Dead, like the English language

No, we’re not dead. Too bad I can’t say the same for the English language. Today’s steamy [...] comes from Long Beach, California.

On Saturday night, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra proved it can play with superb power, shimmering sheer force that can fill the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center...

Judging from the awkwardness of this construction, I think we can safely say that John Ferrell is not a fan of articles and conjunctions.

...the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra proved it can play with superb power, shimmering sheer force that can fill the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center to overflowing.

The orchestra. Can play with superb power. That can fill the theatre. To overflowing?

[English language] Gulp.

That kind of power is exactly what Richard Wagner wanted for the overture to his opera "The Flying Dutchman," inspired as it was by the composer's personal experience in a violent storm at sea.

[Schrödinger to cat] Get in the box!

The opera itself is less violent: a tale of love and sacrifice. But the overture, with horns and trombones blaring out the Dutchman's theme like the roaring winds of a Baltic storm...

I like it when the roaring winds (I also like puns) blare out themes. Reminds me of things that fill to overflowing.

...is meant to be a little terrifying, a 19th-century musical version of a Bruce Willis action-adventure film.

Monteverdi’s madrigals: seventeenth-century musical versions of a Reinhold Weege sitcom set in a Manhattan court, at night, starring Harry Anderson and John Larroquette.

This is still a review, right?

That's the ride LBSO Music Director Enrique Arturo Diemecke provided for his audience.

Huh? What’s the “ride” he provided? That he proved the orchestra can play with power that fills to overflowing? That’s not exactly a ride. Then again, maybe my dictionary is wrong.

Power, even sophisticated power, is something you would reasonably expect from a large symphony orchestra. After all, if you gather together more than 70 professionals, arm them with well-designed noisemakers and let fly, you would expect something loud to result.

By my fancy inductive reasoning skills, I will now assume that whenever John says “power” he really means “loud.”

However, you might not expect the poetic - even dreamlike. The second work on Saturday's program, Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's meditative "Lamentate," featuring the orchestra's principal keyboard player, Gloria Cheng, as soloist, was exactly that.

Budding students take note: this is an exemplary passage demonstrating proficient text prolongation. If you need to fill your page count in a pinch, look no further.

Using almost the same orchestral forces...

Hmmm. Imagine that! An orchestral piece that makes use of almost the same forces as another orchestral piece.

There is power in his music...

Read: loud.

...especially in the opening, fugue-like movement, which crashes with abandon.

See? Inductive reasoning does work!

But the work moves elegantly into considerations of deeper emotion, thoughtful passages gently moving, full of deep longing and regret and sometimes painful resolution.

Could I say that the work fills out emotion to overflowing?

Despite appearances, Diemecke is not psychic.

Figure 1: Diemecke


We hope to get stuff up more regularly. See you then, Detritusites!


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