Monday, May 7, 2007

Let's try this again

So apparently, my answer to "How much time ya got?" is "Not enough to maintain a blog." I think I got a bit daunted by trying to choose from the hundreds of discs I had already listened to. So I am now going to take a slightly different approach. Starting today I will try to post once a week and I will randomly discuss one or more of the albums I've listened to within the last week. So, without further ado...

Fantasia Soundtrack. In the last few months I've been listening to more classical music than ever, so this was interesting to hear again. This two disc set was one of the first classical recordings I ever bought. Rite of Spring, for me, was a very early "Wow, I didn't know music could sound like that!" moment. I still enjoyed that piece, but my increased knowledge has diminished the "Wow" factor. At least a dozen works spring (no pun intended) to mind that can floor me to a degree that the Stravinsky no longer can. Bach's Toccatta & Fugue in D Minor has always been a favorite of mine. Now, I'm no purist about Bach being played on certain instruments. Hell, I practically wet myself when Apollo Sunshine played a synth-rock version of a Bach tune. However, listening to this fully orchestrated version made me think that this piece really should be played on organ as it was intended. Unfortunately for Dukas, the Sorcerer's Apprentice is so tied to those images of Mickey Mouse that it's impossible to consider the music on its own terms. Similarly, Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours is so tied to Allen Sherman's "Hello Mudduh, Hello, Fadduh, Here I am at, Camp Grenada" that I can't help but sing that as the tune plays. I've never particularly cared for Ave Maria (a bit too over played in my opinion) and I've always hated the Nutcracker so that part was painful. Hearing Beethoven's 6th made me want to listen to more Beethoven, although that particular symphony doesn't really do much for me. And finally, the piece that I'd say surprised me the most was Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain. This was always one of my favorites in the set, and I was surprised at how much I still enjoyed it. Perhaps I need to explore the Russians a bit more.

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