4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Please don't tell me about your influences

Things seem to end up being unfair to both the old and new works.

Milli Vanilli
Milli Vanilli

If there is one idea that gets me worked up, it’s the “inspired by” idea or the “based upon” idea.

O Brother Where Art Thou borrows incidents and characters from Homer’s Odyssey but I’d rather them not proclaim that at the top of the movie. Why? It borrows from the cache of The Odyssey without earning it.

Tell your story first and then reveal to us that you based it on The Odyssey.

Furthermore, when you tell me something is based on the Odyssey I’m going to expect a whole lot of killin’ at the end. As you may know, Odysseus killed all the suitors. After that he had the female servants, who were sexing it up with the suitors the entire time, clean up the corpses and remove all the blood before hanging them — hanging the female servants that is, not the corpses.

That part wasn’t in the movie.

What does this have to do with classical music? Every now and then we get a piece of music that is based on or inspired by another greater piece of music.

I’m thinking of two examples. One is David Lang’s Little Matchgirl Passion which is influenced by Bach’s St. Matthew's Passion and the other is An Untitled Opera based on the story of Milli Vanilli. This untitled work is a reconfiguration of Wagner’s Meistersinger.

Both these pieces have their own merits and bringing up Bach and Wagner immediately makes me start comparing them to Bach and Wagner — which isn’t fair to the new works or to Bach and Wagner.

I hope that makes sense.

*The Littlematch Girl Passion is a great piece of music in and of itself but when someone brings up Bach’s St. Matthew's Passion then I think that Bach’s music is the greater piece and it diminishes “The Littlematch Girl in my mind.

I must also admit that scale is part of the equation here. The Littlematch Girl Passion comes in at about 35-40 minutes. St. Matthew's Passion is about three hours.

Read Lang's program notes.

The same thing goes for this Milli Vanilli opera. The concept is great and the themes are relevant, I’m not a fan of the musical execution but when you bring Meistersinger into the conversation you’ve lost me completely.

Video:

An Untitled Opera Based on the Story of Milli Vanilli | David Levine | April 1, 2011

Meistersinger is a piece of music about music. The “new music” in Meistersinger is Wagner’s music. He’s writing a defense of himself and his approach. It’s as if he’s saying to his critics, “Oh, you don’t like my music? Well, here’s five hours of it and a big part of the story is about me being right and you being wrong.”

That’s a baller move.

I get the irony of Meistersinger and Milli Vanilli. It’s actually pretty funny. However, once again, Meistersinger is Meistersinger and Milli Vanilli is, well, you know. This new opera has me interested but it shoots itself in the foot by bringing up Wagner. Let it be a reworking of Meistersinger, just keep it to yourselves.

Great art wants to be itself. It often is influenced by other artists but that is for us, the audience, to figure out.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Milli Vanilli
Milli Vanilli

If there is one idea that gets me worked up, it’s the “inspired by” idea or the “based upon” idea.

O Brother Where Art Thou borrows incidents and characters from Homer’s Odyssey but I’d rather them not proclaim that at the top of the movie. Why? It borrows from the cache of The Odyssey without earning it.

Tell your story first and then reveal to us that you based it on The Odyssey.

Furthermore, when you tell me something is based on the Odyssey I’m going to expect a whole lot of killin’ at the end. As you may know, Odysseus killed all the suitors. After that he had the female servants, who were sexing it up with the suitors the entire time, clean up the corpses and remove all the blood before hanging them — hanging the female servants that is, not the corpses.

That part wasn’t in the movie.

What does this have to do with classical music? Every now and then we get a piece of music that is based on or inspired by another greater piece of music.

I’m thinking of two examples. One is David Lang’s Little Matchgirl Passion which is influenced by Bach’s St. Matthew's Passion and the other is An Untitled Opera based on the story of Milli Vanilli. This untitled work is a reconfiguration of Wagner’s Meistersinger.

Both these pieces have their own merits and bringing up Bach and Wagner immediately makes me start comparing them to Bach and Wagner — which isn’t fair to the new works or to Bach and Wagner.

I hope that makes sense.

*The Littlematch Girl Passion is a great piece of music in and of itself but when someone brings up Bach’s St. Matthew's Passion then I think that Bach’s music is the greater piece and it diminishes “The Littlematch Girl in my mind.

I must also admit that scale is part of the equation here. The Littlematch Girl Passion comes in at about 35-40 minutes. St. Matthew's Passion is about three hours.

Read Lang's program notes.

The same thing goes for this Milli Vanilli opera. The concept is great and the themes are relevant, I’m not a fan of the musical execution but when you bring Meistersinger into the conversation you’ve lost me completely.

Video:

An Untitled Opera Based on the Story of Milli Vanilli | David Levine | April 1, 2011

Meistersinger is a piece of music about music. The “new music” in Meistersinger is Wagner’s music. He’s writing a defense of himself and his approach. It’s as if he’s saying to his critics, “Oh, you don’t like my music? Well, here’s five hours of it and a big part of the story is about me being right and you being wrong.”

That’s a baller move.

I get the irony of Meistersinger and Milli Vanilli. It’s actually pretty funny. However, once again, Meistersinger is Meistersinger and Milli Vanilli is, well, you know. This new opera has me interested but it shoots itself in the foot by bringing up Wagner. Let it be a reworking of Meistersinger, just keep it to yourselves.

Great art wants to be itself. It often is influenced by other artists but that is for us, the audience, to figure out.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Next Article

Padres player scandals, city council caves to John Moores, farm manager Russ Nixon tells history

1995 season-long strike, handicapped fans tell how it is for them, who really owns the team?
Comments
3

Blame this lamentable habit on the rain, or lack thereof.

Sept. 16, 2014

Here comes the rain. Again.

Sept. 16, 2014

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. And apparently, it's not coming back.

Sept. 17, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close