Of course, the solution is obvious: you just have to pick the right repertoire, the Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra by John Cage:
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Thanks to Alex Ross' blog The Rest is Noise, here is a really magnificent sounding harpsichord. The piece is a Passacaglia by Georg Muffat and the player is Andreas Staier. For some reason Blogger refuses to embed the clip, so here is the link. Well worth hearing!
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While we are over at The Rest is Noise, here is another item:
Not surprisingly, many self-described leftists have rejected John Halle's thesis that the vast majority of pop music serves as a tool (wittingly or not) of élite capitalist forces and that classical music has a role to play in resisting them. He is accused of defending "old white people's tastes nobody gives a shit about." Take that, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela. On the Minnesota matter, Halle is sadly right in observing that many on the nominal left have accepted "the right's rhetoric, viewing classical musicians as a 'coddled' workforce receiving an unjustified exemption from market discipline." The collectivist model of the orchestra, the chamber group, or the chorus is unfashionable; instead, our heroes are mega-rich superstars who peddle populist fantasies while residing on a plane far removed from ordinary life.I can't see how you can possibly defend the thesis that the pop music of today is the voice of youthful rebellion against a repressive society. It has long since become exactly as Halle depicts it:
The article ends with this peroration:The “new generation of goateed, rule-breaking entrepreneurs” now privileges immediate gratification, self-expression and originality albeit within market imposed limits, or, as Oppenheimer puts it, “fun.”It should be obvious that the leisure complement to this now dominant managerial class philosophy could not possibly consist of the sedate, repressed rituals of the classical concert hall. Nor is it a surprise to find the New Republic's meritocratic class contributors opining in favor of jettisoning instruction in Mozart sonatas in favor of the three-minute rock tune, campfire singing and ukelele strumming.
Read the whole thing.the virtues of classical music are inherently hostile to neoliberal mindset now dominant in all sectors of society. For many, classical music, its refusal to engage in high-volume harangues, its reliance on aural logic rather than visual spectacle, its commitment to achieving often barely perceptible standards of formal perfection, all serves as a repudiation of late capitalism —a refuge from hideous strip malls, the 24-hour assault of advertising copy, and marketing hype. Ultimately, it is a protest against the cruder, meaner and self-destructive society we have become.Achieving this recognition is not easy, nor are most things worth doing. That’s the underlying lesson learned by a child confronting a Mozart sonata. And it will need to be relearned by adults if we have much hope of surviving the century.
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For comic relief, have a look at this article explaining, completely seriously, why tuning A to 440 is really a Nazi plot and why the universe would be much happier if we tuned instead to A = 432. Just slightly flat. Uh-huh. Here is a little clip proving the thesis:
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Now some John Williams, to clear the palate. A Volta by Praetorius recorded when Williams was just twenty-two:
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UPDATE: Just one more for you. I ran across this funny and musical cartoon here.