New Year, Same Detritus

C’mon Tennessean! You’re telling me there’s no classical music news? Really?

No. Not really. (See last entry)

I suppose, in the end, it is nice that there is space for Mahler amidst the sea of other random crap. Though, it is a bit puzzling why the story “Angelina Jolie thinking about brief return to film” is found in both “Celebrities Headlines” and “Entertainment Headlines.” Whatever.

What about the Mahler? (Click) Sweet, a concert announcement:

Tonight and Saturday, the symphony will continue its presentation of "Mahler's Sixth."

Sixth what? The sixth double concerto for fife and ondes martenot? Symphonies don’t just play symphonies, you know! Or do you? Have you ever been inside a concert hall? I mean, just for the sake of your inexperienced concert-goers, it might be nice to say, without a doubt, that it is Mahler's Sixth Symphony, instead of just hinting at it.

I’m glad the Tennessean was able to find the best and brightest. Sheesh. Grammar—where to start? The quotations? A lesson in possessives? Titles? Nicknames?

I suppose, if you’re given space for only 130 words...

No. No excuses for poor grammar. Nor vocabulary. And especially not for a lack of musical expertise.

In addition Joseph Haydn's "59th Symphony" also will be performed.

Commas, anyone? Hello...

Also, “also” is redundant; it is the synonym of “in addition.” Don't forget to watch your word count.

Haydn (1732-1809) and Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) are from Austria...

So far, so good, Google.

...with Haydn frequently referred to as "the father of the symphony" for having penned more than 100 pieces.

(rolls eyes) I’ve written nearly one-hundred pieces. Does that mean I’m almost a father?


And another little Tennessean promo about the same concert:

While neither piece, thematically speaking, will necessarily start your 2009 off with a big Cheshire grin, Haydn’s Symphony No. 59 in A major “Fire” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor “Tragic” remain two enduring examples of brilliance from two of classical music’s masters.

Instead of watching Barack Obama give his inaugural speech, we’re going to show archival footage of his fifth grade book report. It’s not thematically as good, but he got an A on it.

Way to sell it, people. Tickets start from $15 and go up to $85! Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Far be it me to defend no good writtens, but...

Seriously, the Mahler gripe? What other "sixth" of Mahler could the writer be talking about?

Imaginary conversation....
"Hey Doug, we're are you going tonight?" asks Bill.
"I'm going to hear Mahler's sixth, Bill."
"Wow, I love the sixth symphony..."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I meant the sixth song from Lieder und Gesänge for voice and piano"

Seriously, isn't, like, official, um, convention to, really, call composers symponies (not symphonic works) by, like, their numbers?

Anonymous said...


duh, welcome to my fifth grade paper!

"We're going to hear the Brahms second," the witch said.
"Where," he responded.
"Here at the symphony," she replied.
"Which symphony?"
"The second."

Bad semi-sweet wine.

Empiricus said...

Uh, what's the deal about we're vs. where? My usage was correct.

And about the Mahler: Of course you and I and other astute readers would know it was the Sixth Symphony. I was merely trying to highlight that in a short promo, best not use the hipster lingo. Especially if it's gonna be dumbed down to the point where giving the composers' dates seems like a good idea, i.e. you need to explain these mundane things' cause your readership needs a little helping hand.

Empiricus said...

Just in case: we're = we are. Huh?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Emp., I was the one who screwed up the "we're" in my first post-- when I meant to say "where!" You point is taken... it is confusing for people that aren't in the know.

Matthew said...

On the other hand, I see that Berg is headlining a "star-studded night at the Bluebird". Tennessee highbrows been finding uses for radioactive Oak Ridge groundwater, then?