Search found 100 matches

by BC
Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:24 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Fine Writing Instruments
Replies: 32
Views: 2984

Re: Fine Writing Instruments

I used to be VERY fussy about what I wrote with and had a collection of fairly expensive Parker and other instruments, including some vintage ones I'd got from an academic friend who exchanged them for more modern Parkers he liked more than I did. I liked them very light and with a fairly slender ba...
by BC
Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:51 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Roger Scruton on the West's Strength
Replies: 23
Views: 2438

Re: Roger Scruton on the West's Strength

There's a harder circle to square than Scruton ever quite admits when he concedes he doesn't believe in God but thinks the world would be a better place if others did. Implicit is that there's a category of intellectuals (including Scruton) who are just too intelligent to be fooled by religion, but ...
by BC
Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Reasons for NOT liking contemporary, modern music
Replies: 160
Views: 15839

Re: Reasons for NOT liking contemporary, modern music

Brendan, I have the opposite problem. I am bored rigid by Beethoven's orchestral music. I live in a smallish provincial city, and despite subsidy, orchestras coming here obviously feel obliged to provide a heavy programme of Beethoven - presumably to get respectable audience figures to support the r...
by BC
Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:04 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Reasons for NOT liking contemporary, modern music
Replies: 160
Views: 15839

Re: Reasons for NOT liking contemporary, modern music

I'm a neophyte in classical music compared to most posters here, mainly listening to 20C stuff, not very difficult music by and large, but mainly modernist - Stravinsky, Bartok, Messaien etc. I think the debate is fatuous. Some people listen to modern music and hear an unpleasant noise and stop, or ...
by BC
Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:54 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: How much money did you lose in 2008?
Replies: 8
Views: 1155

Re: How much money did you lose in 2008?

On paper I'm hugely worse off. House, pension, investments down in value. Like others I've sold investments but cash deposits are now earning very little. Business has not suffered as yet, but I have concerns for the future if clients go under and are difficult to replace. We've quadrupled the size ...
by BC
Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:28 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Conductors'/MDs' Salaries [US & International]
Replies: 45
Views: 5305

Re: Conductors'/MDs' Salaries [US & International]

I agree that suggests an off topic discussion and one that would almost certainly generate more heat than light. Suffice to say that you obviously think your analogy apposite: I most certainly don't.
by BC
Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Conductors'/MDs' Salaries [US & International]
Replies: 45
Views: 5305

Re: Conductors'/MDs' Salaries [US & International]

I don't think it's any of my business what conductors get paid if they are paid from private resources or income generated by the organisation they work for. If there's public subsidy involved, it's a different matter. The case for public subsidy of the arts seems to me extremely weak; taxing people...
by BC
Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Henri Dutilleux's Le Loup - recommendations
Replies: 5
Views: 1379

Re: Henri Dutilleux's Le Loup - recommendations

Can't help I'm afraid but I also got into Dutilleux recently through that EMI same 2CD which I do like very much.
by BC
Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:29 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Legalize It
Replies: 20
Views: 2171

Re: Legalize It

Karl, no, it isn't a "straw man" argument (*): it's no more than a caricature (and perhaps a reductio ad absurdum ) of a specific prejudice that seems to me to power much of one side of the debate. Like all caricatures it functions on the basis of recognition: if you don't recognise it, it won't wor...
by BC
Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:43 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Legalize It
Replies: 20
Views: 2171

Re: Legalize It

I've never been a regular user and don't use the stuff at all nowadays, but the illegality of cannabis has always struck me as silly and counterproductive. In the UK the argument has been hijacked by research suggesting that, for a small number of adolescents, using cannabis MAY increases the incide...
by BC
Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross gets MacArthur Foundation Award
Replies: 7
Views: 1578

Re: Alex Ross gets MacArthur Foundation Award

I saw this news on his blog and am delighted for Alex. His enthusiasm, open-mindedness and hostility to stuffiness and snobbery make him the perfect ambassador for new music. I know quite a few people, including nonclassical musicians and critics, who have kindled or rekindled an interest in modern ...
by BC
Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:17 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Wall Street Meltdown & Resulting Bailout [Thread Retitled]
Replies: 335
Views: 23748

