November 23, 2006

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)


Here's what Peter Tchaikovsky had to say about the music of Johannes Brahms:

"For the Russian heart there is something dry, cold, nebulous and repelling about the music of this German master. For us Russians, Brahms lacks every sense of melodic fantasy. The musical thought in Brahms is never completely pronounced. Barely has a melodic phrase been as much as hinted at, it is so overgrown with all kinds of harmonic modulations as if the composer had set himself the task of being incomprehensible and deep whatever the cost....His style is always so lofty..., but in everything the most important element of all is missing: beauty!"

Frankly, I think this is errant nonsense. And I'd choose the music of Brahms over Tchaikovsky any day. In the end, ol' Peter Ilyich's music may be "pretty", but Brahms' is the stuff with real meat on it, both structural and emotive.

I toss this out simply because I've been listening to what Basil Fawlty would call "Brahms' Fourth Racket" a lot lately. When things get a bit turbulent, I find this to be just the thing, striking very deep emotional chords without sliding off into the mawkish sentimentality or self-absorbed pretention that characterizes so much of the Romantic period.

Posted by Robert at November 23, 2006 11:00 AM | TrackBack