[thebigjewel] Brahms' Other Lullabies - June 18, 2008

  • From: "The Big Jewel" <list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <thebigjewel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 07:58:09 -0600 (MDT)

Welcome to The Big Jewel, which, if read aloud, is guaranteed to put
babies to sleep. Speaking of creatures who scream like banshees and need
to have their diapers changed every few minutes, you may think the lives
of the great composers are filled with nothing but debauchery and luxury.
Debauchery, yes. Luxury, no. These geniuses were by and large tortured
souls. As Bonzo Dog Band member Neil Innes once put it, "I suffered for my
art; now it's your turn." Never have we seen this proposition illustrated
more clearly than in Tyler Smith's piece for us this week:

Brahms' Other Lullabies

By Tyler Smith

Lullaby in D-flat major

Begun in the dulcet triple meter of his most renowned berceuse (the
Wiegenlied, opus 94, #4), this misbegotten piece by Brahms veers astray
when he eschews the conservative chromaticism of the traditional lullaby
and opts for a more aggressive atonal approach. Eighth notes cluster in
the upper registers, dissonantly burping out in random ostinato sprays, as
Brahms, at wit's end, tries to soothe "Big" Bertha Faber's illegitimate
infant while she goes out to settle a score with her pimp...

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