could actually recognize.

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