Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Howard Goodall's Story of Music

Will Fly 28 Jan 13 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Joe G 28 Jan 13 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,G-Force not logged in 28 Jan 13 - 09:12 AM
Wolfhound person 28 Jan 13 - 09:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jan 13 - 09:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jan 13 - 10:23 AM
greg stephens 28 Jan 13 - 10:28 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 10:30 AM
s&r 28 Jan 13 - 10:57 AM
Marje 28 Jan 13 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Jan 13 - 11:45 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Frug 28 Jan 13 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,sciencegeek 28 Jan 13 - 12:45 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 01:27 PM
greg stephens 28 Jan 13 - 01:57 PM
Will Fly 28 Jan 13 - 01:59 PM
greg stephens 28 Jan 13 - 02:02 PM
greg stephens 28 Jan 13 - 02:05 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 02:08 PM
greg stephens 28 Jan 13 - 02:13 PM
Will Fly 28 Jan 13 - 02:16 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 13 - 02:23 PM
Will Fly 28 Jan 13 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 28 Jan 13 - 02:52 PM
GloriaJ 28 Jan 13 - 05:25 PM
Howard Jones 28 Jan 13 - 06:56 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Jan 13 - 08:51 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Jan 13 - 08:58 PM
Howard Jones 29 Jan 13 - 03:53 AM
Marje 29 Jan 13 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Beachcomber 29 Jan 13 - 09:35 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Jan 13 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Beachcomber 29 Jan 13 - 06:02 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Jan 13 - 03:18 AM
greg stephens 30 Jan 13 - 07:33 AM
GUEST 03 Feb 13 - 04:28 AM
DMcG 03 Feb 13 - 05:29 AM
Manitas_at_home 03 Feb 13 - 05:47 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Feb 13 - 09:08 PM
Will Fly 10 Feb 13 - 05:04 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Feb 13 - 10:19 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Feb 13 - 09:50 PM
C Stuart Cook 11 Feb 13 - 07:52 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Feb 13 - 08:17 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 01:42 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 02:00 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Silas 03 Mar 13 - 05:17 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 05:46 AM
Will Fly 03 Mar 13 - 06:44 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 07:14 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Mar 13 - 08:08 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Mar 13 - 07:03 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Mar 13 - 02:26 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Mar 13 - 08:14 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Mar 13 - 11:27 PM
Will Fly 08 Mar 13 - 04:44 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Mar 13 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Mar 13 - 05:21 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Mar 13 - 08:06 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Mar 13 - 10:42 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Mar 13 - 08:56 PM
GloriaJ 09 Mar 13 - 06:36 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Mar 13 - 11:54 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM
GloriaJ 10 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Mar 13 - 04:51 AM
Will Fly 10 Mar 13 - 05:48 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Mar 13 - 07:41 AM
Will Fly 10 Mar 13 - 07:54 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Mar 13 - 08:24 AM
GloriaJ 10 Mar 13 - 11:23 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 08:11 AM

Anyone else catch "Howard Goodall's Story of Music" on BBC 2 TV from Saturday evening last? I was out gigging at the time and have just caught up with it on the BBC iPlayer.

I thought it was an excellent programme - straightforward, clear, informative and fun, with some excellent musical examples. The next 5 programmes in the series should be well worth a listen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 08:50 AM

Yes I saw it and totally agree - Goodall strikes a fine balance between not being patronising and explaining things clearly. And he didn't jet off around the world to present the programme. I loved that duo from Monteverdi's Poppea which I had never heard before. And I covet a Lur!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,G-Force not logged in
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 09:12 AM

I never knew that's where Lurpak came from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 09:17 AM

I saw it too and enjoyed it, but there were surprising gaps I haven't quite put my finger on yet. Maybe the next episode will clarify things.

Paws


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 09:35 AM

We really enjoyed it. Good points well made.

Vague feeling of disquiet though. Music is an extremely complex and deeply rooted feature of human behaviour - hinted at by the discovery of stone age (?) bone flutes and so on but .............. since we have been speaking for a lot longer than 200,000 years isn't reasonable to assume we have been singing for most of that time?

If we have been singing for a very long time did we need to wait for relgious and 'trained' musicians of the middle ages to work out singing in octaves? Don't children and adults do this naturaly?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 09:47 AM

"Don't children and adults do this naturaly?"

I agree with you, Les. I'm sure we do sing naturally in octaves. When a father (for example) joins his little daughter in "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," he doesn't have to tell her about frequencies and that she must double the frequency when she sings with him. They both just do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 09:56 AM

True enough leeneia,

I am not familar with music from agricultural, pastoralists and the remaining few hunter-gathers but surely some of those communities have amazing sung music full of complex harmonies and rhythms?

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 10:23 AM

I'm not sure about that, but surely the fourth and the fifth have been known from the time of Pythagoras (300 AD or BC, I forget which) and perhaps before. I found a website once which said the fifth was known to the ancient Egyptians. Could be, because to get the fifth, all you have to do is take a string and make it half as long.

