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50 symphonies that changed classical music
November 23, 2013 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Guardian critic Tom Service's ongoing survey of the 50 symphonies that changed classical music
posted by Gyan (43 comments total) 74 users marked this as a favorite

 
If only the NYTimes had a classical critic like this dude.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:30 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


i love this so much.
posted by nadawi at 11:55 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


In fact, it's not until the four-note rhythm is played a third time that we really know we're in C minor, rather than what could be E flat major.
Really? People can hear stuff like that?
Apparently I am missing even more than I think I am missing when I listen to classical music.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Those posts have the most polite CIF comments I've ever seen.
posted by rory at 12:43 PM on November 23, 2013


Really? People can hear stuff like that?

Absolutely, though less so today than when Beethoven wrote it. The opening of his very first symphony is famously subversive: it's a symphony in C major, so the most important thing one must do to orient one's listeners (in the Viennese Classical style) is establish the key. Sort of like showing the hero at the start of the epic, but maybe at home relaxing with family before the quest begins--no real plot development, just establishing the main character.

But Beethoven undercuts that in the first chord. If you'll pardon a technical explanation, a C-major scale has no sharp or flat notes in it, it is spelled C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. A C major chord is the first, third, and fifth notes of the C major scale, so C-E-G. But the chord we hear at the very outset of the first is C-E-G-B-flat. WHAT?!? There is no B-flat in C major! Why is that note there?

Beethoven's listeners wouldn't quite have perceived all that, but the addition of the B-flat in that chord destabilizes it, it makes it an incomplete sound because it creates a dissonance (between the E and B-flat) that must be resolved, and his listeners absolutely would have heard it as a sort of weak start that undermines the clear establishment of the subject material of the symphony (remember, the subject is C major). Further, that single B-flat makes it sound like the key is F major, because the chord C-E-G-B-flat most strongly resolves to an F major chord (F-A-C). Which is what happens. So in the first bar it sounds like we're in F major in a C major symphony. Beethoven's listeners would have been all murmer-murmer-what's-with-this-weak-intro, and over the next 90 seconds as he spins out this delightful, patient harmonic progression that finally, at the very end of the introduction, lands solidly in C major, been thrilled at the audacity of it all. And were, by accounts.

People today don't perceive things like that not because it's so complicated and listeners 200 years ago were so much more sophisticated; it's because "playing music" for them meant picking up an instrument and actually using it to make sound yourself (or singing, of course)...for us, it means pushing a button or tapping a screen. There is a profound difference that develops in the acuity of one's aural, musical perceptions once one learns how to and is engaged in the physical act of musicing that is sadly mostly absent today. We still love music as much as ever, we just don't live inside of it like human beings used to.

Also, on topic, thanks for this post. Excellent cultural writing, I can't even imagine an American media outlet running this.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:52 PM on November 23, 2013 [30 favorites]


(I suppose a short answer to your comment, still_wears_a_hat, would be: even if you don't perceive it consciously, you still feel it. The tonal ambiguity still has the intended affect even if you don't recognize it.)
posted by LooseFilter at 12:53 PM on November 23, 2013


Really? People can hear stuff like that?
Apparently I am missing even more than I think I am missing when I listen to classical music.


I once had a conversation with a guy who refused to acknowledge a musical education as an education. Not having any myself, I couldn't raise examples against him. It was infuriating, though I knew that an ear trained in theory, practice, and the history of both can name subtleties that an untrained ear may feel but not explain. It was self-evident that this training took enough time and effort to merit the name of an education.

The most intense theoretical stuff, I suspect, is untangled from the score rather than from performances.

On preview, LooseFilter said it much better than I could. That said, the scene in his third paragraph relies on theoretical knowledge that the more musically adept people of his fourth paragraph wouldn't necessarily have just because they played their own instruments.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:03 PM on November 23, 2013


People today don't perceive things like that not because it's so complicated and listeners 200 years ago were so much more sophisticated; it's because "playing music" for them meant picking up an instrument and actually using it to make sound yourself (or singing, of course)...for us, it means pushing a button or tapping a screen

Add to this the explosion of acceptable, or accepted, chord or cluster combinations in the music around us, no matter whether classical or not, and you have your full explanation. We've gotten used to so many different kinds of musical sounds and styles, and so we don't know any more what - in any music of a specific style - is supposed to surprise us, and what of it is meant to confirm expectations.

