At the end of the day people might show some more understanding...
... and just enjoy being on holiday without the need to expend hundreds of words in endless argument with anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them. Honestly! Some people! If only they could see what this lack of understanding exposes them to, eh, Parla? But there you go. That's some people for you.
Imagine what his postcards home are like.
Pause for thought.
Caballe, I didn't labelled Piazzolla as a great composer. There is already a question mark there, inviting views about the opposite, provided that they are developed and they are not mere opinions of an inexplicable taste. Greatness is not needed to give any validity to just any composer of anytime; it is needed to reward those who contributed more than others to the development of the Classical Music. So, it's your prerogative to dislike or even detest Beethoven, but you have to recognise his role and significance in the field.
I acknowledge there is a question mark in the subject. I suppose I should ask you now that you have had several responses if you regard Piazzolla as worthy to join the ranks of what are generally regarded as great composers. I would be surprised if you do however much you express support for the quality of his music. I have listened to various compositions by this composer over the years on radio broadcasts and have three works of his on disc. The longest work I have by him is his so called tango opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. It is certainly an unusual piece of work in the field of opera, if it can be regarded as such, and some of it is approachable and appealing. Although it is not inordinately long, repeated listening reveals considerable purple passages if you are familiar with that phrase. My initial enthusiasm for the piece wanes somewhat after about forty five minutes as I don't think Piazzolla's unique sound world maintains interest. There is only so much tango rhythm one can take in one listening session I think. I feel the same about other pieces I have heard by him.
On to your next comment. How does one reward a composer who has contributed more than others to the development of classical music when the majority of them have long since departed from this mortal coil? Their names may be remembered and their work performed and revered long after they are gone. Their descendants may benefit financially and in other ways but we can never know for certain what the deceased composers reward is. Even if there is a different state of conciousness after death we won't know until or unless we experience it for ourselves if our previous mortality has any relevance.
As for Beethoven, I have the highest regard for his Piano Concerto No 5, Moonlight & Pathetique sonatas and Symphonies 3, 5, 7 & 9. Many other compositions by him bore me rigid I'm afraid and I have by no means heard anything approaching his complete output. For sure, the same is true of other composers and I can't count the number of times I have heard or read the same thing said about Brahms. Life is short enough and I would rather spend it listening to what I enjoy now I am in my sixth decade. That does not mean I have stopped seeking out new music to listen to as like you and other forum members, I know I spend more than I should on acquiring recordings old and new. I realise as collectors of recorded music we all struggle to maintain a proportionate balance in listening to tried and tested favourites and new recordings of familiar and unfamiliar works.
Vic, thanks a lot for your kind understanding and words of wisdom. What many of our fellow members have not yet recognised is my commitment to these forum(s) and to them.
Mark, when you "check out" Piazzolla's music, we may debate his role in Music and the comparison with Part and other minimalists.
Caballe, I am extremely thankful for your second very thoughtful and thorough contribution. My remarks to some points:
All the contributions to the point for Piazzolla reveal that the posters have either limited or quite limited knowledge of his music. Actually, when I decided to initiate this thread, I wanted to verify my perception that in UK - and in to some extent in Germany - Piazzolla is not well known or appreciated. Fortunately, Artemis Quartet has devoted a first UK CD on his music.
So, yes, I still believe he belongs to the ranks of the great 20th century composers, on the basis of the very artistic development of his national tradition to a level that it was unthinkable before. Structurally his music is viable, reachable and at the same time rather complex. Musically, some of his melodies (Oblivion, Addios Nonino, Invierno Porteno) along with some of his songs are of a divine beauty (I don't think many classical composers have written a more powerful, moving and musically so flowing hymn as the second theme of Addios Nonino, the piece he composed for his departed father).
As for the greatness issue, regardless of the fact that most (if not all) of the classical composers have departed, we recognise their works mostly, not them, necessarily. Or through their works, we recognise them as well. By this recognition, we set the standards, which we have to respect, attain and develop further.
For Beethoven, I have only to tell you that the greatest surprise I had was when I started listening to his most neglected or disregarded works, like his Bagatelles or some unknown or less played Piano or Violin Sonatas. Then, I appreciated his unique greatness. Just try his Piano Sonata, op. 90 in e minor. Then, his String Quartets are his unreachable legacy, greater than anything else he has composed. Despite I fully respect your seniority wisdom and the lack of the luxury of time, I truly urge you to give a try; it's a life changing musical (and beyond) experience! For some (I admit mostly musicians), it's simply the essence of music!
With best wishes for a truly Happy New Year,
Oh dear Parla! Now I am confused. Have you missed my irony or am I missing yours?
To be absolutely clear, I believe the criticism you are attracting here is entirely justified, and for the reasons your critics state, and as I have stated elsewhere - on too many occasions to count! While I admire your passion for the subject, your seeming obsessive and blinkered absolutism feels more appropriate to fundamentalist religion than to the art of music. In the kind of exchanges we are having here it is difficult to avoid the personal sometimes, and I am sure that in real life you are a good and warm man. But whether from personal, cultural or linguistic reasons, you come across exactly as CraigM states elsewhere. It might appear arrogant of me to say so but I really think you should give serious consideration to how you are perceived and that all criticism cannot be a misunderstanding of your position.