Re: The Day of Reckoning is Here

I have no wish to see easier borrowing right now I disagree. To take one example, I have a client who wanted to borrow a few hundred thousand pounds to develop some property. He acquired the land on such favourable terms that he can make it highly profitable even in the current housing market. He h...
by BC
Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:38 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Goodbye Gergiev, you contemptible conductor
Replies: 62
Views: 8369

Re: Goodbye Gergiev, you contemptible conductor

By one of those strange coincidences, after Russia's invasion of Gergia but before I knew of Gergiev's celebratory concert, I watched a television documentary about him knowing that I had tickets to hear him conduct Szymanovsky's King Roger in Edinburgh a couple of weeks later. Obviously the documen...
by BC
Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:30 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Do the name Howard Goodall mean anything to yus?
Replies: 5
Views: 1845

Re: Do the name Howard Goodall mean anything to yus?

Lance, if you mean by "expanded" that you'd have gone back before 1950, then Goodall would no doubt agree. But he concentrates on the period after 1960, which he regards as the year of classical music's nadir.
by BC
Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:34 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Do the name Howard Goodall mean anything to yus?
Replies: 5
Views: 1845

Re: Do the name Howard Goodall mean anything to yus?

Quite well known in the UK as a television writer, presenter and author as well as a prolific composer of incidental and serious music. Very likeable persona. However the thesis of perhaps his most famous television series (Howard Goodall's 20th Century Greats) would no doubt induce apoplexy in many...
by BC
Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical Music on Internet Radio
Replies: 12
Views: 1844

Re: Classical Music on Internet Radio

Thanks. I will look at Apple TV. My Squeezebox is 2-3 years old now so not the most up to date but I think the problem is with Squeezecentre, which is up to date.
by BC
Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical Music on Internet Radio
Replies: 12
Views: 1844

Re: Classical Music on Internet Radio

I have a Slim Server Squeezebox and I'm not very happy with it. This sometimes feels like ingratitude: I can access most of my music collection with a remote control, which would have seemed miraculous not so long ago. But there are lots of annoying little niggles and teething problems. To take just...
by BC
Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:55 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: "Brideshead Revisited"
Replies: 10
Views: 1669

Re: "Brideshead Revisited"

there's a younger daughter who doesn't play much of a role in the story Cordelia was a key character for Waugh himself -- her devout Catholicism personified his idea of the correct way to live. He confirmed in correspondence that the theological import of the book is carried by Cordelia, particular...
by BC
Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:38 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: "Brideshead Revisited"
Replies: 10
Views: 1669

Re: "Brideshead Revisited"

Brideshead (the novel) tends to split opinion. It is Waugh's most famous book, certainly his most popular. Ironically enough given his dislike of Americans, it was American sales of Brideshead that finally made Waugh rich. All the same many Waugh fans regard it as something of an embarrassment: a se...
by BC
Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:07 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alex Ross: Take Two.
Replies: 22
Views: 2996

Re: Alex Ross: Take Two.

Piston, you criticise Ross's book for neglecting middlebrow composers, but if you do some digging around you'll find that most of the adverse responses to his book come from the opposite direction. Plenty have argued that he neglects the avant-garde or is too populist (ie, vulgar) in his tastes. Her...
by BC
Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:10 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Are there no great writers alive today?
Replies: 8
Views: 1641

Naipul is a misanthrope There is a new biography out that is not very flattering For English: Thomas Pynchon Cormac McCarthy Salman Rushdie William T Vollman WG Sebald (arguably German, died 2002, but the best fiction writer regarding the holocaust) Chacun a son gout, but asked which three current ...
by BC
Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Most Hated Compositions
Replies: 34
Views: 6304