In Beethoven's time, in Europe, there existed - somewhat simplified - only one single harmonic language with a fixed set of rules. Everyone had at the very least some kind of intuitive feeling about what was acceptable and what weird in that music. Composers such as Haydn actively added to the fun by laying traps in their music, leading happily anticipating listeners down wrong paths or smashing timpani into their ears when they least expected them.
Beethoven may, as a person, have been a man of puns and (even musical) jokes, but as a composer, he was grimly determined to widen the boundaries not only momentarily (as in a passing joke) but structurally. The "hey what key is this? Jeez, I can't even fathom the meter" - beginning of the 5th symphony is only one example. Listen to the modulating middle part of the first movement of the third Symphony; make this actively a game of trying to guess what happens next (as opposed to just letting the music overwhelm you); the shock factor will surprise you. In fact, most of his music, even the less super-popular works, is stuffed with moments where he presents something ambiguous and explains it only afterwards; where he shifts key between movements in never earlier heard ways; where he exploits ambiguous chords further than any composer before and so on. Quite marvelous, actually, what he did in his music.
posted by Namlit at 1:47 PM on November 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Kudos to LooseFilter for a brilliant exposition of how the trained ear listens to classical music; anyone who wants more would do well to pick up a copy of Charles Rosen's great The Classical Style (1971), which taught me how to think about sonata form many years ago.

> Beethoven may, as a person, have been a man of puns and (even musical) jokes, but as a composer, he was grimly determined to widen the boundaries not only momentarily (as in a passing joke) but structurally. The "hey what key is this? Jeez, I can't even fathom the meter" - beginning of the 5th symphony is only one example. Listen to the modulating middle part of the first movement of the third Symphony; make this actively a game of trying to guess what happens next (as opposed to just letting the music overwhelm you); the shock factor will surprise you.

That's true, but Beethoven didn't come out of nowhere. People underestimate Mozart's radicalism; the finale of the "Great G-minor" (No. 40) is so harmonically wild it includes a twelve-tone row. And for me, the variations-within-a-strict-form of the late 18th century has worn better than the let's-go-wild bombast of the 19th—I can only rarely tolerate listening to the Late Great Symphonies of Beethoven, let alone Mahler and Bruckner and god help us Rachmaninoff, but I'm always up for Haydn or Mozart.
posted by languagehat at 2:24 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


In fact, it's not until the four-note rhythm is played a third time that we really know we're in C minor, rather than what could be E flat major.

Apparently I am missing even more than I think I am missing when I listen to classical music.


Not necessarily. As LooseFilter says, that language about C minor and E flat major isn't something you only hear if you know what those terms mean -- you probably hear it too, that's just an explanation of how what you're hearing works.

It's a little hard in this example because we've all heard the theme of the 5th Symphony, but I'm sure we could find some examples of music you haven't heard before where you'd have a similar "Hey, wait?" feeling because what starts out sounding like it's going to be in major key turns out to actually be minor.
posted by straight at 2:41 PM on November 23, 2013


If only the NYTimes had a classical critic like this dude.

The New Yorker has Alex Ross, whose essay style is similar to Tom Service. Plenty of thrilling "and then The X major suddenly goes to the Y minor!" in his book The Rest is Noise. (Sounds goofy the way I describe it, but it's cool).
posted by ovvl at 2:50 PM on November 23, 2013


We've gotten used to so many different kinds of musical sounds and styles, and so we don't know any more what - in any music of a specific style - is supposed to surprise us, and what of it is meant to confirm expectations.

