Friday, February 29, 2008

Concertos That Are Hard to Like

Sweep all the dust into one pile. Pick it up, throw it away, and then feel better. And stay out! This is not a rant on players, but pieces. Granted, it is not nice to say these things about certain annoying concertos, but maybe it will be good therapy to gather them into one pile before disposing. Perhaps a cathartic exercise, getting it out of the system. There, there, that wasn't so good.

Tops on the list: How about the Mozart Clarinet Concerto? How about not! Why do clarinets so seldom use vibrato? All the other woodwinds can. What if all the other woodwinds played absolutely straight, while the clarinets were allowed to schmaltz it up? Very strange.

Then there are those Rococo Variations of Tchaikovsky labored over by all of those struggling cellists. Way too many variations. The theme alone would have been just fine. Only one time through should do it for the whole thing. And for sure, no more than two hearings should be permitted for the Schumann Cello Concerto. Two and through. It was already old at the premier.

The Hindemith Sonata for Trumpet must surely have been hard to have to write, as it is to have to learn, as well as to have to learn to like. No one should have to sit through a performance of it, especially when crashing and burning is likely to be part of the performance practice. Old man Paul surely knew what he was inflicting on us with that final inscription: "All men must die!" His last laugh.

Oh, that raspy Mendelssohn Violin Concerto that is always in E major! It should at least be put into another key, like D flat, or C flat minor. Well, they tried to improve the Hummel Trumpet Concerto by lowering it a half a step, but it didn't work. It's still here. Someone should lower it a couple more octaves. Maybe a nice 6/8 march tempo would greatly improve the first movement of that old Moldy Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Bassoon concertos, all of them, should be illegal. Bass concertos likewise should only be allowed if water boarding is. Give captives their choice of agony. Water boarding isn't so bad.

I heard a piccolo concerto one time. It was well played by a great player. It was by Vivaldi, but it was still awful.

1 comment:

Rory said...

Hahaha, this stuff is great. You should write for the Tonight Show while the writers are still on strike!