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Adagio For Strings: thoughts on music

David and I, though we work well together on so many levels, don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything; music is one area in which our tastes intersect in some genres but wildly differ in others. Even in classical music our tastes diverge quite a bit; he isn’t into opera for instance.

This evening he’s playing Barber’s “Adagio For Strings”. I like the original classical version; he prefers the William Orbit remix. He dislikes the original because “it doesn’t go anywhere” and doesn’t really get why it would be suitable to be played at several funerals I’ve attended; I contend that it’s precisely because it doesn’t ever reach a true climax or resolution that it’s perfect for a funeral, because life doesn’t reach a resolution either. Life doesn’t end tidily. It tails off or else cuts off leaving you bereft.

The lack of resolution in the piece pisses him off. I find it almost… comforting.

I do need to be in the right frame of mind to listen to it though, because otherwise it can quite easily reduce me to a sobbing wreck. Sometimes it can be a very cathartic piece for me for that reason. Music for me always has an emotional dimension; I cannot listen to music dispassionately. Depending on my mood, there is some music I simply cannot listen to because I can feel it affecting my mood adversely, keying up anxiety and disquieting me.

We both get very different things from music.

(We both agree the Blaster Jaxx Tiesto remix of Adagio is sheer, unremitting shit however.)


About arkadyrose

Genderqueer artist, singer, musician, writer, tailor, mead-mazer and doll crafter living in Walthamstow, NE London.


2 thoughts on “Adagio For Strings: thoughts on music

  1. This came from listening to the William Orbit electronic-classical version, and the Ferry Corsten remix of same. It’s been stuck in my head for the last week and I just played it to A and ranted about it. AAARGH it’s like AN EXERCISE IN NOT RESOLVING.

    Music, it’s a tricky beast.

    Posted by davidgerard | Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 11:22 pm
  2. I agree with David on opera and Adagio for strings, but disagree with both of you on Tiesto – I *adore* that version, but I do like me some trance 🙂

    Posted by faerierhona | Thursday, July 11, 2013, 10:37 am

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