Yes and no. We've pretty much all heard (whether in movie soundtracks or in some pop music) chord progressions and abrupt modulations that would have seemed weird to Mozart or Beethoven. But for the most part, the pop music we hear sticks to what even they would have considered basic, conservative chord progressions (eg. I-iv-VI-V). When songs use less common progressions, it sounds different or interesting to us, even if there's not much harmonically that we've literally never heard before. And so I think we can still get a lot of the same sense of surprise in hearing Beethoven move around unexpectedly, especially if it's something we haven't already heard several times passively in the background of our lives.
posted by straight at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2013


And for me, the variations-within-a-strict-form of the late 18th century has worn better than the let's-go-wild bombast of the 19th—I can only rarely tolerate listening to the Late Great Symphonies of Beethoven, let alone Mahler and Bruckner and god help us Rachmaninoff, but I'm always up for Haydn or Mozart.

This is highly subjective, of course, but while the chain of influence from Beethoven through Bruckner to Mahler is quite direct and obvious, I still think he's the odd one out in this list. I don't know how to articulate it, but there's a certain intimacy and humanity in Mahler's symphonies, especially the later ones, that I have a much harder time detecting in the others. It's the reason why I'm such a Mahler fan in spite of the fact that I'm not very partial to the symphony as a form.
posted by invitapriore at 2:56 PM on November 23, 2013


And for me, the variations-within-a-strict-form of the late 18th century has worn better than the let's-go-wild bombast of the 19th

I mostly only find that feeling of too much bombast in the symphonies. The chamber music is better at containing all that wild experimentation at a much more human scale. Beethoveen's late string quartets are some of the most wonderful music in the whole world.
posted by straight at 3:02 PM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I still think he's the odd one out in this list. I don't know how to articulate it, but there's a certain intimacy and humanity in Mahler's symphonies

You're absolutely right, and I probably should have left him off my list. Sorry, Gustav!

> I mostly only find that feeling of too much bombast in the symphonies. The chamber music is better at containing all that wild experimentation at a much more human scale. Beethoveen's late string quartets are some of the most wonderful music in the whole world.

Also absolutely right; I was talking only about symphonies (which are, after all, the subject of the thread). I didn't mean to dis Beethoven in general—the chamber music is wonderful. (In general, I tend to prefer chamber to orchestral music these days.)
posted by languagehat at 3:26 PM on November 23, 2013


Thanks for the post. This would make a wonderful podcast1
posted by cacofonie at 4:48 PM on November 23, 2013


This is great (except for the title), and I'm excited to see people here interested in it. Here's my top 10 off the top of my head. Apologies for no Haydn, Mozart, or Shostakovich. I hope to see all of these on Service's list (one already is!).

Beethoven 5
Brahms 4
Bruckner 7
Franck D minor
Ives 4
Lutosławski 3
Nørgård 3
Mahler 9
Messiaen Turangalîla
Sibelius 4
posted by dfan at 5:06 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Excellent list, dfan, I'm especially glad to see the Ives and Lutosławski included (and the Messiaen, but that's kind of a gimme, one hears Turangalîla everywhere once you know it and can recognize its influence--a musical Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, I suppose).

I'm also glad Service has included Berio's Sinfonia and would submit for inclusion also John Adams Harmonielehre (whose sound world has reached surprising levels of cultural saturation) and I really think La Mer should count as a symphony, so I'd put it on my list too. Beyond those two suggestions I'm paralyzed with indecision.
posted by LooseFilter at 5:31 PM on November 23, 2013


I'm a singer, and so the symphonies I am most intimately familiar with are those that have a choral component. And of THOSE, the one I am MOST intimately familiar with is Beethoven 9, because the symphony orchestra I'm associated with performs it every year. I know every note of that symphony. Probably not coincidentally, I love it deeply and profoundly. I don't know if I'd say it changed classical music, but I think it's one of the finest examples of the form ever written -- even if my position right behind the clarinets means that I often find recordings to have the strings bothersomely high and the winds bothersomely low in the mix.

(Also loved: tchaikovsky 4, sibelius 2, brahms 2)

(oh and mahler 8, see above)

(and while we're mentioning it, Mozart 40, which I realize is almost a cliche, but the first movement of that piece really is just about the most textbook example of a classical allegro movement ever)
posted by KathrynT at 5:37 PM on November 23, 2013


Really? People can hear stuff like that?

Oh, I'll bet you hear it without realizing it.

Compare: you see graphic design all over the place, but unless you're a graphic designer, you don't fully comprehend exactly what makes it work so effectively.

