Monday, July 10, 2006

Screwy Music

Okay. I'm a really, really big fan of Henryk Gorecki's 3d Symphony (well, the 1st movement is a bit boring, but the 2d and 3d are wonderful). I particularly recommend the 2d movement when you're stoned.

But I just downloaded his Harpsichord Concerto, and it's just plain silly.

First, it only has 2 movements, both fast.

The first movement is all power chords - the strings playing open fifths that changes notes. In the background, the harpsichord plays arpeggios. Ritornello form it is not. It does have some interest - particularly because I was listening to it while reading a book about the end of the Second World War and it seemed ominously appropriate. But it's just not a concerto.

The second movement is even sillier. Maybe my ear is lacking but I can't detect any thematic relationship between the two, apart from the fact that the harpsichordist is carrying on like a squirrell on speed.

It honestly sounds like a practice composition: "Write some chords and then write a series of arpeggios overtop of them to test your knowledge of harmony."

That's the price you pay when you impulse buy on iTunes after having a few drinks.

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