Thursday, May 28, 2009

because the real world is important ...

I have not blogged so much as I might have. This is not to say I have what most people would call "a life". I'm still this side of a hermit but finishing a sonata for cello and guitar for an ensemble is a big project and I still have yet another sonata to finish for another ensemble. On top of that there is a quartet for clarinet, French horn, guitar, and cello I want to finish. I may end up writing that piece as something quite a bit shorter than what I originally intended. Instead of giving two solos a piece to each member of the quartet I may just assign one solo a piece and be done with it. Ever the neo-classicist in my disposition I can tell myself that multiple movements are okay.

For a while, to ramble as almost no one reads, it seemed as though some composers were dead set on making titanic works for guitar. Koshkin's Sonata for guitar solo is awesome, to be sure, and the grand cyclical work of them all is, to my mind and heart, Britten's Nocturnal. Sor's grand sonatas are not quite my taste but they surely deserve the name.

Still, other works attempting the superlative "Beethoven for the guitar" (or whatever it is), grate on the nerves. I'm just going to come out and say it I loathe Ginastera's guitar sonata and can't stand Royal Winter Music by Henze. Henze's work is what you get if you took all the beautiful gem-miniatures of Takemitsu and blew them up on a Xerox machine so that they were five times as big and lost all their lovely intimacy. So, yeah, I don't like Henze's attempt to make, what was the phrase?, a Hammerklavier for solo guitar. If that was what he were trying to do he'd remember to have included tunes!

I have also spent time attempting to catch up with visits with family and some close friends, all of which is more compelling than blogging about the uses and abuses of Old Testament literature, not that I don't have volumes of things to share about THAT topic. And, of course, about others.

A word to the bored, if Star Trek represents the high point of this year's crop of tentpole summer movies it looks like the downward slope to G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is going to be very long, very steep, and very ugly! When I saw the trailer for Joe ... it made Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen look like some kind of movie by Bergman or Kubrick! I kid you not! At best we could hope that Joe will be something so bad it becomes inexplicably awesome like Freddy vs Jason ... but I am not quite that optimistic.


Paul Hardy said...

Always good to hear your take on the classical guitar repertoire. For the record, I do enjoy the Ginastera, but I fully understand the comments you have made here about it in previous posts.
The one I struggle with is Tippet's Blue Guitar. Can't get much out of that one, though I keep trying.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Ha, it's funny how things work. I love the Blue Guitar but my brother and i believe the problem it still has is that the first movement has no recapitulation. It could have been a wonderful sonata form if Tippett hadn't changed things up. I wonder if, reading between the lines, Bream advised a few changes. Tippett frequently employed conventional recapitulations in his sonata forms in his string quartets. Even with the Stevens poem as inspiration I think that a recap would have been nice.

Thanks for reading Paul.