Coming back to classical music after several years of not listening to it very much, I'm surprised by how little I enjoy Beethoven's orchestral music. I liked it well enough when I was younger. Hatred would be much too strong a word, but I live in a small city and do find it frustrating that visitin...
by BC
Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: In Glorious Discord Over Igor Stravinsky
Replies: 2
Views: 1550

After reading Walsh's biography my impression is that he didn't like Craft but strove to be objective, including some very generous praise where he thought it Craft's due. There's certainly something creepy about Craft, an unavoidable problem for any Stravinsky biographer. There will always be the d...
by BC
Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:17 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bartok's birthday - does anybody care?
Replies: 31
Views: 4148

I like Bartok's music. I don't care that it's his birthday today, although I'm glad that he had one.
by BC
Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:17 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Brits vote for VW and I agree!!!!
Replies: 16
Views: 2267

British posters will recognize that this list probably says more about who listens to Classic FM than about British musical taste. A poll of listeners to BBC Radio Three, the other national classical music station, would produce very different results.
by BC
Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Why the EU Will Never Be an Economic Threat to the US
Replies: 37
Views: 4838

it's perfectly normal practice for small business loans to be secured against equity in the business owner's house. That is not the practice in Britain or on the continent. Er, yes it is. This is not opinion, it is simple, easily verifiable fact. I am British, and this is my profession. I know what...
by BC
Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:27 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Why the EU Will Never Be an Economic Threat to the US
Replies: 37
Views: 4838

Quite. They don't get the whole story in America.. Well Absinthe, I'd certainly be interested to hear specifically how, in toto, our regulatory framework is more hostile to startups. If European clients are becoming established in the US, standard advice is to avoid or defer becoming taxable in the...
by BC
Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:15 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Why the EU Will Never Be an Economic Threat to the US
Replies: 37
Views: 4838

I would sing Hallelujah for convincing evidence that I am wrong. How about this for structural evidence: in Europe there are strict rules against borrowing money against your house to start a business. The regulatory framework in Europe is so hostile to startups that companies have to go overseas w...
by BC
Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:15 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What % of your listening is classical music?
Replies: 33
Views: 9266

In the past nine months or so 95 per cent or more classical. In the past several years prior to that, no more than 2 to 3% classical, although there have been previous periods in my life where I have listened to a much higher percentage of classical. Over the past 10 years, most of my listening has ...
by BC
Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:26 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Rest Is Noise--You VILL Enjoy This Book!!
Replies: 25
Views: 4338

I'm looking forward to this. I'm a fan of Ross based on his journalism and blog. Unfortunately, the book isn't published in the UK as yet, although I'm sure I can get my hands on a copy with a bit of effort . I particularly like his essay "I Hate Classical Music" here: http://www.therestisnoise.com/...
by BC
Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why is classical music a rare taste?
Replies: 107
Views: 17543

The idea that it's all about education and opportunity strikes me as oversimplification. I know a lot of classically trained music teachers and orchestral musicians who rarely listen to classical music for pleasure: mainly they listen to rock. They have musical aptitude and have been educated in cla...
by BC
Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Books on classical music
Replies: 68
Views: 13282

I'm making my way through the second volume of Walsh's Stravinsky biography now. I'm thinking of ordering something on Bartok next. There is a Cambridge Companion edited by Amanda Bayley and an interesting looking book called <i>Bartok and Turn of the Century Budapest</i> by Judit Frigyesi. Does any...
by BC
Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:21 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Thomas Mann and his Musical Demons
Replies: 8
Views: 2277

The problem with this reading is that it doesn't differentiate between Mann's beliefs about German music and his beliefs about art generally. Perhaps no other writer had such a long-term, morbid fear that art was an unworthy, even sickly, preoccupation. Certainly not Shakespeare, even though he asso...
by BC
Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:25 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Modernists: Doomed to Originality?
Replies: 22
Views: 3432

Critical discourse tends to exaggerate the importance of originality, but not as frequently or as automatically as it exaggerates the importance of critical discourse. In other words, he is to some extent right about critics' prejudices, but wrong in thinking that it matters very much.
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:08 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

