Wednesday, October 08, 2008

You Really Have to Read This

No, not this.


Mudflats. "Tiptoeing through the muck of Alaskan politics," as his header says. If you have any curiosity at all about Sarah Palin, that's the place to start. is also very handy.

Sarah Palin is a facinating woman. Or rather the plural, women, because the media has given us a picture of one person and she's really another. This is not all that uncommon.

For example, there's Tracy Morrow.

One of the highlights of my concert-going years was seeing and hearing him do Cop Killer before he took it out of circulation due to the controversy it stirred up. The following summer Mudhoney revived it because it was the only way anyone would get to hear it again.

Now of course the man who wrote that woefully misunderstood song plays one of the most famous cops on television.

Another and probably better example is Bob Crane.

The affable "Hogan" was really a demented sex addict who was mysteriously murdered in his shabby Scottsdale apartment; a crime yet unsolved.

By the way, the actor who played Colonel Klink, Werner Klemperer, son of famous conductor Otto Klemperer, was an expert classical violinist, not just a dufus on a television show.

Klemperer the elder was known infamously for his slow tempo choices and critics were disdainful of that even while admiring his greatness. He was truly one of the giants among orchestral conductors of the middle of the last century and his recordings continue to be cherished.

His 1957 recording of the Beethoven "Pastoral Symphony" is particularly relaxed in tempo during the second movement. It's my reference recording. It sounds so right to me. Perfect. I had a copy on vinyl when I was a kid so that may have something to do with my love for his realization, because I listened to it so many times.

Or more likely it was something like this, taken from the link:

In 1951 he was not a great conductor; in 1957 he was. In attempting to work out the metronome speeds of the 1957 performance I came up against the fact that he allows himself continual breathing space, he moves backwards and forwards in his tempi but with such naturalness that most people seem not even to notice it. The first movement is hardly slower than before, and the second movement has the same tempo, but the actual timings are considerably longer. He also has a quite different style of string playing, much less staccato, much deeper in the bow. This restless, wandering man had found a stability in has last period which corresponded to that which the post-war public needed. He finds in this music a heartfelt thanks for deliverance from the terrors of the past and a prayer for a better future.

That's it, really.

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