I tried to watch the BBC show but was denied because I'm not in the UK.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 10:28 AM

This was not a history of music. It was a posh boy's history of posh music. With a few passing nods to hiphop etc: the pedagogues of the world always like to pretend to be "with it" and down with the kids(it never works).Others have picked on his ludicrous claim that singing in octaves was invented by some Christian monks in whateverAD. Ditto drones. How on earth did the poor benighted inhabitants of Asia and Africa manage to make music before we went and showed them at bayonet point? You can build silly sets for cutely curly-haired Howard to talk in front of till the cows come home,but he'll still be totally ignorant about music. Even if he wrote the Blackadder theme.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 10:30 AM

Good one Greg

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: s&r
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 10:57 AM

Half as long gives the octave.

I watched this with interest which waned quite rapidly. I've set the video to record the rest just in case the angle improves.

Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Marje
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 11:07 AM

I wouldn't dismiss Goodall quite like that, but I do think he looks too much to the Church's and establishment's music and forgets that there will almost certainly have been other, much older music taking place for thousands of years before the Christian Church began to write it down.

He referred in passing to how some Lutheran hymns were based on folk songs, without bothering to examine how the folk melodies got there in the first place, what lyrics they used before the religious ones were grafted on, or what happened to those songs that didn't get adopted by the Church.

His comparison of The Archers' theme tune with a religious piece in 6/8 time failed to pick up on the fact that jig-time is a very natural rhythm for dance, and that most rhythmic music has a close link with human movement (marching, dancing, baby-rocking, etc).

Just because music wasn't written down, it's wrong to assume that it was insignificant or non-existent before written notation. Surely a musicologist can piece together something of the music of bygone centuries, even when no written record of it remains.

Having said all that, I found quite a lot of interest in the programme, and will carry on watching.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 11:45 AM

"half as long gives the octave"

You're right, s&r, I made a mistake. I just measured it on my dulcimer, and the fifth is 2/3 as long, not half. But I consider my point still valid - we can find the important intervals of the octave, the fifth and the fourth by simple means.

The trouble with music history is that so much of it has never been written down. Not just the very old stuff, but the ordinary stuff of the common people. We will probably never know, for example, what words certain old tunes had before they became hymns. People were poor and illiterate, paper and ink were expensive, and everyone, from rich to poor, had more important things to worry about - like surviving.

That said, I'd like to mention that I saw a documentary about a newly-dicovered painted cave in France. The doc was called "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." In the cave, they found a flute which they date at 30,000 years old or so. An archeologist picked up an exact replica of it and played the tune for "The Star-Spangled Banner" on it.

At one time there probably was a drawing that showed one stick figure playing the flute while another covers its ears and says "That's not even music, it's just noise!" but the drawing has weathered away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 11:53 AM

Spot on leeneia, to be fair to Howard much of the stuff about bone flutes and cave paintings was his introduction.

I trust this wont turn unpleasant and then become another 'what is folk thread'. Clearly another programme could be made lookin at the details of variuos kinds of folk/ traditional/you know what I mean kind of investigation


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 12:02 PM

Yes not bad. Looking forward to seeing it develop further and see how deep he goes. Quite like his style posh boy or not.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 12:45 PM

I've enjoyed his earlier shows... they were shown in the US on the Ovation channel & I have them on my DVR. I also got the DVD set for myself & friends... the later shows are on youtube & got most of them saved on the laptop.

yes, he is very British establishment.... but he does try to transend his early upbringing... LOL

and no one in their right mind goes to a television show for serious research.... unless that channel is The Research Channel or some other university supported venue....

I look forward to getting to see the show... most likely youtube will carry the individual episodes... and draw my own conclusions at the end.

"By all means lets keep our minds open... but not so open that our brains drop out."   Richard Dawkins


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 01:27 PM

Love the Dawkins quote!

It's not that Howard is posh - I think the point that some of us are trying to make is that it is very much a route through church and art music with odd nods to popular and 'folk' music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 01:57 PM

What particularly annoyed me(or rather incensed me)was Howard G's article in the Guardian trailing the series.In it he namechecked a lot of classical usual suspects(Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, Bach, I think) plus a couple of poppies(Adele and someone). The article also referred at the end to the fact that Euro composers often pillaged the works of black artists for material, oftoen unacknowledged.The article was copiously illustrated by photos of the mentioned people. All the white Europeans, classical and pop, were correctly identified in captions.The people in the photo used to illustrate the"black music pillaged by Euro musicians" story were Jelly Roll Morton and the Red Hot Peppers. They were not identified by name(just referred to as jazz).Need I add further comment?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 01:59 PM

I think Goodall made it very clear from the beginning that the "story" of music, as such, was his own story.

He also made it clear that, until notation started to appear, we have absolutely no idea - other than conjecture - what "popular and folk music" sounded like. He linked early church music to the Roman era - but drew no conclusions. If anyone can tell me what, say, 8th century AD 'folk' music was and sounded like, I'd be very interested to hear.

