Rossini summed it up: “Wagner has wonderful moments, but dreadful quarters of an hour.”
In the chilling “Offertory,” Britten pairs the Latin text, which speaks of sacrifice and praise to God, with Owen’s “Parable of the Old Man and the Young,” a retelling of the story of Abraham and Isaac.
You will not find restraint in Rachmaninoff. His emotionalism is bare and raw, and the listener used to or expecting subtlety will be disappointed.
So this is sex music, then? Please. Beethoven doesn’t care about your orgasm. In fact, he doesn’t care about you altogether. Or anyone else, for that matter. Not here. Not in the Musical Realm. Nature is the Almighty here, and Beethoven is Her conduit. You’re lucky enough to be in the path of their combined creative force.
Mahler acts as a 120-piece orchestral therapist, allowing you to explore your melancholy, to know it, and ultimately to fold it into your own personal account of the human condition. They say Mozart makes babies smarter, but no one trains the emotional intelligence like Gustav Mahler.
For years now the aggravating habit of correcting the mispronunciation of foreign words has been seeping into the realm of acceptable behavior like pus seeping into an infected wound.