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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000283.txt from 2005/05

From: "rien stein" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Less painful example of context, worth considering (was: Wagner)
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 06:01:49 -0400

> Date: Tue, 17 May 2005 08:26:43 -0400
> To:
> From: "Lelia Loban" <>
> Subject: [kl] Less painful example of context, worth considering (was:
> Wagner)
> Message-ID: <>
> Ormond Montoya wrote,
>>The Robert Shaw Chorale is one of my favorites.
>>Today I happened to put their Christmas album
>>in my car's CD player while I was waiting for
>>my daughter --- not because I'm in a Christmas
>>mood, but because I enjoy their singing and I
>>wanted to hear some of it. (for me, it was a sad
>>event when Shaw disbanded his chorale)
>>....anyway, a passerby told me somewhat viciously
>>that I should "Grow up! Christmas is nine months
>>away!" Major holidays are stressful to some of us,
>>and presumably she didn't want to be reminded.
> I won't defend that passerby's rude behavior, but I have to admit I've
> been
> tempted to scream at people who play Christmas carols out of season.
> Starting at about Halloween, it's hard to go anywhere without hearing
> carols and Christmas hymns. The relentless repetition drives some of us
> (me) crazy, especially since most of the music is pretty bad to begin
> with,
> then badly performed. I can't wait until that season ends and the
> assault
> of the happy-clappy carollers stops.
> Oh, but wait--some radio stations and Muzak providers think that, since so
> many people shop at the after-Christmas sales, we've just got to hear
> more,
> more, more carols and hymns for another full month after New Year's, to
> keep us in the mood to spend, spend, spend. That means we're hearing this
> noise pollution for a quarter of the year. I get to the point where I
> don't give a raggedy reed how well the carols or hymns are performed; I'm
> ready to break the next transmitter that spews the damned things, and when
> I walk into a store that's playing carols after Christmas, I walk right
> back out again without buying anything, with a complaint to the management
> (if any) on my way out. Though I'm not quite ready (yet...) to start
> ranting at my neighbors who feel otherwise and I agree with you that the
> Robert Shaw Chorale was a first-rate choir, by the end of January, I just
> want it (and the Chipmunks, and Lena Horne, and Bing Crosby) to shut the
> hell up.
> Lelia ("The Grinch") Loban


I think you are too harsh about Bill's listening to Xmas Carrols in May!

In this country we say "A person's delight is a person's life" (I believe
the official translation says "A person's interest keeps him going", or
something equally weak). In a country that pretends to be the most
democratic in the world (what about the good relationship between Bush and
the president of Uzbekistan?) it should be possible that every taste is
respected. Many people are deeply moved by very commercial singers like
Frank Sinatra, or are great lovers of tear jerkers like "Paper Roses" sung
by that abject woman Anita Bryant. Is their taste of need inferior to ours
who prefer the highly cultural and more elitarian music written by, say,
Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart or Ricardo Waggonmaker ([grin: Richard Wagner])?
There is a tendency to think that what is loved by the millions cannot be
good. But is it not exactly the heart of democracy, that in the end it is
the majority, that is right? In Germany in the thirties of the last century
we have seen, however, what a "Gesundes Folksempfinden" as a basis of life
can cause!

What I want to say with this mail is, that you cannot judge a person's
taste. Taste is very personal. And I agree with you that the Christmas
season in the USA is long, too long, much too long. In my view it should run
from about December five to January six (Epitiphany), but who am I, or who
are you, to forbid anybody to listen to carrols in May, especially as (in
this case:) he says it is because of the choir singing? Or how can I condemn
people who get wild of Tom Parker music, or can stand listening to a cd with
"Silent Night Holy Night", immediately followed by say Rudolph the rednosed
reindeer (what has this song to do with Xmas?), sung by a singer who the
rest of the year is proud of his or her being non- or even anti-Christian?

When my second son was five years old he was a great admirer of Michael
Jackson (the man who used plastic surgery to deform his face all the time
more). He has been an ardent listener of music. Now he is 27, still a lover
of what I generically would call "pop", but of late he has been to an opera
with a girl friend, and highly esteemed it, and is a great lover of minimal
music. It is not my taste, but when I hear band transcriptions of "his"
music I often wonder about the high quality of this music. He and I can
discuss intelligently his music -- not in a technical sense, he never wanted
to learn any instrument --, and now he laughs about his what he calls
"commercial anti-dad pro Jasckson period". Most people do not have a chance
to make such a development. They remain in the "Paper Roses" phase, or
consider the Elvis Presley of the sugarsweet songs and Frank Sinatra and
tear jerkers as the highest expression of civilization. It is not really
The really graet composers will survive in a small, but important and
well-educated circle, and the pop idols of today will be forgotten unless
they have something really worthwhile to say, like the Beatles had.



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