As for his personal background, who gives a shit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:02 PM

Exactly: he said it was his history. He should have said it was "his music". Monks invented singing in octaves, for God's sake!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:05 PM

Will F: if anyone can tell me what 12th century church music sounded like, I'd be interested to hear, too. It wasn't recorded! Howard's welcome to his guess. I am welcome to mine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:08 PM

I saw the article but didn't read it.

Let's get away from the posh Howard thing - it is irrelevant. I really don't care about that.

It is his story - ok fine, but it looks like it's going to be the story of high end art music. Maybe not


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:13 PM

I dont mind posh.I love posh. I do mind people, from whatever walk of life, making generalisations about music when they mean western European classical music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:16 PM

Well, here's an interesting and typical web site about the early music topic - almost identical in substance to what Goodall was saying:

http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/word/music.htm

I suspect that the "high end art music" side of things is going to be the theme - what else do we know about those very early days? Let's see where he goes in the next five programmes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:23 PM

Hi Will, good point of yours above - what were 6C 'folk' songs like? Lost fro ever I guess.

But from your link:

"Early church music was monophonic. That is, the whole choir sang the same melody in the form known as plainchant, where the tune follows the rhythm of the words. It is also known as Gregorian chant on the basis that it was all devised by Pope Gregory the Great,"

Howard said nothing to with St Greg

Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:33 PM

Exactly, Les - he made that point. So the "real" truth is open to debate. I merely quoted that website partly to demonstrate the fuzziness around the subject. And I did say "almost"... :-)

I'm aware that this is a folk forum (among other things), but to say that folk music played little part in Goodall's story is - well - tough. We have to work with what we know. He did make the point that Luther (for example) took folk tunes as the basis for some of his hymn tunes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 02:52 PM

I've recorded but not yet watched the programme. I too was not so impressed by the Guardian article, and a quick flick through the book of the series on Saturday in a local bookshop didn't want to make me buy the book.
Of course, it's not going to be about folk music, and of course, the title of the series is mis-named as it's one small branch of music that he's discussing. Okay, it's only his view.... oh that we could present TV series about music that was our own view!

But ... I bet the only coverage of folk music (once we get to slightly more modern times than the stone age) will be how it was used as inspiration for classical composers, rather than it having value in its own right!

Anyway, I'm prepared to accept it for what it is and will look forward to watching it!
derek


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GloriaJ
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 05:25 PM

It was an interesting programme, I thought - and showed me a few things I didnt know,including the Lur.These classically-trained musicians like Goodall tend to be insufferably sure of the superiority of the western classical tradition.Attempts to include folk or popular styles often look either patronising or phoney.Superficially( and I dont think they get beyond that level) it can sound unsophisticated.But as many of us here know, once you get into it - an irish reel,a scottish bagpipe tune - is tremendously sophisticated, but in a different way from Mozart.
There was a nice contrast in the programme on recently about Dave Brubeck, who studied with Darius Milhaud.Milhaud laid into Brubeck for trying to write music in the classical tradition, telling him to stick with the wonderful tradition he was closer to - jazz.I dont know much about Milhaud but I was impressed by his ability to see the merit of music outside his sphere of expertise.Not many,especially the seriously academically-trained musicians,can express this kind of wide vision it seems.
Having said that, it was an exciting,insightful programme.And it was, as he emphasised - his own take on music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 06:56 PM

He got off on the wrong foot with his opening comment, the absurd statement that until recently most people would have heard music only occasionally - what he meant was "proper" music performed by "proper" musicians, completely dismissing all the music that people were making for themselves.

Despite that, and the somewhat restricted frame of reference, I found it an interesting programme and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Why is it that, even in a programme about music, TV programmes don't credit the musicians?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 08:51 PM

I'm afraid that the programme fell into the vast chasm between two stools. Apart from the fact that it was extremely western-centric, as has been stated above, it catered very well for the guy with a bit of knowledge who could predict exactly what was coming next but not at all for the music enthusiast who has never delved deeply but who wanted to learn more. It skipped gaily through the centuries (sparing not a single mention, for example, of Hildegarde of Bingen or Martin Codax) at such a pace that it was impossible to interpret anything of a sequence of events in one's mind, and it alternated between fairly decent explanations of some musical concepts and rushed and superficial treatment of others which needed far greater explanation. Little or nothing of any clarity on the old church modes, for example, which I thought was unforgivable. The programme was Howard Goodall's message and little more, and it was clear that the chap enjoys a pretty healthy ego.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 08:58 PM

Haven't checked back, but, if I remember rightly, his Guardian piece referred to the bleak world of Beethoven's late quartets. I'm afraid that anyone who thinks that about Beethoven's late quartets has immediately disqualified himself from being a credible commentator on music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 03:53 AM

It occurs to me that the musical rule of the monasteries must have been very rigid and conservative, especially if they had to learn that vast repertoire by heart, and was probably not very receptive to innovation. I wonder how many of the musical developments Goodall described actually had their origins in the popular music of the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Marje
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 09:05 AM

Of course we don't know for sure what any of the early, unwritten music sounded like, but the clues are there. The tunes that the Gregorian monks started writing down didn't spring fully-formed from their imaginations - they were very likely rooted in the singing and music of the ordinary people.

