[78-L] Lenny

Don Cox doncox at enterprise.net
Mon Jul 8 02:04:35 PDT 2013

On 08/07/2013, DAVID BURNHAM wrote:

> You're right. Tchaikovsky probably provided more material to the pop
> writers of the mid 20th century than any other composer, (musicals
> popularized classical composers' music as well - Grieg, "Song of
> Norway", Borodin, "Kismet", Offenbach, "Happiest Girl in the World",
> Schubert, "Blossom Time"), but I don't think this was a disservice to
> the music involved; when I was in Florida last year I took my cousin,
> who had just turned 80, to his first symphony concert in his life and
> he was thrilled when, during Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, he recognized
> a favourite tune, (I think it's "Moon Love"), in the second movement.
> Rachmaninoff also had some of his music cross over to the pop world,
> such as "Never Going to Fall in Love Again" from his 2nd Symphony. I
> personally enjoy hearing jazz and big-band treatments of the classics.
> Two of what I believe are the finest albums of big band treatments of
> classical music are Shorty Rodgers' "A Swinging
> Nutcracker" and Glen Grey's "Swinging the Classics". An episode of
> "The Mentalist" concluded with Patrick Jane leading a jazz version of
> the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony.
If composers don't want their stuff borrowed, they shouldn't write good
tunes.  ;-)

Nobody ever stole any tunes from Schoenberg - or from Hindemith (as
opposed to Weber).

Writing a good tune is one of the hardest things in composition. It is
easy to forget this when one is familiar with the melodic wealth of the
classic song book. Think how often composers fall back on "folk tunes" -
which often turn out to be popular tunes with known composers.

Don Cox
doncox at enterprise.net

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