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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

These are some of my Favorite Things by John von Daler


               There is a saying in Danish (and perhaps a similar one in English?) that the Best is the Enemy of the Good. I thought of this immediately when an old friend who happens to be a great art historian and an excellent teacher asked if I thought any composers should not be as highly-touted as they are.
               When I thought through all the composers I knew well or fairly well, I could not find it in my heart to remove even one from my list of all-time greats. Perhaps some are underrated or not well enough known: I love many of the waltzes of the French composer, #Waldteufel, who perhaps is not as famous as he should be. Nor are some other French composers rated highly enough in international esteem as they should be; I might raise the value of #Poulenc or #Satie a notch or two if given the chance. But really, deceased composers find a place to be in our cultural room and that suits me fine. I see no need to move them around.
                I have started an author page on Goodreads. Part of my preparation has been to go through the books I have read - and to rate them. No fun, no fun. Who do I think I am, ranking The Taming of the Shrew after King Lear or knocking my old teacher Philip #Roth down a notch or two occasionally? Why should I rate these at all? What brilliant work! Let them be. The Best is the Enemy of the Good.
                When I told my friend my opinion about composers, I asked him if any painters should be devalued a bit. #Monet, he said. But then, my friend lives in France. He might even be tired of fois gras.

               

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