Cool Composers

As far as a musical credo goes, I subscribe to a theory I saw advanced years ago in an interview with Ry Cooder published in Stereo Review (does anyone remember that mag?): “Bad Music Will Make You Weak.”

Which is to say I love all kinds of music and admire so many of its creators through time, as I hope you see represented in this heah corner of the Interwebs. That said, there are a few composers that I have been particularly drawn to over the years, such as..

Johann Sebastian Bach: “The Brook And The Wellspring” pretty much says it all. Got a whole page of Bach-and-alia to share.

>The Sons of Bach will always be overshadowed by the old man, which means that they don’t get recognized for their own accomplishments. Particularly J.C. – Mozart’s mentor – and C.P.E., arguably one of the most underrated composers in history.

Fryderyk Chopin: Learned a whole lot about the “poet of the piano” putting together no fewer than 200 individual stories to celebrate the composer’s bicentennial in 2010. But his music more than merits the attention.

Aaron Copland: The consumate craftsman of American classical music. And a far more nuanced, complex, and versatile musical personality than the shorthand entry (“oh yeah, the guy that big, broad American-sounding music like Appalachian Spring and other stuff”). I have a lot of questions, Mr. Copland.

Gershwin: I don’t think I would have liked him in person.But to quote G & I G, when you can write melodies like that, “Who Cares?”

Mahler: Okay, that as a lot to with jennivoce, but I get it. And get why his music touches so many.

Mozart:Do I really need to explain? Okay, how about this:

Arvo Pärt. [insert silence here]

Maurice Ravel: Did he ever write a bad piece of music? Thought so.

Schubert: Anyone who’s ever loved has to love Schubert. In my mind the most human of all composers, including Mozart. Schubert has a way of making every human frailty both terrifyingly, searingly real, and beautifully, touchingly, elusive.

Paul Simon: See the Gershwin entry, above.

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