23 March 2009

You Might Be a Music Nerd If...

...you hear a symphony on the radio that causes you to war with yourself trying to guess who wrote it. You know that the harmonies and melodies are absolutely Mozartean, but something just sounds off, and ninteenth-century-ish. But the harmonic language is just not ninteenth century! You are driving yourself crazy wondering what it is.

Suddenly you realize it is Mozart, and the thing making it sound nineteenth-century-ish is that the recording is of a large orchestra using modern instruments. You have become so accustomed to recordings using period instruments in period-sized orchestras that an alteration in the shape and number of violins makes even the well-known Jupiter Symphony sound weird and unfamiliar, at least until you hear that thunderbolt figure.

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