Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Oct. 23

Letter: Classical music


I’d like to respond to a column by Wil Williams regarding his rant on classical music.

Prescott has always been a thriving community for the arts. I have been a champion of classical music ever since my early youth, and have found some of the greatest classical music opportunities in our town for an aspiring composer. With so many classical music champions in our town, Mr. Williams’ criticisms don’t hold up very well with our community members. To us, he has no authority on the subject.

Regarding the apparent dull names of classical pieces, I ask this: Why does the name of a piece hold such importance? Is the veracity of music not in its notes, inner workings, and composition? The greatness of a piece relies not a single bit on its title. If you can’t keep names of pieces straight, that is not the composer’s fault.

It is no surprise to me that the concept of a fugue or a sonata evades you — but then again, complicated subjects evade all of us that are not in our fields of specialty. For example, I have no idea how to balance chemical equations — but a chemist does. To the learned classical musician, the idea of a fugue is not some nonsensical ridiculousness.

Perhaps instead of listening to classical music with a beer and in your underwear, Mr. Williams, you should listen to it with an open and critical mind. No coattails required. When your most veracious criticisms of classical music are about Beethoven’s hair, I and all of Prescott’s musicians find it hard to give your opinions any weight.

Mathew Lanning

Prescott Valley

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