When you don't know how to talk analytically about melody and harmony, it sounds forbiddingly technical. But it's no more special than the fact that babies can perceive colors and shapes before they learn words like "green" and "circle."
posted by John Cohen at 7:20 PM on November 23, 2013


People underestimate Mozart's radicalism; the finale of the "Great G-minor" (No. 40) is so harmonically wild it includes a twelve-tone row.

Yep. The opening melody of his Piano Concerto #24 (not just something buried in a finale) uses all 12 notes.
posted by John Cohen at 7:26 PM on November 23, 2013


And for me, the variations-within-a-strict-form of the late 18th century has worn better than the let's-go-wild bombast of the 19th—I can only rarely tolerate listening to the Late Great Symphonies of Beethoven, let alone Mahler and Bruckner and god help us Rachmaninoff, but I'm always up for Haydn or Mozart.

I agree with this except the part about late Beethoven symphonies.
posted by John Cohen at 7:28 PM on November 23, 2013


People keep mentioning Sibelius, but am I only one who cares about his 1st and 6th?
posted by John Cohen at 7:31 PM on November 23, 2013


Well, looks like I have some listening and reading to do.

Glad to see Shostakovich included, but I'm not personally familiar with the 15th. I love Shostakovich's 5th and 11th — the 11th's Allegro is my go-to example of how viscerally powerful music can be, with its machine-gun snares and those trombone glissandos that almost induce nausea. It's terrifying, in the best way possible.
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:55 PM on November 23, 2013


and the Messiaen, but that's kind of a gimme, one hears Turangalîla everywhere once you know it and can recognize its influence
It's interesting how influential the Turangalîla has been in retrospect, given how transgressive it was at the time. It's hard to imagine other concert music in 1949 (when it was premiered) by a recognized world-class composer being so unabashedly emotional and, to be honest, kind of crass (while at the same time some movements were quite experimental). I think that Messiaen's willingness to both be avant-garde but also have no compunction about putting his heart on his sleeve was way ahead of his time. You don't really see other composers acting like that to that degree until Rochberg in the 70s, but by now it seems pretty normal. I look forward to Service's discussion of it - I'll be very disappointed if he leaves it out.
posted by dfan at 8:29 PM on November 23, 2013


I love classial music but find the sheer array of choice overwhelming, so I would like to thank everyone in this thread for giving me some specific pieces to look into. And the OP, of course.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 10:07 PM on November 23, 2013


Really? People can hear stuff like that?

It's more about relative major/minor than any specific key, which is pretty easy to hear. The problem is that the 5th is so pervasive that it's hard to imagine the first few bars as major, when we already know that the symphony continues in minor. Also, nobody sits there thinking "C minor?! I thought this was going to be in Eb major!" It's a feeling more than a concrete thought, as with most things in music.

Personally, I never even considered the ambiguity of the intro, but it totally makes sense.
posted by archagon at 2:24 AM on November 24, 2013


I wonder how much music composers back in the day were exposed to. I mean, of course, they could always play other composers' music on the keyboard, but it's not like you could go hear a symphony every day. Whereas now, I see lists like this one, or the Rolling Stone top 500 albums, or the IMDB top 250, and I think — oh shit, I've only experienced 1% of these works! Am I behind? Is there enough time?! It feels like I'm missing some sort of sacred duty, but it's really kind of gluttonous, in a way. I mean, who do I think I am to expect the best art humanity has ever produced to be streamed directly into my filthy bedroom — especially when the masters who produced it barely got a glimpse of it at all? And yet...
posted by archagon at 2:42 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much music composers back in the day were exposed to…they could always play other composers' music on the keyboard...now, I see lists like this one, or the Rolling Stone top 500 albums, or the IMDB top 250, and I think — oh shit, I've only experienced 1% of these works! Am I behind? Is there enough time?!

That's a little what I was trying to address here above.
We do have a fair amount of information about the frequency of official concerts in the central cities such as, say Vienna, Paris, London, Leipzig etc., at given times. There are also personal reports of Music Heard and Music Played in both concert and non-concert settings from various times (prime example Pepys' diaries, or Charles Burneys 1770s musical travels through Europe).
So as far as we can see, exposure for the truly interested was guaranteed in one form or another - but it was much more focused on one overarching style with some (at the time and for the people: clear) national variations, whereas today, we do have to keep up with so many lists, there is no end to it.

