- 1985? - Heard John Adams' Shaker Loops on WUOM public radio and realized contemporary classical music had something I was missing.
- 1990 - Began to seriously collect contemporary music CDs and attending contemporary concerts.
- 1994 - Had my interest in "legacy European" classical music peak by taking the last of various Stanford musicology classes.
- 2000 - Quit buying legacy music CDs.
- 2001 - Realized that I was very interested in American classical music, although at the time I assumed that meant truly contemporary composition.
- 2003 - Started aworks.
- 2004 - Planned to take a break on aworks for a month and instead blog about the works of "A." Mozart.
- 2004 - Re-discovered my love of jazz after hearing Dexter Gordon again, putting the Mozart idea on hold.
- 2004 - Listened to some Beethoven and Schubert and surprisingly, found little enjoyment or meaning. ("Schubert? Schubert? How can I not be moved by Schubert?").
- 2005 - Listened to some Mozart etc.
And so, here I am, walking away from Euro-legacy classical music. On my death-bed, will I regret this? Mozart and Beethoven, I don't think so; Bach and Schubert, maybe. But when I think of the joy of Reich's Music for 18 Musicians...
I used to travel to Salzburg for business (!), I've done the Mozart thing, seen the yellow birth house etc. but at this point, I'm not excited by the celebration. And yet. And yet. Although I am usually averse to hyperbole, I'm glad to see such hoopla for Mozart's birthday. Trivially, having Google recognize Mozart with a logo for a day seems like a good thing. It's the idea of mind-share. If a birthday gets this guy to start a Mozart CD collection, isn't' that better than him spending his time and money on, I don't know, Phish CDs? (I was going to say Grateful Dead CDs, but I can play devil's advocate and make a case for them if I had to).
Interestingly, I Love Music has a more substantial Ligeti thread than a Mozart birthday thread. Is Ligeti more relevant and cool or is it just because someone compared his music to Sonic Youth instrumental breaks?
I read Alex Ross' ignore Mozart post this morning. And then on the train, iPod shuffled Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. Excellent. An hour well-spent on what I think may be the premiere American composition. The fact that it has been well received, at least in the rock community, is important.
On the other hand, due to other obligations and commitments these days, I definitely live in what Ross calls the "technobubble" and so live music is a rarity. I wasn't able to attend the Sarah Cahill concert last weekend in Berkeley but the Berkeley SO is playing Varèse, Carter, Bach, and Stravinsky tomorrow. Maybe...
Other historical facts for this day:
- 1870: the first sorority starts, at DePauw of all places.
- 1885: Jerome Kern is born.
- 1901: Giuseppe Verdi dies.
- 1930: Bobby "Blue" Bland is born.
- 1944: the siege of Leningrad ends (I still like Russian/Soviet symphonies, by the way).
- 1967: Apollo 1 fire kills three astronauts.
- 1973: the Vietnam war officially ends.
Five hours left in the day to get some Mozart listening in. Wish me luck...