Where have all the editors gone?

"That's like asking the square root of a million. No one will ever know."*

But more to the point...Elaine Schmidt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel needs a thesaurus.

MSO plus Beethoven equals grandeur

"How many pounds in a gallon?"

Two of the three "Bs" of classical music, Beethoven and Brahms, dominated Friday evening's Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra program.

Felix Blumenfeld being the third "B", of course.

figure felix: Facial hair of the week?

Music director Edo de Waart and the players of the MSO used Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 to fill the program's second half with grandeur and gravitas.

...and glory, grandiosity, gravity and greatness...

First performed in 1813, the piece was hailed as "joyous" and "celebratory" by some writers of the day and said to depict a revolution or the plot of a Goethe novel.

I would have said it was resplendent, or perhaps, effervescent. Maybe even a bit mirthful?

Nearly two centuries later, the piece remains a pillar of the orchestral repertoire, deriving its compelling forward motion in great part from Beethoven's brilliant use of rhythm.

It is nice, that forward motion stuff.

De Waart and the MSO gave the piece a vivid reading that used the piece's insistent rhythms to long, gradual crescendos to musical heights and to give poignant depth to its solemn second movement. [italics mine]

Vivid reading. Check. Sounds exciting.

Preparing to fast forward...

...(and never mind the awful construction of the sentence above, which seems to read, "the vivid reading used the rhythm to long crescendos")...all the editors are dead and such...

De Waart and the orchestra took their own turns in the spotlight during the Brahms.

They gave a well-crafted reading of its lush orchestral writing, some of which was intended for the fifth symphony, which Brahms never completed.

A well-crafted reading? O-kay.

and...what else did the orchestra read...?

The evening opened with a precise, colorful reading...


...of "Wu xing (The Five Elements)," a piece by Qigang Chen that is constructed of five brief movements: Shui (Water), Mu (Wood), Huo (Fire), Tu (Earth) and Jin (Metal).

I shouldn't have to point this out, but orchestras don't just read music. They can also play, perform, and present music. They can display, exhibit, and produce...or put on, render, represent, or realize said musical composition. One might also say that the orchestra may offer a piece, or execute the musical score. They mount, engineer, and even direct the show. They emote the music, do justice to the score, or bring about, bring off or carry through a performance. They might stage an event, or pull off a production, or simply take care of business.

And when one plays music, they also conceive, cultivate and propagate. And that performance may engender, effectuate, beget and blossom, not to mention beguile, regale and captivate the audience. And may I suggest that you continue to search for, hunt, scan, discover, track down, and seek out new words until your thesaurus is effete, barren, infertile and right out of synonyms.

* For you aspiring mathemagicians out there, I'd like to point out that there are actually two answers to this question. Both 1000 and -1000 when squared will equal a million.


Sator Arepo said...

Actually, my favorite part is that they "used" the 7th to fill the second half of the program. Curious agency, that.

Oh, Strini, we hardly knew thee.

Fred said...

I'm looking for a piece of music with compelling backward motion, any suggestions

Gustav said...

I don't know about backwards motion, but for that feeling of going nowhere, try a Bruckner symphony.

Sator Arepo said...

Now, now. Just because he wrote a Symphony No. 0 doesn't mean...oh, wait. Never mind.