Now, that was fairly easy, right? A few clicks, some typing and here we go. A new blog among so many other blogs. Why then? It’s about a journey. A journey through music. Classical music, that is. It’s also about a misunderstanding. Classical music ist not for the elite only. It’s for everyone. It’s lovely. It can make you feel happy for a moment or two. It can help you catch a glimpse of eternity. It might even be fun.
Beethoven is to stay. So is Tchaikovsky. Nickname is “Tchaik” and no, he’s not on Twitter. He killed himself out of shame. He was gay and that did not go down well in Czarist Russia. Throw in Mozart, Chopin, Bach… Oh, you have heard of Bach? Good. He’s the God of Music. Nothing compares to him. But there’s more. Haydn. German composer. Contemporary to Mozart, who happened to hail from Austria. Monteverdi. Montewho? Monteverdi. Not related to Verdi, though that fellow was also in the music business. Both Italians, but living in different centuries. Mussorgsky. Rimsky-Korsakov. Russians. Cool Russians. Cooler than Putin. Wagner – he composed the “Flight of the Valkyries” that you hear in the movie “Apocalypse Now.” And no, he wasn’t a Nazi. He denigrated Jews, but he was a great composer nevertheless. Offenbach. That’s the guy with the Can-Can. Ah, you don’t dance? Too bad.
Let’s look for a few hidden gems: Czerny. Known and feared by piano students. He wrote some famous training material. And some lovely symphonies. Corelli. Italian Baroque. Debussy. Tried to paint with music and succeeded. Grieg. Norsemen. Glazunov, Glinka, Grechaninov, Gavrilin. More Russians. Janacek the Czech. Okay, that was a poor one. Josquin de Prés. You haven’t heard of that one, have you? Composed masses during the Renaissance that will lift you up to heaven just by listening to them. All sins forgiven instantly.
Scrolling further down on my iPod: Korngold: “Die tote Stadt”. Brilliant piece, known mainly by connoisseurs. But we will get there. Ligeti. Died in 2006. Not all classical music is old. There are modern composers of classical music, representing the so-called “Neue Musik”. Their pieces sound odd the first time you listen to them. You will miss the rhythm and the melody. But… there is so much to discover in this strange world. Messiaen. Died in 1992. Nothing to do with the Messiah, but one of the great figures of the “Neue Musik”.
You’re still with me? You’re brave. 😆 I’m coming to the end. I would like to mention a young Swiss composer, that happens to be related to me: Cécile Marti. She’s good. And it was her idea that I should write about music. So I will dedicate this first post to her. Thank you Cécile for stimulating my interest in classical music so many years ago. Thank you for encouraging me to explore the contemporary classical music world.
I have no clue where this journey will lead me, you, us… to. But then again, it is of no importance as long as the journey is pleasant.
© Charles Thibo