And I can't accept the implication that harmony was suddenly invented after - and almost as a result of - the invention of written notation. There will have been simple instruments (bells, tuned percussion, stringed instruments) on which is was possible to play two different notes at once (not to mention massed human voices, of course, which are well suited to this) for hundreds or thousands of years. It seems inconceivable to me that people all over the world would not have exploited these possibilities in many different ways.

The music of primitive peoples - or at least those that were still primitive in the last couple of centuries - demonstrates how people who are musically illiterate are capable of sophisticated harmonies and rhythms, and there's nothing to suggest that our ancestors in Britain and Europe would not have been the same.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 09:35 AM

Music (singing) must have come about as an expression of emotion and therefore must surely have been experimented with from whatever period in time that people had any little amount of leisure time ? would anyone agree ? Plain chant sounds so very regimented and preserved it is difficult to imagine the monks experimenting in music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 12:07 PM

Vague feeling of disquiet though. Music is an extremely complex and deeply rooted feature of human behaviour - hinted at by the discovery of stone age (?) bone flutes and so on but .............. since we have been speaking for a lot longer than 200,000 years isn't reasonable to assume we have been singing for most of that time?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Beachcomber
Date: 29 Jan 13 - 06:02 PM

That makes a lot of sense Les in C. I could imagine "primitive" people, who liked doing so, making musical sounds (singing perhaps) and discovering that some new combinations of sounds were pleasant on the ear also, while other combinations might not have been so pleasing ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Jan 13 - 03:18 AM

Sounds right to me Beachcomber. Mr Goodall is fine chap and he is doing an excelent(?, yes) history of Western Art Music.

A completely other collection of stories is yet to be told about 'Folk Music'.

Who would be the best person/ people to tell the story?

L in C#


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jan 13 - 07:33 AM

I won't be missing these programmes, HG is interesting and informative.It is just his claim to be talking about "music" is ridiculous, when what he is actually talking about is symphonies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 04:28 AM

Come and meet him! He'll be speaking about his book and the series at Kings Place on 11 Feb at 7.00 pm: http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on-book-tickets/spoken-word/howard-goodall-the-story-of-music#.UQ4sK7-6eSo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 05:29 AM

I do find it slightly odd that on the last programme there was a soprano singing in English but they decided it needed subtitles, also in English. To me, something is going wrong when the music dominates the lyrics to such an extent that a native speaker can no longer understand what is being sung.

Of course, there are occasions, like Songs of Praise, where you get English subtitles on English singing for other reasons.

I do go to operas occasionally, and surtitles are common, especially when the opera is in, say, Italian, but it is not unknown to have English surtitles over English singers then, either. But it still makes me feel the music has gone astray in some sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 03 Feb 13 - 05:47 AM

I always have trouble hearing the words when they are sung, no matter how quiet the accompaniment so they subtitles are good for me. In the case of Songs of Prise i expect they are so that viewers can join in with the hymns.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Feb 13 - 09:08 PM

Tonight's edition, covering the "classical" period, was just awful. This bloke doesn't understand Mozart at all. He seems to think that he had to write facile tuneful stuff just to keep his audience on board. What an insult. There is no compromise of any nature whatsoever in Mozart's music, which is one reason why it will remain immortal. Goodall completely missed the public/private nature of Mozart's music. Likewise with Beethoven. The late music (with not a single mention of the late piano sonatas or Diabelli Variations) was dismissed as other-worldly, bleak and introverted, the inevitable outcome of Beethoven's deafness. Goodall's way of justifying this view was to illustrate the late quartets with just the austere slow fugue that starts the C sharp minor quartet. Never mind the sheer lyricism, the drama, the song, the dance that permeates all these works. Never mind that Beethoven, in all his late pieces in particular, was reaching out to grab the listener by the throat, so urgent was his need to communicate. No sense of the poignant picture of a profoundly deaf man reaching out from his inner sound-world like no-one has reached out before. If you don't hear late Beethoven that way, you're not hearing him at all. Howard has a message and he's damn well going to deliver it! But it's the wrong one. My missus hated the programme, and she loves music, without knowing any of the technicalities. Grr! Opportunity wasted!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 05:04 AM

Mmm... just watched it on the iPlayer. Not quite as black and white as you paint it, Steve - to my mind and with respect. I think there are two aspects to these programmes, the technical and the interpretative.

