Klarinet Archive - Posting 000672.txt from 2000/09
From: "Randy S. Miller" <rsmiller@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] Schoenberg
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 03:20:15 -0400
! Don't blow a gasket. I have just as much respect for Schoenberg as you,
!or Dan, or Tony or Dr. Austin. The point is that like marriage jokes or
!Gore jokes (which used to be Quayle jokes and probably started as Millard
!Filmore jokes) these stories circulate and acquire the unfortunate patina
!of ancient truths. (Sadly, it wouldn't surprise me that a batch of
!antebellum Berlin musicians would have difficulty with "Pierrot" -
!especially if they were expecting the worst to begin with.)
! As recently as last year a Philadelphia Orchestra cellist was telling me
!similar stories about some of the pieces on the orchestra's incredible
!season of 20th century programs. He really thought that much of it was a
!At 11:54 AM 9/7/00 EDT, you wrote:
!>In a message dated 9/7/00 9:22:14 AM Central Daylight Time,
!><< he conductor Alois Melichar reported that the first clarinettist in the
!> Berlin Opera Orchestra had played twenty rehearsals of 'Pierrot' before
!> anyone noticed that he was supposed to shift from a Bb to an A clarinet
!> from time to time. All this testimony encourages a skeptical view of
!> glib references to 'Pierrot' and its significance." >>
!>Enough of this!
!>Just because a jaded/bored/sloppy clarinetitist was allowed to mis-play a
!>part in Twenty (who gets time for twenty rehearsals of anything?) says
!>NOTHING about the quality of the composer or the music.
!>Schoenberg was one of the seminal musical minds of the late 19th, early
!>century. His ideas influenced several generations of composers and many of
!>his compositions have stood the test of time.
!>If you don't like 12 tone music, or don't understand it, listen to a good
!>recording of "Transfigured Night". Ok, now let's make inane jokes........
!>What is the point of repeating these anecdotes? Does it make us feel
!>because we can ridicule a "great" person?
!>The "critics" panned Tschaikovsky's Violin Concerto.....
!>Audienced booed "The Rite of Spring".....
!>People couldn't understand the opening to Mozart's "Dissonant" Quartet....
!>The most profound musicians of the time grappled with Beethovens Late
!>and so on, and so on......
!>To me the anecdote says worlds about the attitude of a particular
!>player...and nothing about Schoenberg........
!>Stepping off my soapbox now........
!>Hey, anybody play on some good reeds lately???????
Also, you have to remember that the role of Beckmesser in Wagner's Die
Meistersinger was originally to be named Hans Lich. For those who don't
know, Edward Hanslick was a prominent Viennese music critic of the mid to
late 19th Century. He was always taking potshots at Wagner and Liszt and
the "Music of the Future," as it was termed at that time. Take a look at
Slominsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective for some samples of his writings.
(Personally, George Bernard Shaw's music criticisms (Yes, for those who
don't know, Shaw was a music critic in London before he started writing for
the stage) are a lot better and a lot funnier read than the pendatic
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