Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Monday, August 27, 2007

Answering the Dog

So yes, the academic year not only approaches but, for me, has begun (I taught my first classes of the year, in a daze, this morning), but even so I'll take the bait and try to answer some of SoHo's interesting questions:

1. What's the best quotation of a piece of music within another piece of music?

I've always liked the allusion to Beethoven in Brahms' First, or Mozart's quote of himself in Don Giovanni, but I have to go with the Star-Spangled Banner in Madame Butterfly.

2. Name the best classical crossover album ever made.

Elvis Costello and Anne-Sophie Mutter, or Renee Fleming's Haunted Heart. I am not totally partial to either, but these are, for me, the "best."

3. Great piece with a terrible title.

Rage over a Lost Penny (A joke, please)

4. If you had to choose: Benjamin Britten or Michael Tippett?

Benjamin Britten, though I'd not want to part with The Rose Lake, the Double Concerto for String Orchestra, or The Knot Garden.

5. Who's your favorite spouse of a composer/performer? (Besides your own.)

Phillip Glass' (now, I hear) ex, Holly. Met her once, thought she was absolutely lovely. But Peter Pears rates.

6. Terrible piece with a great title.

Nimrod Varations

7. What's the best use of a classical warhorse in a Hollywood movie?

That famous aria from Carmen in Magnolia, or Michael Moore's use of Beethoven's Ninth in Farenheight 911. I suppose Fantasia doesn't count.

8. Name the worst classical crossover album ever made.

John Denver and Placido Domingo, which I purchased in a gas station between Malibu and Santa Barbara.

9. If you had to choose: Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye?

Sam Cooke

10. Name a creative type in a non-musical medium who would have been a great composer.

Either Orson Welles or Paul Thomas Anderson. Or Tennessee Williams. Or Balanchine. Or Bergman. Does Adorno or Romain Rolland count? Also, Kierkegaard. But most of all, Marcel Proust.

EXTRA CREDIT:

For opera nerds: If you had to choose:
a) Lawrence Tibbett or Robert Merrill?

The latter

b) Amelita Galli-Curci or Lily Pons?

The latter

For early-music nerds: Name a completely and hopelessly historically uninformed recording that you nevertheless love.

Beechum's Messiah, though Furtwangler's Ninth is so wrong yet hopelessly right. And Simone Dinnerstein's Goldberg Variations, not to mention the really obvious Glenn Gould reading(s) of the same piece. I mean that these recordings don't lay claim to a certain level of scholarship--no doubt they all knew what history meant, and chose to follow a different set of instincts.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lisa Hirsch said...

Daniel - do you mean "Enigma Variations" where you said "Nimrod Variations"?

6:14 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Damn, you are right--I meant the "Nimrod Variations" from the Enigma Variations

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

The section in question is just called "Nimrod" I believe, and it's just one of the "Enigma Variations," you Nimrod. (that last part is just a joke)

9:39 PM  

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