Listening, 2/11/09

I am beginning to detect a pattern to the stack of CDs on my desk: they are lackluster works that did not appeal to me on first listening, and my giving them all a second chance does not seem to be helping.

My most recent trudge is through Music for Quiet Listening, a Mercury Living Presence re-release. As I’ve noted before, the contents are the winners of the Edward B. Benjamin Award for Restful Music, and no, I’m not making that up. It was given from 1953 to 1971 at the Eastman School of Music to that student composer whose composition seemed “best to introduce restfulness in the listener.” How they made it through that difficult time in music is beyond me.

Anyway, the pieces on the CD are soggy modal meanderings that I honestly cannot distinguish one from another. There are twelve of them, and I could not tell when one ended and the next began. I’d look down at the stereo and see that somehow we’d made it from track 3 to track 8 without my noticing.

Ginny pointed out that most of it sounds like 1930s movie soundtracks, and I swear track 7, “Larghetto,” by one Paul Earls, was used in Plan 9 from Outer Space.

So, another CD on the giveaway pile. Next up: Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3.

2 thoughts on “Listening, 2/11/09

  1. If there were 12 pieces of music on the CD and they were the result of an award given from 1953-1971, does that mean there were years nothing was good enough to make even this CD ( assuming it was an annual award)? It was during the 60’s after all.

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