As far as the technical went, I found it interesting - wished that I'd had a music teacher at school who was as interesting as Goodall. The interpretative can only be subjective, and I would disagree with you somewhat about his take on Mozart, for example. Your descriptions above of what you feel about Beethoven's music and believe about Beethoven's inner motivations are what they are: yours. But they may not be anyone else's. As it happens, my take on Beethoven would be different from yours, and also from Goodall's! :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 10:19 AM

Whatever your "take" on Beethoven's late music, it is undeniable that he was reaching out, communicating in the only way a profoundly deaf man had left to him. Goodall persistently refers to this music as bleak and introspective, and that is a very poor characterisation of it indeed. Tantamount to a complete misunderstanding of it, in fact. I should like to recommend to you Joseph Kerman's book The Beethoven Quartets. If you think the late quartets are bleak and introspective, you'll think again after you've read this superb book. As for Mozart, Goodall was dismissive of him as a cheerful, four-bar, three-chord tunesmith who had his public to please. No mention of his pivotal role at the very centre of western music, bringing the developments of Haydn to perfection (as Haydn himself acknowledged), working tirelessly to ensure that Handel was not forgotten, looking forward to romanticism in his later works and inspiring Beethoven to take on the mantle. No mention of the sublime piano concertos and their role in perfecting the concerto form for the next two hundred years. Yes, he dwelled a little on Cosi but it felt like lip service to me. I got the strong impression that Goodall simply doesn't like Mozart much. He certainly doesn't understand his place. You can get a far more incisive and original view of Mozart from Beecham's autobiography, "A Mingled Chime – Leaves from an Autobiography." Now there was a chap, wayward though many of his views were, who really did understand Mozart's place.

I could also write you an essay on the stupidity of Goodall's take on the alleged three-chordism in the classical era, but my blood has boiled enough!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 13 - 09:50 PM

These classically-trained musicians like Goodall tend to be insufferably sure of the superiority of the western classical tradition.Attempts to include folk or popular styles often look either patronising or phoney. Superficially (and I dont think they get beyond that level) it can sound unsophisticated.But as many of us here know, once you get into it - an irish reel,a scottish bagpipe tune - is tremendously sophisticated, but in a different way from Mozart.

Re-reading the thread, I should like to return briefly to this point, particularly with respect to Beethoven. You are absolutely right about the patronising, nominal way that folk music is often included in programmes of this sort. The irony there is that Beethoven (and he wasn't alone by a long chalk) was incredibly respectful of folk music. Not only did he set (somewhat clumsily at times!) a number of Scottish folk songs, which he loved, but he also spent many an hour in local taverns listening to the kinds of pub bands that we still have today. The Pastoral Symphony contains an affectionate reflection of these experiences in the peasants' merrymaking section, as does the sublime second movement of the late quartet in A minor, of all places. There are bagpipe drones and some rather drunk musicians who just about manage to rescue themselves! The late quartet in B flat contains a lovely, original German dance ("alla danza tedesca"), innocent in its simplicity, and the finale of the Op. 127 quartet in E flat (a monument to happy lyricism from start to finish, if ever there was one) contains a solemn yet gay rustic stomp. The Grosse Fuge from the quartet in B flat, tough and sinewy as it is for the most part, contains a little dance in the middle that no dancer of jigs would find strange. Affectionate? Absolutely! Patronising? Not a bit of it! Inward-looking and austere? Come off it, Howard!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: C Stuart Cook
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 07:52 AM

I started off enjoying it and finding it interesting. However on reflection I thought, hang on, we just went from 4ths & 5ths then imperfect 3rds to Correli, Vivaldi et al. What happened to the basic scales, major, minor, pentatonics, modes etc.

Once somebody bothered to explain the basics of the scales to me it all began to make sense of what had been a previous fog.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Feb 13 - 08:17 AM

Did you get that from the programme though? My missus certainly didn't!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 01:42 AM

Just watched the last programme. Good summary in many ways; but marred by fact that he seems never to have heard of the highly influential Banjamin Britten, whose work flew right in the face of his assertion that serious opera has been entirely sidelined in the C20; not many mentions of Prokofiev either, whose music kept the 'classical' tradition viable without too much collaborationism with other forms - one of his most enduring pieces, managing brilliantly to be both sincere & pastiche simultaneously, was actually called "Classical Symphony"

So - An incomplete achievement, tho impressive, on the whole; with its gaps but well worth watching for what it did tell us. Who agrees? Or can point to any other serious omissions or over-simplifications?

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 02:00 AM

... and with some overstated claims, imo, as to recent trends & who has been most significant of late: the over-presentation of the non-person SFAICS Reich [was it?] as being the epitome of present significance, for example...? Too much on the non-important post-bebop, too little on such important 'pop' phenomena as Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga [since early in series anyhow]...?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 02:13 AM

Also, seems to think the modern musical began with West Side Story, which was indeed a brilliant achievement but built firmly on base of, mainly, Rodgers & Hammerstein (who else recalls the sensation made by Olklahoma?), who in their turn derived from Rodgers' earlier collaboration with Hart. WSS one of best of this particular genre of post-1940s musical, but by no means the original as claimed. & far too little on 30s popular song, such brilliant creators as Berlin, Porter, Kern+Harbach·Fields, Mercer &c. It wasn't only the Gershwins.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 05:17 AM

I think the programmes are brilliant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 05:46 AM

Oh, indeed: I watched them all fascinated. But not perfect ~~ must say again that I think total neglect of Britten a big minus.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 06:44 AM

One hour devoted to the whole of 20th century music - impossible to get in all our pet loves, I'm afraid.