We have strayed from the original subject. As previously indicated, I have no views on which temperament system Bach preferred. My arguments are that the tuning of a guitar necessarily involves approximations; that these may be heard as dissonances by a person with a sensitive ear; that Bach did not...
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:45 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What are YOU listening to today?
Replies: 16255
Views: 3298396

I'm listening to Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Bartok primarily, although by no means exclusively. These are composers I didn't spend a great deal of time listening to when younger. Basically, it's an attempt to make myself familiar with their most important works, and it's a fairly slow process, eit...
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:12 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Henning Year-So-Far in Review
Replies: 9
Views: 2063

Congratulations Karl. I must make an effort to hear your music.
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:09 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Gone - but back!
Replies: 11
Views: 1980

Ralph wrote:I always look forward to Lance's posts and learn much from them. 4,000 more please!
Seconded.
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:00 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

I have tried to understand your basic argument, but the logic once again escapes me. Your implication appears to be that Bach's views on the subject of equal temperament are known beyond doubt; but that there are nevertheless people who are conspiring to pretend that he believed something else; and ...
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

I have neither the time or the expertise (or indeed the necessary level of interest) to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of just temperament, well temperament, equal temperament etc. I understand that some people believe that Bach himself would have had problems with 12 tone equal temperamen...
by BC
Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:13 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

Frets or no frets, guitars are infinitely retunable by turning the tuning knobs. This sounds like a case of the same kind of compulsive thing I was talking about with the pipe organ e-mail list. Frankly, if tuning is such a fetish, get another job. If Bach had it figured out, it doesn't need to be ...
by BC
Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:22 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

I don't exactly disbelieve your guitarist story, but a guitarist can adjust the tune of his instrument to his own liking. An organist cannot. You say you don't exactly disbelieve the story and in so doing imply that you don't exactly believe it either. I have no reason to doubt its truth. The perso...
by BC
Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Poll : Do you have perfect pitch?
Replies: 53
Views: 8835

Tangentially, I've sometimes wondered about the intersection of different tuning temperaments, and perfect pitch . . . . Cheers, ~Karl A luthier I know had a customer return again and again complaining his guitar would not stay in tune. Eventually he worked out the guy had perfect pitch and heard t...
by BC
Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Have your tastes in classical music changed over the years?
Replies: 104
Views: 13808

I've started listening to classical music again after years of mainly listening to other genres (jazz, hip hop, electronica). In the past my classical preferences were fairly middle of the road, although I was less interested in the period between Beethoven and Wagner than in what came before and a...
by BC
Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:05 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Have your tastes in classical music changed over the years?
Replies: 104
Views: 13808

I've started listening to classical music again after years of mainly listening to other genres (jazz, hip hop, electronica). In the past my classical preferences were fairly middle of the road, although I was less interested in the period between Beethoven and Wagner than in what came before and af...
by BC
Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:07 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Boehm Wozzeck/Lulu
Replies: 24
Views: 5861

I will try to get my hands on the DVD at some point. It might not be soon: after many years of rarely listening to classical music, I've really caught the bug again and am buying it much faster than I can listen to it. Not least 20th-century opera: in the past couple of weeks I've bought Debussy's P...
by BC
Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Books on classical music
Replies: 68
Views: 13282

This also begs the question of what is 20th-century mainstream anyway? I don't believe it does. It so happens that the composers I find myself most interested in right now are those who are generally accepted as major 20th-century composers: the ones normally given chapters in brief histories, for ...
by BC
Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:13 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Books on classical music
Replies: 68
Views: 13282

I ordered the first volume of the Stravinsky bio today.
by BC
Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:10 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Boehm Wozzeck/Lulu
Replies: 24
Views: 5861

Ok I've ordered the bigger box set. This may be more Berg than I'll ever enjoy, but I'll take the gamble at that price. All I know so far is the Lulu suite and Violin Concerto - I like the latter very much, and think I could possibly come to like the former although after 3 or 4 listens (inc one liv...