A present for Michael…

… and five more just like him.

The local classical music station occasionally drives me crazy. But that happens only when I listen to it, which I seldom do these days. It’s a matter of taste. Apparently many folks like the station’s taste. I frequently do not.

Understand, I do like classical music, as a genre. I grew up with it (more on that subject in a moment) and — for a mostly-happy five years — I worked at this local station. [Full and frank confession: Yes, I was, in my wild and crazy middle age, a classical disk jockey.] But — and this is a wide-ranging commentary on all the arts, from Shakespearean drama to kindergarten finger-paint — it isn’t all good. Some of it is mediocre. Some of it is dreadful.

As far as music goes — and that’s what this is mostly about — the best critical standard is the one promulgated by Edward Ellington: “If it sounds good, it is good.”

An obvious corollary is there for the taking: “If it doesn’t sound good, it isn’t good.” The Duke explained it more tactfully: “There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind … the only yardstick by which the result should be judged is simply that of how it sounds. If it sounds good it’s successful; if it doesn’t it has failed.”

So. For the moment, and for Michael, I turn to what was my father’s favorite piece of classical music, one which became one of my own favorites. It sounds good to me, so I have no reservation about claiming that it is good. Agree or disagree, but not until you’re heard it to the end.

Click on the picture. You’ve never heard a double bass played like this.



One thought on “A present for Michael…

  1. Yes, I feel the same way about poems. If you have to work at it, it’s a riddle not poetry and belongs on the Sudoku page.

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