He didn't mention Conlan Nancarrow, Havergal Brian, Peter Maxwell Davis, Michael Tippett, Gustav Holst, Cécile Chaminade - all of them influential in their own way. So... c'est la vie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 07:14 AM

Agreed, Will; but my point re Britten is that he asserted that opera as a form became entirely irrelevant to and disconnected from mainstream music in the 2nd half of C20: he made a big point of this proposition, which the exceptionally prominent and important work of Britten at precisely that time, which he completely ignored, entirely refutes by its very existence.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 07:56 AM

I entirely agree with you about the opera point and his neglect of Britten. He also failed to include Sibelius (how could he!!), Rachmaninov, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Tippett - pivotal figures, all. He couldn't include everything but his choice of what to completely ignore was questionable to say the least. He did give Stravinsky his due, which was on the mark, and I agreed with him about the dead-end nature of Wagner and of serialism. I think he got Mahler all wrong though. Much of it music to slit your throat to (but that's just me innit). The series got better as it got into the 20th century - he seemed to be on much firmer ground there. Annoying that the charlatan Dylan got a (brief) mention but Woody didn't. Grr.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 08:08 AM

My recollection is that Sibelius, Ravel & Rachmaninov had been mentioned in some earlier episodes where they fitted thematically if not quite chronologically. V-Williams, along with Walton, however, seemed to have fallen by the wayside


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Mar 13 - 07:03 PM

Goodall has compiled a list of the "ten most important pieces" of all time (in chronological order):

1: Hildegard von Bingen: Ave, Generosa
2: John Dowland: Flow my tears (pub. 1600)
3: JS Bach: St Matthew Passion (1727)
4: Mozart Serenade 'Gran Partita', iii Adagio (1781)
5: Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 Eroica, funeral march (1805)
6: Schumann: Kreisleriana (1838)
7: Verdi: La Traviata, Addio del passato (1853)
8: Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1847)
9: Stravinsky: Les Noces (1923) excerpt
10: Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (1974-6)

Two and a half of those are in my desert island discs and two I wouldn't visit on my worst enemy...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 02:26 PM

So I thought despite my BOF's credo which I quote here so oft, I must put away prejudice & listen to the last one on that list. So I found the first ten minutes on youtube -- the full version at 1hr 6mins is available also, but I opted for the first.

Well, there's 10 minutes of the not all that many minutes that must be left to me by now which won't come again.

With the best will in the world...

Oh, wot's the use!

Was this one of those refd in your last observation, Steve? I know we have had our differences from time to time, but I should hope not to be your worst enemy.

☹☹☹☹☹~M~☹☹☹☹☹


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 08:14 PM

No it wasn't! OK, here are my two and a half out of that lot: Mozart's Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments, K.361 (Gran Partita me arse!), The Eroica and Kreisleriana. Remembering, of course, that they're in my desert island list cos I love 'em and cos they mean a lot to me, not because I think they are in the top ten most important pieces of all time (though I reckon the Eroica definitely is). I count the Eroica as my "half" because I desperately want to take Carlos Kleiber's "Pastoral" with me, I have to have a late quartet (if you ask me which one you might end up with a ruminative essay and no conclusion), and I can't really stuff my "eight" with a surfeit of Ludwig. Robert Schumann is, to me, one of the most underrated romantic composers, too much overshadowed by the rather cold (to me) Chopin. Kreisleriana is an amazing fantasy. I had a record of Martha Argerich's version, which I loved, but I once heard, on the Beeb, an old recording of Benno Moiseiwitsch playing it that almost had me crying into my owld wireless. In spite of his name he was a British national and his playing on the wireless during the war did a massive amount for the boosting of morale. His performances were incredibly "human" and it's odd, and sad, that he hardly ever gets a mention these days. The Mozart serenade is just an amazing masterpiece of his early maturity, along with Gawd knows how many sublime piano concertos and (almost the best of the lot for me) the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, with its frank homage to Bach. Right up there with Bach's concerto for two violins it is. I hope this meets with your approval. I tried listening to the Turangalila Symphony once, and I did get through it, but I needed a stiff malt to purge me poor overstimulated brain afterwards.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 11:27 PM

So you rate the vile Reich then?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 04:44 AM

Michael, I do find it odd that you use the word "vile" to describe a composer - presumably referring to his music and not the man.

"Vile": morally bad, wicked.. Knowing you, I'm sure you don't mean that.

I don't think any music is vile - it just is. Whether one likes it or not is another matter. As for Reich, it has been said of him by one very influential critic, that he is by "general acclamation, America's greatest living composer". Now you may think that statement is truth or piffle, depending on your musical taste. You may also believe the fact that Reich as been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music to be a travesty.

But... whether he meets with your approval or not, there just may be some justification for his being considered an important star in the musical firmament by the musical establishment. He was certainly innovative in the classical world - 40 years ago, by the way - in his looping musical segments to create a collage of sound. (The pop world had been doing this for some time). He's certainly a thoughtful and intelligent composer who creates his own audio world in his own way. I recall driving a long distance in the early hours of the morning and finding Reich's "Different Trains" being played on the radio. Nothing else to do, so I listened - and found it fascinating to listen to. I can't say I'd have it on my desert island - but it was worth a listen. I don't have any of Reich's music in my collection, but I wouldn't dismiss him.

