Sunday, September 26, 2010

My first Fisk

New Fisk:
In art, I was always a subversive. Told about the genius of Mozart, I would demand to hear Bruckner's Fourth in E flat major or Mahler's Second in C minor, the "Resurrection" (Klemperer, of course).

When my music teacher wanted me to study Sibelius, I insisted on listening to the symphonies of Carl Nielsen. (They were at least Finnish contemporaries.) Push Delibes at me, and I demanded Albert Roussel's Symphony No 3. I couldn't stand the silly plots of 18th-century opera. Most of all, I couldn't stand to have music chosen for me. If I was supposed to like Vaughan Williams, I would choose Britten.

Occasionally, I got it right. Britten, for example.
Ah yes, but Nielsen was Danish. And how is preferring Britten to Vaughan Williams getting it right? It is not a contest. As for Metsu or Vermeer, what about Cuyp and Hals?

Or what about Frank Zappa and Steve Allen?


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

If that's a fisk, you should stick to celibacy.

Stephen Stratford said...

Fisk's accuracy on Nielsen's nationality is a marker for his accuracy on other subjects.

And yes, why do we have to choose between Britten and Vaughan Williams? As you say, it is not a contest. Some of us like some of one or the other; some of us some of like both. Some of us even like most of both plus all of Birtwistle.

I did like this Fisk sentence: "I'm not sure, on balance, whether I can really put Metsu above Vermeer." Phew. That will reassure the art-history crowd that they haven't all got it wrong for the last three and a half centuries.

Stephen Stratford said...

"Some of us like some of one or the other; some of us some of like both."

Doh. What I meant was: "Some of us like some of one or the other; some of us like some of both."

Paul said...

It does make one wonder; anybody who would make that blunder invites suspicion. After all, Nielsen is known as a nationalist composer and it is not as if his name could be mistaken for that of a Finn. Mr Fisk is trying to convince us he is erudite and falling on his face at the first paragraph.

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