When it comes to taste you ought to have at least the following four categories (illustrated with examples from my own taste):

(1) Music you love that is also undoubtedly good (e.g., Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues);
(2) Music you don’t love that you nonetheless realize is good (e.g., Handel’s Messiah, most of Art Tatum);
(3) Music you love that you realize isn’t very good – which you probably love based on its being played at a formative time (e.g., The Cars’ “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home,” which was often played as a slow song at my junior high dances);
(4) Music you don’t love that is bad (rude to name names).

Perhaps there should be a fifth category: Music you love so personally that questions of value vanish. This would be close to the category of “if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” For me, one of those pieces of music is Stravinsky’s Apollo.

My guess is that as orchestral music goes, even ballet music, it’s so-so. But I don’t know. I’d trade it for all of Mozart, knowing full well that I’d be trading pearls for gravel. Stravinsky’s own conducting of it is my favorite (here, too, educated opinion runs to almost any other version). There’s even an interesting jazz version by The Bad Plus.

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One Response to Apollo

  1. Pingback: Best of the Blog: Our 100th Post | Billy and Dad's Music Emporium

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