I recall the first time I heard Conlan Nancarrow's music for player-piano - startling and weird. But worth a decent listen. As you probably know, he used to perforate piano rolls to create piano music that was unplayable by a human - anticipating the use of computers in music by several years! Once again, fascinating stuff... perhaps not suiting everyone's ears!

But not vile.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 05:00 AM

"Vile" was probably by assonantal attraction to "Reich": an ill-chosen adjective I admit, and hereby withdrawn. But indeed not to my taste whevs ~~ the sort of œuvre that always brings back to my mind the great Punch cartoon from the 1920s, of the little boy pointing to the chinless wonder and saying, "Mummy, what's that man for?" What are atonal music, abstract art, nonlinear literature for?, I constantly ask myself. I reiterate my BOF Credo: "Boring·Old·Fart credo: to which, at age of 80, feel self entitled:   viz that my Literature shall be Comprehensible;   my Art Representational;   my Music Tonal: naught else shall penetrate my perception-zone."

The Pulitzer judges can of course do what they will; others may be, as I see it, taken in by what I view as outright pseudery on the parts of creator and professedly admiring consumer, and no obloquy or scorn from the Establishment or elsewhere will convince me otherwise; and I am less than delighted that Mr Reich's lucubrations, such as they are, have contrived to penetrate my perception zone, whither they shall never again be suffered to enter.

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 05:21 AM

What is it for? What is any music for? What is Folk for? A bunch of upper-class old Tory farts earnestly singing the recreational songs of the lower classes. I would have though that pips it in the outright pseudery stakes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 08:06 AM

No, I don't rate the vile Reich, but I rate the right Weill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 10:42 AM

A fine, if somewhat Kurt, response!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 08:56 PM

I wouldn't give you tuppence for his opera though. Same old two-and-fourpence if you ask me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GloriaJ
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 06:36 AM

Swerving a little from the main thread and onto Steve Reich.I can take or leave most of the work of his that I've heard but there's one piece, called Different Trains, which, when I heard it first on Radio 3 I just found absolutely stunning and unforgettable.You probably wont want to risk another 20 minutes of your life wasted Mr MtheGM but I'd give it a go if you can find a recording somewhere.And its definitely "about" something.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 11:54 AM

Thank you, Gloria J. I looked it up on wiki and it did indeed sound an interesting concept. Google index shows some youtube versions available, but, alas, when I tried to play them I found they had been withdrawn for copyright reasons. Thank you for the hedzup [no aesthetic experience is ever really wasted, I suppose]; shall keep searching.

Regards

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM

Yes ~~ thank you. Managed to track down another recording. Yes, it is an interesting work ~~ a 'concept' work, as they call them, as I said. The use of the voices reiterating phrases under the string quartets phrasing is interesting, and Reich's use of ostinato, which seems to be something he makes a sort of leitmotif or trade-mark of his insofar as I can see [or hear], is obviously appropriate for the 'trains' motif in this work; far more so than the same technique in '18 Instruments' which I found so barren and unsatisfying. I can now see, for which many thanks, that he is an interesting artist, which the other work [tho the one Mr Goodall includes in his "ten most important pieces of all time" list cited above] gave me no inkling of whatever. I don't think he is ever going to be a favourite composer of mine, or one whose work I shall seek out much further. But I will admit I was clearly over-dismissive on insufficient evidence ~~ for which insight, and expansion of my musical experience and horizons, I remain greatly in Gloria J's debt.

So, Gloria, many thanks again. My conscience tells me that I must return now & play the whole work [you will gather from the timings of these posts that thus far I have only dipped and sampled, though I have found some of each of the work's three parts to listen to] ~~

Laters!

Mebbe!

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GloriaJ
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM

I thought you would appreciate it Michael.There is nearly a tune (root and minor third interval played on the strings and repeated in the manipulated voices). I think it needs to be heard in full to get the full impact because of the modulation of the sounds - so the train siren is gradually slowed down until it becomes another kind of siren, and the voices almost grind to a halt too.He succeeds in conveying a real sense of horror.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 04:51 AM

Yes, indeed. Highly effective. However, makes its effect by being what used to be known by such names as "programme music", or "tone poem", etc; i.e music telling a specific story, whether based on stories already known like Tschaikowsky's Shakespearean "Fantasy Overtures", Strauss's "Til Eulenspiegel" &c., or, as the first name above implies, needing a programme note to explain the 'story'. Still, this one does work as you say.

But it does, as all the work of his I have listened to, rely primarily on the ostinato, the obstinate [which of course is what the word means] repetition of the same phrase. It works in Difft Trains because it supports, and is supported by, the explicit narrative, with the wind-down effect at the end & so on. But the use of ostinato to represent train journeys is surely something of a cliché [cf Honnegger &c]. & can anyone point out how the, to my ears, tedious ostinato atonality in 18 Musicians qualifies that work for inclusion in Howard Goodall's list of "most important of all time"? To me it comes over as both meaningless and ballsachingly boring. Who will defend it, and justify Mr Goodall's respect & admiration for it?

