Over the holidays I got a "World's greatest overtures" type album, and finally, last night, I kicked back to listen to it. Many years ago, back at the dawn of time, I fell afoul of an extremely good music teacher and took three years of music appreciation (heavy on the western classical), and music theory. So between that and the oboe playing I'd heard and/or played most of the stuff on the album. It has been far too long since I listened to it. Far. Too. Long.
Then the 1812 Overture started up. Some people don't know (or don't care), that the overture quite accurately tells the story of Napoleon's invasion of Russia, and subsequent ass-kicking. Like, traces troop movements and battles and stuff. Musically, a Russian folk song and the Russian national anthem duke it out with the French national anthem and of course the Russian folk song wins with great flourish at the end. Tchaikovsky was a freakin' genius.
Last night I found myself falling back on an old listening-method from music appreciation class, 'retell the story you're hearing in the music'. Of course the poor husbeast was stuck with me. (He knows the song; his family is very musical. Like degrees and careers and stuff.)
He had no idea what I was listening to (headphones), when I looked at him and said "Peace... and quiet." Then, "Uh oh. Some Frenchie just stuck his dumbass foot over the Russian border from Lithuania. The oboes are pissed. The cellos aren't happy either." He looked at me oddly for a moment, then started laughing when he figured out what I HAD to be listening to.
"The French just realized everything around them is on fire and their supply line is two thousand miles long." That got an eye roll.
"DAAAAAH, da da da da, dah dah dah dah!"
"Uh oh, drums. It's their ass, now."
This went on quite some time. Sekhmet jumped off me and stalked away when the cannon fire started. At the end, I turned to the husbeast and said "And that's kicking your ass!" He laughed and said I needed to get a grip.
One should always participate when listening, I always say.
Really. If you haven't listened to it, do. Good stuff.
I'm also the barbarian that once listened to a pipe organ at the Hawaiian State Theater play Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor and at the end, yelled "YEAH. That's what I'm talking about! That's REAL music!" (It was a charity viewing of a monster movie; someone with a sense of humor had arranged the pipe organ. I'm not a TOTAL barbarian.)
Now I'm gonna go listen to Tannhauser and sing lyrics from "What's Opera, Doc?"
Be vewy qwiet. I'm hunting wabbits.