After reading the Horowitz NY Times article on the traditional disagreements regarding George Gershwin, Kyle Gann blogs about his changing tastes in Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris diminished, Concerto in F, Cuban Overture, and Second Rhapsody supreme). He quips regarding whether or not Porgy and Bess should be considered an opera:
and to those who claim it isn't "really" an opera, I would ask, what are the meanings of "isn't," "really," and "opera" in that sentence, and what do you get out of making such an empty argument?
And for that matter, what should John Adams' I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Saw the Sky be considered? (and how come I just redacted a snarky answer?)
On Saturday, we went to the San Francisco Library book sale (next to Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason -- is the theatre named for the businessman Henry Cowell or the ultra-modernist composer Henry Cowell?) where I bought Gershwin in His Time, which appears to be a collection of original texts about the composer and his music. (What should I think about how in the book's forward, Marvin Hamlisch tells of his mother on television saying Gershwin was her favorite composer?). Although my unread book stack is getting out of hand (how come I look forward to ripping and playing stacks of unplayed CDs but stacks of unread books make me tense?) (and would I have bought as many at the sale as this person on Sunday's dollar day?), I also purchased The New Grove Twentieth-Century American Masters (why don't I already have this?), Greatness in Musc by Alfred Einstein (what's his premise?), The New Music 1900-1960 by Aaron Copland (how come I've read most of what Copland wrote but never heard of this book?), Music and Society by Elie Siegmeister (is this 1938 pamphlet going to make the argument that only sophisticates and elites can judge music?), The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide (how come John Swenson makes the obvious point that although John Klemmer has at least one higher-rated album than Louis Armstrong, it doesn't mean Klemmer's better? ), The Jazz CD Listener's Guide (is Howard J. Blumenthal a former downbeat writer or do I have Bob Blumenthal, Howard Mandel, and for that matter Howie Mandel, conflated? And for the record, when did Howie Mandel's hair migrate to become a goatee?), Tricks of the Trade: How to Think about Your Research While You're Doing it (why exactly did I buy this?), Understanding Your Pet (is this 1985 book by Warren Eckstein going to mention his idea of how kissing pets on the mouth will eventually become socially acceptable, Lucy in Charlie Brown's Christmas notwithstanding?), and 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog (how come I picked a dog book that only has three pages on barking?).
Continuing in question mode, how come the fog was as thick as I've ever seen it in Daly City and yet it was mostly sunny on the rest of the Peninsula? Finally, how come whenever I'm in San Francisco west of say The Embarcadero, I manage to justify a side-trip to Amoeba Records in the Haight?