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#105 - 11/24/00 04:55 AM What's that game...
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
In which you try to name a classic you haven't read, and score points for each of the others who has read it? Before I read them, Hamlet and Lear were guaranteed maximum points for me at college parties. But then, some of my friends had easy scores with the likes of Catcher in the rye and Oliver Twist. At least I can still score with War and Peace, Nicholas Nickleby and Mansfield Park!

I wouldn't worry too much about the Dickens though. I enjoy his stuff from time to time, but not to the point of reading every one...

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#106 - 11/24/00 05:20 AM Classic!
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
doing things for fear of the disapprobation of others

Hear, hear, hear!

Very clearly it's wrong to "do" alleged classics (of whatever art form) just because you feel you have to do so.

On the other hand, it can be throwing the baby out with the bath-water to take a "tried it, didn't like it" approach.
The classical composers, for instance, were the rock stars of their day, and sometimes that can be strikingly obvious
(Beethoven - nuff said).

Most importantly, it seems to me there are some classics that can't fail to move you, especially in an appropriate context. That's almost the true definition of 'classic'.

In which case IMHO (underline that) Bohemian Rhapsody sits side-by-side with the Toccata, Jerusalem, the Moonlight Sonata (3rd movement's great!), Schubert's 'Unfinished' Symphony (8?) and The Moldau, just for a few off the top of me head.

Obviously I could pick loads more for the 'recent classics', including some good ol' prog rock, but the list would be very large. And endless.


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#107 - 11/24/00 05:26 AM Zigackly
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
I think your interpretation of what makes a classic is well nigh ferpick. But...

I am not sure that a classic is infallible in its ability to move you - though this might depend upon what you mean by an appropriate 'context'. If I have no ability to appreciate either Chinese, or North Indian classical music, is my context wrong? Or is it that, not having been exposed to them whilst growing up, I have no sub-conscious recognition of the forms at all - there is no lock in my head for which those memes have the key? But if that is the case, then why cannot the same apply to Western classical music?

I think this discussion/debate/argument can go round and round and....


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#108 - 11/24/00 06:34 AM Re: Zigackly
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
I am not sure that a classic is infallible in its ability to move you

Ah yes, there is the rub, shanks!

My mentioning appropriate context was sufficiently wooly, but...

I think you can only talk of a 'classic' within a particular cultural context. If you've had no exposure to that culture, and the culture is sufficiently dissimilar to your own, it's difficult to appreciate the work, and it may fail to move you. However, you can acquire a taste for diffent cultures, and you can learn how to appreciate their works. Something that starts out fairly intellectual (though usually driven by a genuine enthusiasm and willingness to learn) can evolve into genuine appreciation.

Most people within a given culture will be moved by that culture's classics. But not all of them will be moved by all the classics all the time - that's just human nature.

There's some kind of relation to teaching classics here. If I hadn't been more or less forced to learn Shakespeare at school, would I appreciate the Bard's works as much as I do now? I'd definitely never have made the effort to read Chaucer, and that would have been a loss. I'm very grateful now for almost everything I disliked learning at school, much as I hate to admit it!

Learning appreciation, acquiring tastes, hmmm.

Yep, round and round....





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#109 - 11/24/00 06:38 AM Re: Zigackly
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
De gustibus non est disputandum. - Ite, missa est.


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#110 - 11/24/00 07:22 AM Opera is just grand!
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Haven't cut myself off. Have 'tried' it time and again,
Shanks - its a bit of a sauce for me to come in so late on this one, but I've only just started to ketchup.

I also felt like this about opera at one time - occasional arias were OK, but listening to the whole thing turned me off very quickly - then I went and saw an opera (I believe it was La Boheme - a suitably hackneyed theme, beautifully treated by Puccini.)
Have you actually been to see Opera, or just tried listening to records or concert versions? If you have, then I will accept your self-judgement that "It ain't for you." But if not, I insist that you must go and actually sit in the theatre and see the action as well as absorb the music. Opera is, above all, a visual thing and without the use of your visual senses, the auditory ones can feel the lack. Once you've seen and enjoyed the opera, you can listen to it on record and still get the echo of the whole experience, but it still isn't as good as the real thing.


If you will do this, I will come with you, and the next day I will join you, Shona and Jo at the Regal, Southall !!



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#111 - 11/24/00 08:32 AM Re: Opera is just grand!
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
If you will do this, I will come with you, and the next day I will join you, Shona and Jo at the Regal, Southall !!

Now there's a cross-cultural experience, indeed!

Have to confess that I loathe opera, but that is on the basis of listening alone, and there has been the odd exception.

I've seen Die Fleidermaus live, and enjoyed it immensely. But I believe that's classed as 'operetta'.

I like most operetta, I think, even by listening alone.The Student Prince (Mario Lanza) is brilliant. But with a song called "Drink, Drink, Drink" that's not surprising.





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#112 - 11/24/00 09:06 AM Latin culture
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
De gustibus non est disputandum. - Ite, missa est

I suddenly empathise with the Beast with Two Heads (Aenigma/Babelfish)!

Having referenced Rhub's Latin Babelfish
(http://perseus.csad.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/resolveform?display=&lang=la for those who have forgotten) the best I can come up with is:

Tastings are not explained - Go, the mass is!

I might accept these words as Jon Anderson lyrics (we're back to prog rock and Yes again), but coming from you, wsieb, I suspect I've lost the message in the medium.




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#113 - 11/24/00 09:54 AM Re: Latin culture
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
there is no disputing [with] taste, shona; go, the mass is ended.


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#114 - 11/24/00 09:56 AM Re: Opera is just grand!
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Rhuby

Do you mean to say you might actually confess your sex to Jo? (Or is this an old tale?)

I have never been to an opera, I will admit. And I will also admit to being a bit of a reductionist in all this - inasmuch as I rarely see the whole as being greater than the sum of the parts when it comes to most art forms. Opera has always, therefore, appeared to me to be a particularly bastard form of entertainment (the agony of listening to the human voice converted into a mere musical instrument, when the entire world of language is perverted by that, is bad enough, let alone its other sins), and in trawling through the other genres that combine to form opera I have discovered that they do not impress me: the musical; the ballet (well…. dance as high art rather than entertainment is always going to find only a limited audience); the song (well actually I am very impressed by good songs, but I'm not sure that opera has any); the theatre (more often than not seeming slipshod compared with film, though certain performances can be breathtakingly good and better than anything the recorded media can provide); and so on.

I have been left, therefore, with the conclusion that I am unlikely to enjoy opera in the performance - but I'm willing to try it anyway. (And no, I won't be grumpy about it - I'm sure I'll find much to enjoy, I just don't know if it will be the opera 'idea'…)

And, of course, anything to bring you down to ol' Smoky…

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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