Aaron Copland's book "What to Listen for in Music" invites music fans of all types to consider listening to music on multiple levels and multiple planes. Last weekend at a concert, I caught myself listening on just one level, and it got me thinking how others listen.
I have an addiction: The Detroit Tigers. But that's not what I'm writing about today, rather I shall write about another addiction I have: I peruse musician info pages on orchestra websites. I mostly want to find out what else orchestra musicians do besides play in orchestra. Sometimes I'm dissappointed ("I like to go to chamber music concerts" really? That's all?). Sometimes it's enlightening ("I compete in triathalons" way to go!).
Looking over what was left off, quite a few could have been easily selected, and almost were. Sometimes it's just what strikes you at that moment. Next entry I'll visit some of the recordings that nearly made it into the top ten, and deserve mention.
Even with the strong competition, I'll stick with my top five as being deserving of mention of best of 2008. They were the ones that had great staying power throughout the year, all for different reasons.
2008 was a rich year for songs. In my last-day-of-the-year retrospective radio show, there was barely time for a third of the music chosen. New groups, seasoned writers, quirky styles and twists of imagination. A select number of these songs were found on albums that were strong all the way through.
What else separated the top ten from the pack...
• Clarity and depth of emotion in the writing and performance of a song(s).
One of my most important personal mantras is "Do not take yourself too seriously." In this spirit, I present to you Recession 2008: "Which Classical Composer Would Hypothetically Survive and Who Would Need a Government Bailout, The Tournament."