Thursday, March 5, 2009

Everyone Needs a Little Raisin Brahms

In my undergraduate class, we've been discussing the creation of the canon of Western music. (One reason why they are writing listening journals is to explore items outside that canon) When we got to Johannes Brahms on Monday, we discussed how instrumental he was in solidifying the notion that older composers needed to be studied, performed, and performed properly. This kind of veneration of older composers froze Brahms when he went to write his own symphonies; he saw himself in Beethoven's long shadow and took twenty years to finish his first symphony. I'm sure, then, that he'd be glad to see the same kind of veneration continues today, just now directed at him: