March 23, 2007

Hope, blood, Turandot

jazz album: The $64000 Question
Quiz time! This idea is a total rip-off from the excellent movie blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Then Handel was quite the narcissicist.

Anyway, here's ten questions to kill your Friday afternoon. You can leave your answers in the comments, or else leave a link to wherever you're posting. Do please include the questions when submitting your answers.
1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

27 comments:

Charles said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

Turn of the Screw


2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Maple Leaf Rag

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

I would choose death instead.

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

Ravel, either piano concerto.

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

E-flat clarinet run, Ravel G major concerto.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

Dido and Aeneas set in the Bush White House during the War Against Terror.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Anything Josh Bell wears.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Ozzy Osborne.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Nielson for the symphonies, Sibelius for the Violin Concerto.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Already stopped years ago.

vapaamies said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

Haydn's "Il mondo della luna". It may be the silliest libretto ever. That's an accomplishment.

But I do like the music.

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

My Piano Sonata.

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives. (though I did have to think about it)

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

This one's too hard. I would have at least gotten a kick out of hearing him play more Mozart. But I suppose I would not have been too enthusiastic about his playing the Schubert B-flat. He didn't, did he?

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

This is lame, but my first thought is the bass solo in Mahler's 1st. It's never in tune and for some reason I like that. Or maybe that crazy Bass Clarinet riff near the beginning of Le Sacre. Crap, no--it has to be the contra solo at the beginning of the Ravel Left-Hand.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

I guess it would have to be Neuenfels does Susannah. Not because I would REALLY want to see it, but I think the horrific taste would make me feel more alive...like drinking a cup of hot fat or sticking my face in a fan. Which I don't do. Much. Any thoughts on how he might do it?

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

John Marcellus in a pink jumpsuit. Ok, I admit I don't really wish I hadn't seen it, but I do wish I could get the image out of my head.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Not Paul Simon.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Dude. I live in Finland.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Wihout a doubt. In my case, that is a smaller price to pay than it might be for many.

Rodney Lister said...

1. Nixon in China
(love might be a little strong)
2. Phrygian Gates

3. impossible choice, but, if absolutely unavoidable, Ives

4. Any Faure nocturne

5. not a solo, but the duet for
piccolo and tuba in Symphony on a Hymn Tune

6. ? Maybe something to do with
either The Tender Land or Amahl and the Night Visitors.

7. Steve Drury's leather pants (sorry if that's a little too parochial)

8. Captain Beefheart

9. Sibelius

10. yes

Joshua Kosman said...

Good questions. My answers are here.

Rebecca said...

Great Fun! Thanks!

My Answers

Scott said...

1. Wow, it's so much easier to think of operas with great music and a crappy libretto. As far as the other way around goes, I had to think a long time, but I ended up going with the recent "Grendel."

2. Piano Canons by Conlon Nancarrow. Oooh, or the Stravinsky "Piano Rag Music." Or anything I've written.

3. Charles Ives, undoubtedly.

4. Anything by Granados. He didn't, did he?

5. I'm going to go with a slightly different definition of unlikely, and choose the entire Vaughan Williams tuba concerto.

6. "Cosi fan Tutte" in a seedy war-zone strip joint, with bombs exploding outside while lewd sexual mores rule the inside.

7. Let's just say that nobody wants to see an elderly woman's cleavage over and over while trying to focus on her piano playing. Well, maybe some people do, but not me.

8. David Bowie. Definitely.

9. Nielsen, I guess, but it's a halfhearted choice for me. Just not my thing, either of them.

10. Nope. I'd put it away. I'm always ditching music I love for music I don't know yet, so I'd just add that to the discard pile. Easier said than done, but then you're not asking me to do it, so I'll remain confident in my choice.

Jessica said...

Love it! Here's my offering.

viola power said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

We premiered this extraordinarily bizarre version of "Nosferatu" which contained the amusing notion of Dracula being gay. Idaho audiences went wild! The libretto qualified as entertaining, if not loveable. The music was like Andrew Lloyd Webber meets John Adams, except they were both really wasted.

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Golliwog's Cakewalk

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives, because I need to have a serious discussion with an insurance agent!

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

Bartok piano concerto

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

The oboe solo in the second movement of the Barber violin concerto. Exquisite!

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

The Magic Flute, on rollerskates, ten years in the future. There'd be lots of corrugated metal involved, as well.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Anything worn by Sara Davis Buechner. Ever see "Hedwig and the Angry Inch?"

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Stevie Wonder!

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Nielsen, because my musical partner would kill me if I said otherwise.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Does playing it count as listening? Ha!