Also: composers write music, and so they're able to read music. Many don't need instruments to get an impression of what a piece is like. To get hold of printed (or earlier mostly hand-copied) music by others was a huge thing for musicians for a long time, for learning, understanding, and ultimately contributing to the reigning musical style (traveling or "imported" musicians did the rest...). This applies (roughly) to European music from very early on (I'm thinking f.i. of the pan-European Dowland fad) up until the 20th century when recording kicked in.
posted by Namlit at 3:55 AM on November 24, 2013


I wonder how much music composers back in the day were exposed to…they could always play other composers' music on the keyboard...now, I see lists like this one, or the Rolling Stone top 500 albums, or the IMDB top 250, and I think — oh shit, I've only experienced 1% of these works! Am I behind? Is there enough time?!

You're exposed to so much more music than they were. Everyone commenting in this thread has heard a wider range of classical music than Beethoven heard, and that's even aside from all sorts of other genres that didn't exist until the 20th Century like jazz and rock and electronica. Beethoven's musical background was impoverished next to ours.
posted by John Cohen at 4:49 AM on November 24, 2013


Really? People can hear stuff like that?

It's more about relative major/minor than any specific key, which is pretty easy to hear.


Yeah, my previous comment about this should have been clearer: you can already hear this kind of thing in terms of relative pitch (as opposed to absolute pitch), even if you can't describe it. That is, you're affected by the ambiguity about whether the symphony starts in major or minor. (Think of it this way: even if you can't confidently tell me whether a particular song is in a major or minor key, I'll bet you could hear the difference if I took a major-key song you were familiar with and switched it to a minor key. So it has still made an impact on you, no matter how you'd score on a music-theory test.) But can most people tell that the symphony starts with G, E-flat, etc.? No, but that's mostly beside the point.
posted by John Cohen at 4:52 AM on November 24, 2013


Beethoven's musical background was impoverished next to ours.

And yet ...
posted by Wolof at 4:54 AM on November 24, 2013


... yet we're also deprived: we don't have the chance to be what Beethoven or Mozart were. They got there first, and it doesn't do much good to rehash it. Still, we aren't appreciative enough of the fabulous musical riches we're surrounded by, which are largely very cheap or even free. When it comes to the ability to hear a wide variety of music, just living in present-day society is an unfathomable luxury.
posted by John Cohen at 4:58 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly sure Bach, Beethoven and Mozart had better ears and better training than anyone in this thread. They also had to overcome the "anxiety of influence", to wheel out a superannuated phrase, which they achieved by creating something new on their own terms.

Genius — and I don't think that's too strong an expression relating to this kind of bod — will find its own way. These people permitted and enabled further expression rather than blocked it.

Mozart exhausted the possibility of being Mozart. But without him, this would have remained nothing but a potential.
posted by Wolof at 5:12 AM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly sure Bach, Beethoven and Mozart had better ears and better training than anyone in this thread.

Well, probably not Beethoven. Not the ear, anyway.
posted by KathrynT at 8:37 AM on November 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


especially when the masters who produced it barely got a glimpse of it at all?

We do live in a time of unprecedented wealth in terms of access to works of the imagination. But it has, as I mentioned earlier, weirdly disconnected us....great creative work is now just another thing to consume rather than something really to pay attention to and get inside. And so much has been lost--in terms of richness of individual experience--by so many people never picking up an instrument and just learning to play a little bit (or a lot) for themselves. You do learn to hear music better (with greater acuity and understanding) when you play music yourself, at whatever skill level. Especially when you play with others. You just hear more.

The embarrassment of riches in terms of access (which I celebrate) has unfortunately created a sort of shallowness in so many people's listening. As the eminent music scholar Richard Crawford has said over and over again, perception of form is key to a meaningful musical experience. Popular music, no matter time or place, very much tends to be strophic in form, that is to say organized in a verse/chorus format that is universally recognizable. Whether one is aware of this or not, the first thing most people recognize when we hear a new song is that it is a song, and that is a particular musical form. This creates a set of expectations in a listener, of how this sound will be organized (intro, verse, chorus, etc.); the ways that these expectations are confirmed or defeated is part of the fun of listening.

