Remembrances of Actual Things

Monday was, probably, Chopin’s birthday. His music is unquestionably great, and there is a mildly interesting round up of writing about him here. I do find it odd that Anne Midgette feels she must argue that the composer’s work “isn’t fragile.” It’s the embarrassing problem Camille Paglia has with Debussy, that he’s somehow a sissy. Now, Paglia is a fool and obsessed with a shallow idea of gender, on top of which she clearly has never actually listened to Debussy. Midgette knows music well enough, I have the feeling that the problem is more on the editorial side. The Washington Post is pretty weak GOP toilet paper nowadays, and perhaps the editors felt it was time to give their readers in the materialist, ruling elite a break from the everyday grind of deciding how to screw with citizen’s lives and offer them a little kultur. And clearly the contemporary GOP is onanistically obsessed with masculine signifiers. But anyone who has actually listened to Chopin played well, with generous amounts of bashing and overall frenzy, knows that this brilliant composer would have kicked the CPAC convention up and down the sidewalk, while sipping tea. Enjoy:


I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.