Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Ol’ Robbo, a long time listener to (and supporter of) the local classical station, can’t help but notice that it recently has started a campaign to insert into its regular rotation the musick of John Knowles Paine (pictured to the right).
Who he, you ask? Whelp, you can go to the wiki link above, but the bottom line is that he was a late 19th Century Romantic who was part of the first real school of ‘Murican Art Musick, a group known as the Boston Six.
Frankly, Paine’s work has little appeal to Ol’ Robbo. As a general matter, I’m no great fan of late Romantic musick (although I do appreciate composers such as Saint-Saens.) In particular, from what I have heard of Paine’s work so far, it seems to be particularly goopy and twee, heavy on the atmosphere but light on the substance, much like the writings of Emerson and Thoreau: freakin’ sanctimonious proto-hippy beatniks.
Nonetheless, I appreciate what the LCS is doing here. If it were not for them, ol’ Robbo’s general knowledge of musick would be that much narrower. And it’s not as if they (the station) exclusively push more modernski stuff: I’ve seen this same effort before in recent years on the part of both Ignaz Pleyel, a student and (failed) rival of Papa Haydn, as well as Johann Baptist Georg Neruda, a mid-18th Century composer who wrote some very nice trio sonatas, but apparently had a bad reputation for unreliability and never amounted to much of anything.
And speaking of Saint-Saens, how about the “Bacchanale” from his Samson and Delilah? Always gets me swaying and thumping (well, at least when nobody’s looking):