Elaine Fine said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

Ernst Krenek's ''What Price Confidence"

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Poulenc's "Babar"

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

4"23'

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

The double bass solo in the slow movement of Mahler's First Symphony.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

Turandot with Ping, Pang, and Pong dressed as members of the Blue Man Group.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Actually it was kind of quaint, but ultimately a little disturbing: a string quartet of four teenage girls wearing white summer dresses and not wearing any shoes.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Carole King

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Sebelius

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

I would, but I wouldn't inhale.

Liz said...

Here's my answers-

http://violistinvermont.blogspot.com/

Alex Ross said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

Elegy for Young Lovers

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Copland Piano Variations (or did he?)

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

Schubert B-flat Sonata

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

Celesta in the final scene of Schreker's Der Ferne Klang

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

An all-male Dialogues of the Carmelites, set in the Mine Shaft in 1980

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Lang Lang's entire wardrobe needs a rethink

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Rodney Lister's response of Captain Beefheart cannot be bettered, but I'd say Brian Eno.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

This is harder than Ruggles/Ives, but Sibelius

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Too late — Lorin Maazel's 2002 season-opening performance the Ninth partially lobotomized me.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Some kind of prize to Alex for his Eurotrash production - we have to somehow work Eleanor Steber into it, though, I feel.

sfmike said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

"The Girl of the Golden West"

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

A piano reduction of Strauss' "Elektra"

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

That's no choice. Ives.

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

"Carnival of the Animals"

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

The klezmer clarinet in the third movement of Mahler's First Symphony.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

"Fidelio" in Guantanamo (and yes, I'm taking the question seriously)

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Peter Sellar's hippie beads while lecturing us about our humanity.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Kate Bush

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

That's no choice. They have a lot of qualities in common, and I love both of them. Alright, Nielsen.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Sure, I'd just listen to a few Haydn string quartets quickly after to undo the damage.

Benjamin said...

1) Dr. Atomic
2) The Concord was a good idea
3) Ives
4) Any Schubert, or Schuman, though his recording of the pno. quartet is one of my favs.
5) That gross FFF Clarinet. note in the middle of the Scherzo of Mahler 5th.
6) Hansel and Gretel with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as the title roles. And yes, the will have sex somtime during the performance.
7) The tux I currently own has been embarrassing me on stage for years.
8) After seeing Trapped in the Closet, I must say R Kelly.
9) Sebelius.
10) The warnings on the packs havn't stoped me from smoking, so I would have to say I would continue listening.

Benjamin said...

Another idea for question 6: Tristan und Isolde with George W. Bush and Nancy Pelosi.

Charles T. Downey said...

Great idea, Matthew! My answers at Ionarts here.

heinuren said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

You guys'll hate me: Cosi fan tutti

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Just to see what it would be like: a Rachmaninoff etude-tableau

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

And it's Ives, by 12 lengths!

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

What the hell, is everybody supposed to know what Gould did or didn't play?

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

fine, a ridiculous answer for a ridiculous question: the rumbling piano in Thunderstorm from the grand canyon suite.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

Salome, where they actually cut off heads.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

I don't know. But Evelyn Glennie once came out with the house lights cut off and a spotlight on her red sequined strappy slitty number.... Rwor!

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Freddie Mercury. If he wasn't dead and all.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

These types or so easy: Sibelius!

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

No! Would you??

Andy H-D said...

Clearly a little late in the game, I can't say no to a quiz.

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

The Consul is pretty brutal, but you really start to feel those three hours.

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Rzewski's "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!". Can you imagine what that cadenza would've ended up being?

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives. The end.

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

I don't know, Bananaphone? That's not a real answer. Would Vexations be a more real answer? I suppose there's that new kid who writes really awful sappy music, Greenberg or something?

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

I don't know unlikely it is, but I keep thinking of the part in Symphonie fantasique right before his head gets chopped off. Who needs absolute form when the program tells you where you are in the score?

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

A tie between Poppea in the Clinton White House and Peter Jackson's Ring Cycle.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

I almost want to second Steve Drury's leather pants, but their awexomeness overwhelms me. I haven't actually seen the Stockhausen/clarinet/unitard thing, but I've heard news of a lady instituting an unhealthy regiment of diet and exercise because of it so I have to come out against it.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Yeah, not Paul McCartney. How about Zappa? Whoops. Did you know that Roger Waters also makes mediocre neo-classical music? Also Stewart Copeland! There was actually a Times article about how when rock stars approach traditional forces they always end up sounding like Haydn (Zappa excluded). I wonder what Robert Fripp would come up with, except he's busy still being a rock star.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

This isn't fair since due to a number of influences I'm starting to go on a Sibelius kick right now.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

No way, d00d. I prefer the Seventh anyway, and with my weak to pathetic knowledge of this "classical repertoire" we're trying to talk about here I could probably find some other stuff to listen to.

jason said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.
Magic Flute.


