Title Fail

I’ve no problem with this review—Kyle MacMillan of the Denver Post is, as usual, on his game. But the editor, or whomever gave this piece a title was off in a seedy motel sucking down qualudes with vodka. To explicate, Kyle starts off thusly:

The Colorado Symphony and Friends of Chamber Music sometimes include unusual offerings on their lineups, but fans typically have to look to smaller niche organizations for large doses of such repertoire. [italics mine]

But the title giver gives us this gem:

An eclectic offering from chamber group

Did I miss the memo? Last I heard, “unusual” does not mean “eclectic.”

See, the performance included pieces such as Paul Hindemith's Kammermusik No. 1, Op. 24a, for 12 Solo Instruments (1922), Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (1940), and Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 2, "Company" (1984). Generally speaking, pieces written within 62 years of one another don’t necessarily make for an eclectic offering. That’s like saying, “The Philharmonic played an eclectic concert that included pieces by Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms.”

Whatever, this is more of a public service announcement: You should not take qualudes, especially if you plan on drinking copious amounts of vodka—it makes you forget how to interpret chronological timelines and it makes you write inappropriate synonyms. There are other, less damaging side effects, too. There is nothing wrong with seedy motels, however.


By the way, if you’re thinking that the title reflects the eclectic styles of the pieces, save your commentary, because I disagree. Beethoven to Schubert to Brahms would be very eclectic, too, then. I’d argue that their styles are just as normative as Hindemith, Shostakovich and Glass’ styles given a 62-year long, evolving Zeitgeist. Also, I take it back. Don’t go to seedy motels for any reason—most no longer honor frequent flyer miles, which could lead to qualudes and vodka. I speak from experience.


Gustav said...

Forget eclectic, which of those works is unusual?

Empiricus said...

Yeah. Right.

But I've always wondered if Glass' "Company" was a sly reference to Three's Company. Come on and knock, and knock, and knock, and knock, and knock on my door. We'll be waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, for you. Where the towels are hers and hers and his and hers and his and his and hers and hers and hers and hers and...Three's Company too.

Erik Loomis said...

"But the editor, or whomever gave this piece a title was off in a seedy motel sucking down qualudes with vodka."

Was I doing it? Sounds fun. Maybe I was too wasted to realize what I was doing.

Empiricus said...

If it WAS you, keep it up, but don't restrict yourself to only titles. Do the entire damn thing yourself. I'd read that. Besides, Denver needs a word doctor like Benway the "doctor" doctor.

hosions: sexually transmitted skin lesions

Anonymous said...


eclectic- 1: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles
2: composed of elements drawn from various sources

Given that the three pieces named are far different in "doctine, method and style" than the 3 composers named your analogy, Empiricus, this is an apt title. In fact, using the first definition, this is quite an excellent title.

Anonymous said...

The Glass quartet is arranged from his music for the Samuel Beckett play "Company," hence the title.

Murderface said...

Not to be pedantic, but the preferred spelling is "quaaludes".