Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pleasant surprise at being mistaken for somone who knows something

My introduction to how much fun Twitter can  be came with the ABC Classic FM Classic 100 countdown of 20th Century masterpieces. I enjoyed the cameraderie of conversation with unknown others, some of them professional musicians and music teachers. I am merely an enthusiastic amateur, a viola player, who's favourite private joke is to be thanked at church as "Thanks to the musicians... and Tim". So imagine my surpirse to discover that I've been quoted! A rather lovely blog post by Leonie Doyle ruminates on the Classic 100 and describes the thrill of being touched by a new piece of music (which also happened to be a piece of new music).

So it set me thinking. I actually think I belong in both groups she describes - I love most of the toe-tapping classics (with a few exceptions), and can't get enough of being immersed in a Mahler symphony. But I also love discovering new pieces - I still remember hearing the Rite of Spring for the first time (on a very old radio, Desert Island Discs. In the bathroom) and thinking "Wow. Music can do that!" The same happened when I first heard some Phillip Glass years later. And also John Adams at the Proms on the radio (with my headphones in at dinner, like any teenager!) These are orchestral pieces, because that' what I know best, but there is also a fair amount of non-classical music that I love too. It's hard not to share those experiences.


I don't mind it if people don't like the music I do - I like classical music and new music so it happens all the time. The world of music for me is like being in a big fairground. I'd like to try out all the different rides, as they'll all give different experiences. And some might make me feel sick. But I know that some people will stick to their one favourite ride. And that's fine. But I might feel they are missing out a bit.

I now need to find Black Angels by George Crumb...