Friday, April 4, 2014

Alphabetic Ordering Makes Strange Bedfellows

As I continue to use "Schwann's Way" to keep my CD collection in order, I am occasionally amused by the sorts of adjacencies that result for the process, particularly when it comes to ordering by the composer's last name. I have written about this in the past, but I am always interested in seeing what happens when a new composer enters the ordering. In this case the new composer is Dan Becker, by virtue of the fact that I had written about (and enjoyed) his new CD Fade on my national site at the end of last month. One the one hand he is preceded by Amy Beach. (She entered the ranks several years ago when I was working on her Opus 15 Sketches.) On the other side is the beginning of a generous run of Ludwig van Beethoven. However, because, within a composer, the ordering is determined by the title of the first piece, Becker is rubbing shoulder's with the Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II, in other words this relatively seasoned modernist has been placed next to a very early effort of Beethoven. This was probably something that Beethoven showed to Haydn when the latter passed through Bonn in 1790 on his way back from London to Vienna. It probably got Haydn's attention, because there is a distinct family resemblance of some of the music that Haydn would later compose for his Hoboken XXI/2 oratorio The Creation!

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