Beethoven's listeners had the same familiarity with and expectations for much longer forms, e.g. sonata form (often found in the first movements of symphonies), so they could follow his train of thought, so to speak, even if only generally. So his surprises were surprises to his listeners, because they had expectations beforehand. Listeners today, because we mostly only listen to strophic forms, have relatively shallow perceptions of musical form and thus miss a lot when listening to longer, narrative forms, and are often simply confused by them. (This is where so many finding classical music "boring" originates, in my experience--to call Beethoven boring is to admit you just can't follow his train of thought....there are lots of fair criticisms to level at Beethoven's music, but boring really isn't rightly one of them. Even if you get it and just hate it, I don't think there is much you could legitimately call boring about his creative choices.)

So when I introduce people (mostly students) to symphonic, developmental music, we talk about form a LOT and it's transformational. To see the light bulbs go off when listeners can finally follow a musical idea, can follow musical development, and the delight that ensues, is wonderful. But that kind of musical awareness is what has been lost in the general listening population with the vast and ready availability of professional recorded music.


Well, probably not Beethoven.

I know it was a jest, but I would bet that Beethoven's ability to audiate sound (his musical imagination, one's real musical 'ear') was better than just about anyone's, even after he couldn't hear any physical sound anymore. Which makes it that much worse for him to have suffered such a loss, of course.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:40 AM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would bet that Beethoven's ability to audiate sound (his musical imagination, one's real musical 'ear') was better than just about anyone's, even after he couldn't hear any physical sound anymore.

Truly. He wrote the Ninth after he was basically deaf as a post, and it contains some of the most beautiful musical writing of the tradition. The singers I know (myself included) joke about his deafness, saying it explains some of his . . . peculiar . . . voice-leading choices during the fugue, but the truth is that his deafness had nothing to do with it, Beethoven just didn't have the skill of writing particularly for the voice. But despite that, the opening of the fourth movement of the Ninth has that beautiful quasi-recitativo conversation between the cellos/basses and the rest of the orchestra, in which the orchestra keeps offering up musical ideas from the first three movements and the low strings keep shooting them down, and then they argue, and then everyone looks like they're going to quit in a huff, until the baritone stands up and says "O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!" It's such a beautiful moment, and as you say, can only possibly be the product of an incredibly sensitive musical ear.
posted by KathrynT at 10:48 AM on November 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


The best introduction to musical form in Beethoven also happens to be the funniest: New Horizons in Music Appreciation. In addition to being hilarious it's also totally accurate in showing how an educated listener would perceive the interesting aspects of the 5th symphony on a first hearing.
posted by dfan at 12:09 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


dfan, that was fantastic. Thanks for the link!
posted by archagon at 1:32 PM on November 24, 2013


"Oh, of course, Pete, and you know, this is a very important victory for Heiliger Dankgesang. It puts him right up there at the top of the Conductor's League."

Perfect, so perfect. Haven't listened to that in years, thanks dfan.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:43 PM on November 24, 2013


the 50 symphonies that changed classical music

I was not aware that classical music had changed 50 times. I'll have to listen to it all again--in chronological order.
posted by neuron at 2:48 PM on November 24, 2013


Along similar but non-humorous lines, if anyone here has an iOS device, I can totally recommend the Beethoven 9 app. It lets you view the score, a visualization of which orchestral groups are playing, or a synchronized play-by-play, and those options are all available for four different performances from Fricsay, Karajan, Bernstein and Gardiner. The free version gives you a two-minute excerpt from the second movement so you can check it out. I'm not at all affiliated with the makers, I just think it's one of the coolest things in the app store.
posted by invitapriore at 2:48 PM on November 24, 2013


"He thinks it's an oboe concerto!!" Like LooseFilter, I hadn't listened to that in years, and it was great to hear it again. "They'll be playing in the Twelve-Tone Series..."
posted by languagehat at 5:46 PM on November 24, 2013


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