Post by Sgolescu Post by benjo maso
Busch without knapperts
Oh, please. This is a decent newsgroup.
Lately I've begun to wonder, Samir. As I read through this thread, I
actually had to look up and assure myself that I was indeed in rmcr, not
rmo. The verbal antics in that group would embarrass a child, and I thought
we were above that here. I guess I was wrong.
First of all, what more contentious question can there be than, "Who are
your five favorite ------?" Can you think of another question what would
invite every poor soul who reads this group to add in his 2¢, only to make
every other poor soul chime in with, "Oh no, they are -------."? One would
think that wise people would avoid a question like that, but no. This has
been going on for only a couple of days, yet 64 people have felt the
necessity to pop in and add a word or two - or three or four and five
hundred. And all for what? To prove himself right and others wrong. The
dumbest question I can think of in music is, "How can you like -----?" This
reeks of an egotism that is really hard to swallow. What the person is
saying is, "I don't like that person, and I'm right. Therefore, you can't
For a moment I had thought of adding my words to the thread, but I didn't
because 1) I could not whittle down my list to a mere five, and 2) the
discussion is ridiculous. For it to have the least merit, each person's list
would have to be accompanied by a long paragraph (at least) explaining why
that conductor is on the list. To say that I admire - say - Scherchen, while
you admire Mengelberg is meaningless and accomplishes nothing. What would we
be saying this for? Are we trying to convince each other of the merits of
our own fair-haired boys, or are we trying to vaunt our knowledge, which, by
our own definition, must be larger than anyone else's. I know! Why don't I
run off to Holmes' "Conductors on Record" and find the most esoteric
conductor who ever made a record and throw that at you? That'll wow you for
sure. That is the level of the discussions here. Some of the remarks made
here are well founded, but it's become "Who are the five best conductors?"
and not, "Whom do you like?" What started off as a potentially interesting
comparison of favorites has now - as it always does - become a battle of the
strong-willed, strong-worded egostists.
In most cases, all I could well up after reading a posting was, "OK, that's
interesting." On a few occasions I would agree, and on others I would
not.... But, what does it prove? In this case, it proves that many readers
here haven't the least notion what music or the arts are all about. The arts
are not about what I say; they are about what is said.
One of my favorite stories concerns a trip to Academy Records in New York. I
was looking through thre vocal section listed alphabetically by singer's
last name. A man came in, walked directly toward me, stood next to me and
sighed and huffed to show me his displeasure that I was clearly in HIS spot.
Finally, he couldn't control himself any longer. "Have you been through the
Fs yet?" "Yes, I have." "Did you notice anything new by Ferrier?" "No, I
didn't, but, frankly, even if I had, I don't think I would have remembered
it." What?" he yelled, his eyebrows rising to hairline level, "you don't
like Ferrier?" "No, not really." "WELL!" he sputtered, "you're wrong, that's
all. WRONG!" The conversation had reached a level beyond ridiculousness, and
the man fell off the end of the earth right in front of my eyes.
To my colleagues in this group: No one is "wrong" here. We are all "right".
Get off your soap boxes. You look silly up there. Let's get back to more