I will hold my breath! ~~

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 05:48 AM

I frankly think it's impossible to comment on the "10 most important works of all time". Important in who's eyes and for what reasons? In fact I suppose it's perfectly possible for Howard G to label Reich's piece as "important" without him personally having any respect and admiration for it whatsoever. Whitehead & Russell's "Principia Mathematica" is hugely important, but you won't find it on my bookshelf. :-)

Perhaps the reasoning goes thus:

1. Sound looping in classical music was a huge innovation in the 1970s.

2. Reich was a founder member of the group that pioneered that form of innovation.

3. The "18 musicians" piece was the exemplar of the style.

QED - perhaps...

As I said, the idea of "importance" in music is utterly subjective, and I can understand, Michael, your irritation at Britten being left out of HGs final programme.

You made a reference, earlier on in the thread, about the role of the critic (e.g. Mr. Puff) and the Emperor's New Clothes view of people like Reich. In the end, I don't pay any attention to critics either, tendentious, pretentious or otherwise. With musical composition, what matters is whether you think the composer sincerely believes in what he's doing. Reich has stuck to his style through thick and thin, for nearly 50 years, weathering the sort of scorn and that we've seen here and there in this thread - and probably not making a huge amount of money from his work either. In that sense, I'd rather have Reich on my music shelves than, say, anything by Andrew Lloyd Webber who - to me - is the epitome of tedium. Every one of his operas famous for having just one tune which is repeated over and over again ad nauseam. "Cats" - "Moonlight". "Evita" - "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", etc.

Hey ho. How much more fun this conversation would be sitting by the fire in the Lord Nelson at Southwold, with a pint of Adnams in front of us!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 07:41 AM

Will - Absolutely with you re Lloyd Webber. I had occasionally, in the days I was an active theatre critic and not just a v occasional one as now, to sit thru some of his tedious one-tune works, and am greatly relieved not to have to do so any more. BTW, I found Les Mis on stage had the same single-tune format, apart from the one obvious funny song, and hated it in just the same way.

I am not sure that "what matters is whether you think the composer sincerely believes in what he's doing". It's a vital starting-point, to be sure; but certainly not all, or even the main thing, that matters. I am sure Reich believes in the value of what he is doing: so did McGonagall! But... You take my point, I am confident.

Yes; I used to review Jill Freud's Southwold Summer Theatre for The Guardian & Plays&Players year after year from 70s-90s; and that was back in the days I used to drink a bit, and have happy memories of the Lord Nelson ~~ and another pub in the High Street, not far back from the sea-front, whose name eludes me. Used to visit Clement & Jill's house at Walberswick occasionally also, where most of the actors were based; but we avoided becoming too close because it was agreed that it doesn't do for a critic to be, or appear, too close to the company. I do tho remember once beating their 16-y-o son, who was at the time London Schools Judo Champion, at table tennis. I know that judo & table tennis are not the same sport, but still, the's glory for you... These days I wouldn't have the pint in front of me, but would gladly sit and converse with you over mineral water or whatever; but, alas, not so mobile as I was and Southwold rather further than I generally venture these days! Still, who knows, perhaps when summer comes & if Emma were to drive mostly...

~M~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 07:54 AM

I am sure Reich believes in the value of what he is doing: so did McGonagall! But... You take my point, I am confident.

Absolutely, Michael - just making the point that neither of them were/are pseuds - i.e. sincere and not just playing to the critical gallery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 08:24 AM

Yes, I did use the word 'pseudery' didn't I? But have since admitted, to Gloria, having been probably 'over-dismissive'. Must nevertheless add I am still at a loss, despite Blandiver's pertinent rejoinder above, to work out what purpose, artistic, æsthetic, whevs, abstraction & atonality and such serve precisely; and, perhaps unworthily, I caqn never avoid suspecting a whiff or redolence of must·be·in·the·swing pseudery to hang around such manifestations, or rather the resolute taking of them more seriously than they perceptibly warrant, somewhere!

Just me, I suppose. A Boring·Old·Fart as my Credo admits. But there I stand; I can do no other, as whoever it was said. Luther? Or some such?* No matter...

~M~

*Yes; I googled; it was Luther, at least attributively.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Howard Goodall's Story of Music
From: GloriaJ
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 11:23 AM

I was on a long-haul flight a couple of days ago and by coincidence( now you can choose your own in-flight entertainment) I watched a documentary and interview about Reich. He has a good,serious music pedigree - trained with Berio for example - and feels himself to have undergone several changes in musical style,beginning with his move away from serialism, which was de rigeur when he was training. He came across as sincere and explorative in his ideas about music.So he would probably disagree with whoever said that his approach hasnt changed.
   I got the impression that he is particularly interested in rhythm, and subtle shifts in rhythm over periods of time. There's a piece of his that is often played to exemplify this style - the clapping tune (it may have another title). The idea behind it is mildly interesting but the piece itself,involving constant shifts of rhythm as several pairs of clapping hands come in and out of snyc with one another, is not something you're going to want to hear again probably.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 August 9:33 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.