I will quote once again the wonderful Jacob Bronowski (who was himself quoting from Cromwell): "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, consider it possible you may be mistaken".
"Consider it possible".
We – the whole family, "including" Miss Understanding – having "a" Wonderful time visiting places Where the Master once "stood". Have touched "hem" of Garment.
Sun, sand and – well, you know – the "Score", but fear we may have had a bit too much of the Great, not the grain, and consumed rather more Piazzolla than one should have at one sitting.
Wish you "were" Here
Yours, in absolute certainty
Audio Editor, Gramophone
I guess, Vic, we both missed each other's irony: I took you (once more) seriously and you missed (once more) my point. Of course, what matters is the former.
What you wish to call or maybe label as "obsessive and blinkered absolutism" is, as correctly got it, linked with my genuine passion for this Music. What I learned in studying and serving this Art form was that the Truth is one as far as the structure and development of Classical Music. (The popularity of it and its implications is not of my concern, not even of my business). If you have flexibility in defining the truth about Music, then you don't need any passion, (you might have only the passion for the pleasure out of it, as Sondheim has put it : a pleasurable means to a measurable end).
It is indeed "arrogant" for you to say...what you proposed, but that is not the point, anyway. "How I am perceived" is the least of my (and their) worries. I am not here to defend my pseudonym or a virtual identity and to get any credit for...what? My great concern is the misconception of their position and not the "misunderstanding of mine". So, to use your beloved quote of Bronowski, I always consider I have been mistaken but not for what you think, while they never consider they may be mistaken as well...
The fact that you are a handful majority of people who think I am wrong for what (my tactics, the substance of what I claim or part of it, anything I write?) in this forum, it does not make you a majority out there. That's why I don't have to "consider possible..." here. Out there, things are much much clearer. Anyway, let's see when we can somehow trust each other and each other's passion (where applicable).
Pity we are still far apart, Vic.
Make them laugh. Make them laugh! In the end, we all will. At least, you proved to be a good entertainer, Andrew.
However, obviously without having any knowledge of what you are doing, you have been offensive, inappropriate and distasteful to some people you don't and will never get to know.
Anyhow, we will be consoled that you made them laugh.
Yours, in absolute certainty, (someone who almost never used postcards),
Is that a reference to always getting the last laugh?
I like to feel the tense is more present than past.
I fail to see anything offensive in my postcard humour, but if I have offended, I apologise to all followers of the Church of the Latterday Greats.
Well, that's good, anyway...
What you wish to call or maybe label as "obsessive and blinkered absolutism" is, as correctly got it, linked with my genuine passion for this Music.
At the end of the day, to claim, as you seem to here, that "obsessive and blinkered absolutism" is justified in this, or any context, puts you out of the arena of rational discourse.
As I have quoted Jacob Bronowski in "Ascent of Man", I will further refer you to the chapter "Knowledge and Certainty". Absolutism has only one ultimate destination and no-one with knowledge of Twentieth Century history can be ignorant of it. Shame on you sir. You have forfeited the right to be included in the discourse of reasonable people and I, for one, will no longer engage with you unless and until you disassociate yourself from your statement above.
Oh, Vic, you don't read me anymore.
I don't know who is more absolutist : the one who accepts any label for the sake of communication or the one who exploits this fact with a view to keeping labelling, categorising and even defining somebody that he doesn't even know.
I don't know who is the real absolutist : the one who claims that Truth is only one, particularly in the very specific way of music making, or the one who claims that anybody who might be absolutist, in any way, is out of the arena (what a word) of the rational discourse.
Beware, Vic, the way you exclude, wipe out or eliminate things, notions and...people might not be that innocuous, while the terms of rational discourse you impose might not look so dialectical.
If you believe that definitions is a matter of rational discourse and their applications a choice of opinion, then, yes, we have not to engage in any kind of discourse (which, in any case, cannot be rational; it can be convenient and possibly pleasant).
Do as you think appropriate. You are not the only one who is dissapointed. Pity, you, the rational one, cannot see what is really at stake.
Best wishes (if they mean anything, anymore),
Parla - just for YOU old son I have ordered online a CD of the Sinfonia Buenos Aires and the Four Seasons. (Naxos)
It's alright Parla - you don't need to tell me what to listen out for! And you don't need to tell me not to get that CD but some other one...too late!
I do sometimes act on your suggestions - as for eg in looking at Beethoven's E Minor Sonata, so I will give this composer a try.
I shall get back to you in a few days' time, when I have finished tangoing...I mean listening to it.
Mark, many thanks for the gesture.
The CD you chose is not the best in terms of performance, but it is very good indeed as for the program, since it contains the Bandoneon Concerto (in the CD they used its nickname), which is also a very special work for Astor. Listen carefully to the very moving and emotionally rich slow movement, one of the jewels of his music.
The Sinfonia de Buenos Aires is a less known work, but truly symphonic in nature, with unusual and very interesting orchestration.
Good listening (you'll find out that there is very little time for actual... tangoing, but plenty for proper listening).
I don't know if this point has been made already - there is so much on this thread - but Piazzolla is not a great composer but a folk musician in the line of Joan Baez or Bob Dylan and no sensible person would think of measuring them against Sibelius or Mahler, any more than a promoter would have put Stan Laurel in the ring to fight Joe Louis.