Okay, first the story. Many years ago I was in a bar in northern Italy, drinking whisky and grapefruit juice while the boss of the school I was working at drank grappa.
"Are you romantic or classical?" he said.
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant (3:32)
This is how my boss described it to me:
Classical means you work within the form. It comes from the seventeenth century--and has become the term we associate with....
Scarlatti Sonata in E & G (6:22)
Sonata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sonata (From Latin and Italian sonare, "to sound"), in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata (Latin and Italian cantare, "to sing"), a piece sung. The term, being vague, naturally evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms prior to the Classical era. The term took on increasing importance in the Classical period, and by the early 19th century the word came to represent a principle of composing large scale works. It was applied to most instrumental genres and regarded alongside the fugue as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music. Though the sound of sonatas have changed since the Classical Era, 20th century sonatas still maintain the same structure and build.
Public Image Limited
Romantic means the break with the rigidities of the existing forms.
It's the inside outside and the outside inside--on the outside: romantic; on the inside: classical.
And on the outside classical, but on the inside romantic.
So: romantic music.
Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side (4:17)
Classical, you follow the rules, you make up new patterns within the rules, it's entertaining, sometimes, because....there's plenty to discover inside the rules: rule number one, there are no rules. Rule number two: everything has rules.
Ach! WOOF! Purr squeak!
Heh...the thing is, it's always going to be difficult discerning classical from romantic because they're two aspects of the same concept: limits. One is beyond the limits, and one is within the limits.
As I understand it, the limits were fine; they were technical limits, wide-ranging possibilities appeared with better instruments, more time and money, bigger orchestras--and then, with Mozart (as the figurehead) splashing out into pure expression!
We can listen to this piece again, it's only two minutes long--
Mozart - Requiem - Dies irae (1:57)
So, pure expression, ever more purely an expression, so self expression, expression of fields, flowers, storms, battles, victories and defeats, and sunsets and sunrises, and rainstorms:
Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The fourth movement, in F minor, depicts a violent thunderstorm with painstaking realism, starting with just a few drops of rain and building to a great climax. There is, of course, thunder, as well as lightning, high winds, and sheets of rain. From Beethoven's injunction that the symphony is meant to be "a matter more of feeling than of painting in sounds," one might guess that the movement depicts not just the storm itself but the feelings of awe and fear experienced by a witness to the storm.
The storm eventually spends itself, with an occasional peal of thunder still heard in the distance. There is a seamless transition into the final movement, including a theme that could be interpreted as depicting a rainbow.
Since the fourth movement does not resolve in a final cadence, and by the pattern of Classical symphonies would count as the "extra" movement among the five, critics have described it structurally as an extended introduction to the final movement, rather than an independent movement in itself. A precedent for Beethoven's procedure is found in an earlier work (1787), Mozart's String Quintet in G minor K. 516, which likewise prefaces a serene final movement with a long, emotionally stormy introduction.
I started hearing thunder at around 4:00
Beethoven - Symphonie Nr. 6 (Pastoral) IV (8:09)
Well, I hope that's the right piece!
As always, romantics and classicists poking each other with sticks, and everyone romantic and classical, always a mix, unhealthy or healthy, with enlightenment a thought away, the next thing, the next big wave that's fresh and clean and not loaded with bacteria and shreds of plastic....that'd be us, viewed at a certain distance, through the lens of a very accurately focused microscope, there we are, under the light, being stared at and prodded with pointy sticks. Do this, do that! Go here, go there! Goddamn it you stupid rats, no more hash cakes for you for...a week! If you don't stop tapping that fucken buzzer! It's irritating!
....heh....the rats wave their paws and head home to dinner of tasty food including hash cakes--the rats are enjoying their hash cakes and we are measuring their longevity: no stress, all the creature comforts, as much help with developing skills--
aye, a happy rat: could we make some?
Happy rats? Gah! Bitten by a bloody romantic--rats! I've got loads of rats, you want some?
--hem...flowers, fresh streams, trout, sunlight, it's 300.15 kelvin, the trees are moving in the winds--
And then a car goes past, then another! Hey, thanks for driving by! Appreciate it!
("Nothing you can do about cars.")
Here's a song that I think is both romantic (a yellow submarine!) and classical: everyone can sing the chorus because it uses a classical structure--just about all notes go well with the basic movement:
Start on the octave
Move down four tones
Move back to the octave
Moving down four tones hits the same note as moving up up five tones (the perfect fifth) only an octave lower, so it's moving down to the perfect fifth, which happens to be a perfect fourth below the key note (the octave notes)--heh!
The Beatles - Yellow Submarine (2:36)
The next, for me, is classical and romantic. Classical, because 10cc were very good technicians, in the same way that Benny and Bjorn were and I suppose still are excellent technicians. What I like are the sparkles, some thumping drums, interesting chord changes, the guitar solo--! And romantic because it takes me back to music that I heard when I didn't know what music really was, hadn't heard any bits I liked.
A compromise would surely help the situation
Agree to disagree, but disagree to part,
When after all it's just a compromise of the things we do for love
The things we do for love, oooh oooh!
Oooh ooh love.
The things we do for love
Pop song as story, where you forget to listen to what they're saying--like Mozart's Dies Irae--Day of Wrath! In this case, though, more like Abba, though the Abba piece is more ambiguous about who is leaving who (they all sing the chorus together!)
ABBA | Knowing Me, Knowing You lyrics
Knowing me, knowing you (ah-haa)
There is nothing we can do
Knowing me, knowing you (ah-haa)
We just have to face it, this time were through
(this time were through, this time were through
This time were through, were really through)
Breaking up is never easy, I know but I have to go
(I have to go this time
I have to go, this time I know)
Knowing me, knowing you
Its the best I can do
10cc - The Things We Do For Love (3:30)
Okay, I finish with one more, classical and romantic (for me):
Bach - The Goldberg Variations: Aria and variations 1 - 5 (3:47 7:10)
Link 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14Lq8fYGe3M&feature=related
Link 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqoacvLvltM
Okay, A Journey into Sound...this is part ten, two more to go: next week, let's go with "Music". Get your choices in there, A Journey into Sound--in the ET Archives! Even if all the youtubes die, and maybe all the pictures disappear, but the names of the tracks--a bit about them, maybe, not necessary but why not? The first rule is: there are no rules. And who needs more rules than that? The second rule: everything has rules.
Link 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGEubdH8m0s
Link 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE3-q-aoFZI