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  Bad Pieces  piargno at 21:38 on 21 August 2006

I think we should have a little fun and start listing pieces that we personally feel should never have been composed for one reason or another...

I'd like to kick it off with Pachelbel's Cannon in D. As a pianist/organist who has played in over 50 weddings, I've never enjoyed this rambling passacaglia that is incorrectly titled. Additionally, I love playing it incorrectly, and having no one notice because all the masses really care about is the opening gesture. If I had a third hand, this piece would get three thumbs down. Unfortunately, I will be "playing" this fly for the rest of my life if my wedding gigs continue to blossom...

Next, and this may tee some people off, is the Franck piano quintet. You know, the melodramatic one about a girl he loved that he could never be with, and Saint-Saens knew what it was about during the premier, and he got uncomfortable and left (kinda' like with the Rite, but with less ruckus). If I were that girl, I'd hang my head in shame that someone wrote such an awkwardly repetitive, awkwardly developed, shallowly dramatic, inept, cliche for me. Then I'd probably say to Franck, "That piece just adds to the many reasons why you can't be with me." Luckily, I've only heard the first mvt, and that's long enough...

  Re: Bad Pieces  scott_good at 13:58 on 22 August 2006

well...i must admit that i think the "cannon" is clever - so clever that it has eluded you to that it is indeed a cannon - 3 voice with a repeating bass line (follow the upper 3 lines - 8 bar cannon.

i think that we tend to hate these pieces because the world has rammed them down our throats

i think the piece i have hated most was when i went to a concert of electro acoustic music - already a dangerous venture - and, after 3 hours of everyones latest contribution to 16 channel splendor, the final composer subjected us all to 25 minutes of recorded fan sounds, slowly moving between channels.

200 audience members reduced to about 20. I, being a "delegate", remained out of respect.

Man, the beer tasted great after that show!

  Re: Bad Pieces  piargno at 15:18 on 22 August 2006

While the upper three voices are in canon with each other, the piece on the whole is not a strict canon. But even if it were, the fact that it is so harmonically base makes it sound more like a round (like Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Dona Nobis Pacem, both of which are more interesting than the Pachelbel Canon). I guess when I think of Canons, I immediately shoot to the Goldberg Variations.

Your electroacoustic experience sounds pretty horrendous indeed. But why go for beer when there's whiskey? Liquor is quicker!!! (:-))

  Re: Bad Pieces  scott_good at 21:04 on 28 August 2006

Bourbon + beer…

Now we’re talk’n, american style, oh yah.

Ah… the days when a mixture like that would loosen the stings of creative and intense conversations, somewhat like what goes on these forums, but with the rat-de-tat of vigorous, live exchanges.

Now, beer is about all this boy wants. Liquor is punishing – no forgiveness.

OK…so, just because when I was about 10 years old, and thought that my recording of a brass arrangement of the insidious canon (ok, round, but not passacaglia) was the $#!+, I must defend it further.

What is wrong with this work? I think that it has nice shape – starts with long notes, scalar motion, gets faster, the range is developed, and then, returns to long notes, with the melody utilizing larger intervals, and further use of syncopation.

I think it is a fine example of a composition that utilizes rhythm and range to define form and drama without having the use of harmonic development + it is a clever round.

It’s all good…not great, but certainly rivals row-row-row….


(note: I cannot believe I am defending this little piece…always rooting for the underdog)

  Re: Bad Pieces  at385 at 10:24 on 29 August 2006

I agree about the Pachabel, I play an arangement of it for flute and piano at weddings and find it quite enjoyable! However, I don't particularly like listening to it! I think the same is true of lots of good music that has been overplayed for commercial reasons - the Four Seasons for example.

I also strongly disagree about the Cesar Franck piano quintet. I think it is fantastic, the first movement is so powerful as the climaxes surge before building to an almighty moment. A great piece in my opinion.

  Re: Bad Pieces  scott_good at 04:11 on 30 August 2006

yes - vivaldi's 4 seasons is in my opinion, a masterful composition

but, not only are we bombarded by endless broadcasts in elevators, but also most perforamnces suck.

i heard this work played a couple of years ago by some young players who were attending the banff summer festival - they were keen on baroque performance practice, played on older instruments, and fully realized that one should aproach music of this era with great "affection of emtotion".

Seriously memorable playing - electric, passionate, sincere.

This music makes so much more sence when it is played this way.

  Re: Bad Pieces  dunkinwedd at 15:01 on 06 September 2006

If you hate (or indeed like!) the Pachelbel, you might like this (semi-)affectionate tribute:

NB It's a 2.75 meg download - don't try it on your dial-up :-).

Its full title is 'Scherzo (Canonballs)' which may give you the flavour...