Someone Killed All of the Editors. Again.

String quartets try to reconciles jazz and tradition

What? Seriously? Jesus. Subject-verb agreement much?

The urge to reconcile jazz with classical music has persisted since the first classical folks stumbled into a jazz dive.

This is totally made up. You made that up. No research was done. “Classical folks” “stumbled” into a “jazz dive”. The subtext is not so subtext-y, Mr. Ward. Classical musicians/composers are/were elite, effite fucks who are totally alienated from the public. Also, jazz is/was played in dives.

The crusade continues,

The urge is now a crusade. Take note! Take that, unreconciled jazz/classical divide!

as the Ying and Turtle Island string quartets showed Tuesday at Rice University in their traveling gig aimed at assuring that all is well in the brotherhood of string ensembles.

I think I know what this sentence is trying to convey. One would think, though, that it was not written by a professional…writer. Surely it would have been constructed…better. I don’t know. It should probably be more than one sentence. Less passive voice? Let’s try to reconstruct it with the subject first.

“The Ying and Turtle Island string quartets showed that the crusade continues Tuesday at Rice University, in their travelling gig [ed: what?] aimed at assuring that all is well in the brotherhood of string ensembles.”

No, that still sucks.

Darius Milhaud is said to have started it all

By whom? (This is not true.) Also, passive voice. Just sayin'.

with his short ballet The Creation of the World (1922-23),

I think you mean La Création du Monde. But that’s ok, I’m an idiot and wouldn’t be able to understand cognates. Did you hear about Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony?

inspired in part by a 1920 visit to a Harlem jazz club.

If true, this is the first useful, or, for that matter, concrete, piece of information so far. Bravo.

So the two ensembles used that work to start their second half, devoted to works of reconciliation.

I…what? Getting my sentence-parsing kit...

So the two ensembles

The two string quartets you mentioned, I assume.

used that work

Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, I think. This is unclear but, I guess, implied.

to start their second half,

The second half…of the concert? Or “travelling gig”? Did you mention the first half? Did I miss something? I don’t feel so good.

devoted to works of reconciliation.

Of jazz and “tradition”. Jazz is not a tradition. Or something. But at least I got through that sentence. That was dicey. So, to recap in word language:

“The Milhaud ballet began the second half of the concert, which was devoted to works reconciling jazz and traditional repertoire.”

Or something.

The first half of the Houston Friends of Music event contained "pure" music.

Sigh. “Pure” is in quotes, which should either mean a) someone said it, and you are quoting them, or b) you are being sarcastic, or sardonic. I don’t think either is the case. But I do it often enough for emphasis, so whatever.

However: what? What is “pure” music? Classical music? Wordless music? Unadulterated music? Music that has never known the love of a strong, smelly man?

The Yings, all siblings, offered a strikingly different accounts of Ravel's Quartet in F Major

My only prayer is that this egregious construction is meant to parallel the construction in the title.

Why, oh, why did we kill all of the editors and proofreaders? Sure, they were annoying. But they were necessary. They were sort of like lawyers, but for writing. *Sniff* I…miss them.

(Ravel was another Frenchman later awakened by the siren of jazz).

Again with this crap. Ravel was totally asleep before he heard jazz. Also, he was pretty short!

The rest of the thing is pretty much description. If you care, go read it here. I have but two quips left. Well, maybe three.

Except for the vivid Ravel quartet, the performances and arrangements were frequently bland and always unoffensive –

I wish I could say the same about your writings about them.

the sort that can make chamber music audiences feel good about being just a little naughty in letting barbarians inside the gates.

You are here to reinforce the classical/jazz divide. The “reconciliation” aspect was, apparently, lost on you, because it’s all you can talk about.

Perhaps hearing jazz played by a string quartet is a learned habit,

A…learned habit?

but the sameness of sound

Of the strings? Is that what you mean? Because it is not clear. Maybe reading your articles is a learned habit?

didn't allow solo voices to stand out the way they do in small jazz ensembles, which usually have a group of distinctive sounding instruments melding into a unit. When an alto sax takes off, you know it's not the piano or double bass.

Uh, yes.

Then, for me jazz has always worked better in nightclubs and jazz clubs rather than concert halls. I suspect part of the reason lies in the cultural legacy jazz carried as it came out of New Orleans. In many cases, it grew living on the edge. In most cases today, concert halls are designed to keep the edge out.

You are here to reinforce the jazz/classical divide. I get it now.

That is too bad.


Empiricus said...

Did you hear the one about Beethoven's Pathetic Sonata?

It did not jazzy.

Aaron said...

Wow. That's.. wow.

I take back many of the mean things I've said about other music critics. Compared to this, Mr. Holland is fucking Shakespeare.

Let me take a stab at the Sentence That Ate Sheboygan:

"The attempt to reconcile jazz and classical music continues,
as the Ying and Turtle Island string quartets showed Tuesday. As part of their ongoing joint tour, the two quartets played a concert at Rice University aimed at assuring that all is well in the brotherhood of string ensembles."

Still sucks. This brotherhood of string ensembles sounds pretty neat. I assume it's kind of like AAA, only for violins.

Sator Arepo said...

I wonder if it's a creepy secret society with like robes, and candles, and spanking, and shit. That would be awesome.

Aaron said...

I would totally learn to play the violin if I could get into that brotherhood of string ensembles. I'm a sucker for weird ritualistic hazing and barely-concealed homoeroticism.

It's why I dig football, really.