2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Ligeti's etudes.

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives. Ives. IVES!
4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

Billy Joel's whatever...

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

E-flat clarinet run, Ravel G major concerto.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

Grand Macabre in Studio 54. Tristan & Isolde, Clinton White House.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Concert mistress of my undergrad orchestra: Topknot, black tutu, white sneakers. Or, same university, new music ensemble conductor in bolo tie and hendrix tee.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Thurston Moore.

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Sibelius.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?
No.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Okay, I'm playing too.

Jeremy Denk said...

Me too Matthew, couldn't resist. Agh!

jeremydenk.blogspot.com

Steve Hicken said...

Nor could I: listen101.blogspot.com

Robert F. Jones said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music. Tippett’s King Priam

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played. Art of Fugue on piano.

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles? Ives. If Ives had composed as little as Ruggles (what is it, two hours?) and it was Charlie’s BEST two hours, I’d still pick Ives. Did Glenn ever play Evocations? The Concord?

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played. Glenn accompanies Barbra Streisand in Saint-Saens’ Mon coeur ouvre à ta voix

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire? The bass trombone sfp low C#s in the death scene of Boris Godunov (Musorgsky’s orchestration).

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.) Parsifal set in post-nuclear-apocalypse Australia. Parsifal as Mad Max, Klingsor as Lord Humungus, Kundry as a feral hermaphrodite, the Flower Maidens as topless biker baybz. No dead rabbit.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen. The hairy-chested violinist who decided to wear the same strapless gown as the three female members of the string quartet. (It was the premiere of a student work.)

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney? Bob Dylan, “Desolation Row: The oratorio.”

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius? Maybe I haven’t heard enough Nielsen, but this seems like a no brainer: Sibelius rules.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it? Probably. Could it cause worse irreversible brain damage than vodka?

Indiana Loiterer III said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.

Ariadne auf Naxos (the original high-concept opera)

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.

Ives, Concord Sonata

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?

Ives

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.

Chopin, Berceuse

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?

The cello solo lead-in to the "Mystic circles of the young girls" in the Rite of spring, one bar before 91

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)

The Peter Konwitschny production of Lohengrin set in a German schoolroom...oh, you mean a Euro-trash high-concept production that doesn't yet exist? How about a Trovatore set in post-Civil War Kansas/Missouri a la The Outlaw Josey Wales?

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Anything with tanktops.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Neil Young

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Nielsen

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Depends on the extent of the brain damage. I;d have to read the report in The Lancet first.

Stirling Newberry said...

http://agonist.org/stirling_newberry/20070328/anti_pop_quiz

Seth Gordon said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly like the music.
Einstein On The Beach

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.
Waltz For Debby

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?
Anyone choosing Ruggles is a jealous hater.

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.
Stockhausen's Mantra

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?
Probably from Wuorinen's Piano Concerto No. 3, only "unlikely" because when encountering any Wuorinen piece for the first time, it's likely I won't like it. But go figure, I liked that one.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see? (No Mortier-haters get to duck this one, either—be creative.)
Marie Stuarda, only make it about girl gangs and set in high school, starring PJ Harvey as Marie and Diamanda Galas as Liz, head of the Cheerleading Squad.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.
I'm far less fond of standard dress, to tell the truth.

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?
Yoko Ono

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?
These days, I'd trade them both for Opeth. But that may just be a phase.

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?
Eh, I suppose I've heard it enough already. Though I guess I've smoked enough cigarettes already too, and I haven't stopped doing that.

Joe said...

1. Name an opera you love for the libretto, even though you don't particularly llke the music.

The Rake's Progress

2. Name a piece you wish Glenn Gould had played.
Carter's Night Fantasies

3. If you had to choose: Charles Ives or Carl Ruggles?
Ives, without a doubt

4. Name a piece you're glad Glenn Gould never played.
The Concord Sonata

5. What's your favorite unlikely solo passage in the repertoire?
Ives, Washington's birthday, jaw harp.

6. What's a Euro-trash high-concept opera production you'd love to see?

Either a Star-Wars Ring, or Rigoletto with everybody but the title character played by dwarfs.

7. Name an instance of non-standard concert dress you wish you hadn't seen.

Me, in a suit an tie

8. What aging rock-and-roll star do you wish had tried composing large-scale chorus and orchestra works instead of Paul McCartney?

Graham Nash

9. If you had to choose: Carl Nielsen or Jean Sibelius?

Nieslen, hands down

10. If it was scientifically proven that Beethoven's 9th Symphony caused irreversible brain damage, would you still listen to it?

Um, I, um, don't understand the question ...