I’ve been told over and over again that I need to reassess my music collection. And until last night, I took offence to this. It’s not my fault no-one else listens to Dionne Warwick’s Greatest Hits, or Burt Bacharach, or Lionel Richie. And it’s not my fault nobody appreciates the rhythmatic vibrato of Petula Clarke, or Take That. I own the entire Monster Hits collection dating back to 1991, and I bloody well like it. Especially when it’s karaoke hour in Illovo.
Sure, it’s a little off.
I adhere to a fundamentally wide spectrum of musical taste.
If I idle through my CD cupboard, the Bee Gees sits next to Limp Bizkit, and Metallica sits next to Mike & the Mechanics. Dr Dre sits mext to Bump 2. You get the picture.
However, last night, I sat down to my boys of the Stone Age. Verdi’s La Traviata, Bach’s Bradenburg Concerto, and Andrea Bocelli’s Liberta, and wondered, how on Earth can somebody not appreciate the allegro and staccato of classical music? I mean, fuck, it’s incredible.
All my other music is toaster-in-the-bath kind of stuff that leaves one feeling less than exquisite, especially when every bloody Lionel Richie lyric seems to perpetrate my trivial little existence. All my music reminds me of someone or some place, and quite frankly, I’m over it. Even if the memory is good, it’s old. Classical music immediately clears the mind and makes one think of stupid shit like Austrian hilltops, antique harpsichords, ballet dresses and my grandmother’s ratatouille. Stuff that doesn’t make me sob endlessly, but light, fluffy, peripheral stuff that I never capacitate.
And like how Mozart was a tortured prodigy that listened to the same piece over and over again, and threw a billiard ball across a table to bounce back at himself, while he composed movement after movement to objectify his concentration. Not to mention how he drank away his life savings, and partied with harems of women [whom he banged fourgy-style] and danced on piano tops. If I lived in Vienna during the 1800’s (?) I’m certain we would’ve got on like a house on fire. He sounded like a right card. And I enjoy cards.
Beethoven, however, is another story. I played large quantities of his sonatas (I have a Bible-sized book of his music) when I practiced the piano religiously – however, I’m certain a person has to have certain mental apathetic psychosis if his father bashed him around the ears every night in a drunken rage. (Alcohol seems to be a common factor in all these composite success stories).
But, and let’s pretend he wasn’t the gay equivalent of David Furnish for a second, Tchaikovsky is someone I completely would’ve bedded until my body couldn’t take the physical exertion of sexual intercourse any much longer. Even if it meant I had to move to St Petersburg, live in a gulag, and queue for bread. His music is just too fucking exceptional for mere words. I’m pretty certain he had a sense of humour as well, if you consider his Symphony No. 6. It’s fucking pompous, but cheekily so. But the romanticism of The Nutcracker Suite…
There’s a party in my pants Tchaikovsky, and you’re totally invited.