On Setruction (The Seduction of Truck Drivers)

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2016-01-24 02:27

On Setruction (The Seduction of Truck Drivers)

Now that I have your undivided attention: Oirishman O'Cresswell of Not PC infamy has asked me for a list of ten pieces of music with which I'd attempt to seduce an intelligent truck driver. Alas, my seduction days are long over, and I never scored a truck driver anyway, intelligent or otherwise, even in my libidinous heyday—but if the object of the exercise is to awaken members of said vocation, and any uninitiated general readers, to the orgasmic joys of real music, I would regard truck drivers as much less of a challenge than university graduates dehumanised by pomowank and its corollary, headbanging caterwauling (or John Cage and his merciful but pretentious silences).

I have long argued that music of the Romantic genre and its offshoots, such as Hollywood movie scores, is unsurpassed in its capacity to ignite the spark of idealistic emotions, to excite our capacity for rapture—or, as I put it in my essay, Music of the Gods, to generate "value-swoon." For this to happen, though, the relevant receptors must be present, and alive, even if dormant. Nowadays, in the case of most entities that look human, these sensibilities have been killed off by decades of headbanging caterwauling, government schooling and the ethos of nihilism. Grandeur and glory stand little chance. But I'll proceed anyway.

The first selection, Warsaw Concerto, is a one-movement mini-concerto in the style of one of the Romantic greats, Rachmaninoff, written for the wartime movie Dangerous Moonlight. It's just ten minutes long, manageable even for state-dumbed-down moronnials. It will be a good indicator of the condition of your receptors. If this doesn't do it for you, I'd suggest you don't even think of proceeding any further! You are not a good candidate for setruction! Regardless of your vocation you'd assuredly be wasting your time! (All of the following are YouTube links. Be sure to push the button that eliminates commercials!)

The first four notes of that concerto's theme, by coincidence or design, formed the basis of a popular song by Carl T. Fischer, When You're in Love. Frankie Laine wrote the lyrics and topped the charts with it; Mario Lanza then sang it on his radio show. I can't imagine love's intoxication being extolled more ardently than this. The surging high notes are a wonder of the world. Imagine our truckie pulled up at the lights blasting this out the windows. No time for setruction; he'd be mobbed, and there'd be traffic bedlam:

As Richard Addinsell composed Warsaw Concerto, he surrounded himself with the scores of Rachmaninoff's 2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Here's the Rach 3 played by the stupendous Martha Argerich. Piano is a bit jangly but the performance cannot fail to get our truckie's juices flowing:

As should be apparent by now, in Romantic music "it's the melody, stoopid!" Of course harmony and rhythm matter, and reached new heights of complexity in the Romantic era, but the overarching factor was the thing that makes music music. Melody. The tune. One of the greatest melodists was Chopin. Here's his Ballade No.1.

And another Arthur takes us back to Romanticism's beginnings. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 is on the cusp between Classicism and Romanticism. Our brainy truck driver will note how Mozartian it sounds, and yet how it itches to cut loose, and sometimes does. The astonishingly young performer is a happy reminder that not all millennials are moronnials. And he throws in some more Chopin for good measure!

That concerto was one of the many works alluded to in Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A Minor, composed in memory of his piano virtuoso friend Nicholas Rubinstein. Joshua Bell is something of a weak link in the chain here, but the other two are breathtaking:

Another melody wizard was Max Bruch. His glorious Scottish Fantasy is bound to arouse our peripatetic truckie!

And while we're in the region (sort of) let's truck off to Norway for Grieg's verdant concerto:

No lightning introduction to Romanticism would be complete without at least one selection by Brahms, melody's Keeper of the Faith par excellence. Here's his sublime Alto Rhapsody. I'd suggest printing out Goethe's words ... follow ... wallow ... and repeat!

By now our intrepid truckie must be ready for a full-blown symphony. For this I'll repair to Tchaikovsky again—his triumphal Fifth, with the Boston Symphony and the matchless Leonard Bernstein. A fitting climax to our virgin truckie's introduction to rapture:

If he didn't get musical orgasm from that we must assume he's clinically, incurably, intractably frigid! But my hope is, he's been well and truly setructed, and I shall have fulfilled Oirishman O'Cresswell's un-pc brief!

Rock 'n' Roll

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

So often have I heard the Objectivist community, and other would-be cultural elites, praise orchestral music, and ignore or outright condemn rock music, that I thought I would start a separate discussion thread on this subject: http://www.solopassion.com/nod....


Lindsay Perigo's picture

For one thing, the Warsaw Concerto is not a "song." That is crass moronnial-speak—and you're way too old to be a moronnial. It is indeed "civilised" and "rarified." It is also "active," "fun," "energetic" and "thrilling." If you can't hear that, and equate those qualities instead with hate-filled headbanging caterwauling, you should stick with the latter. I pity you in what you are missing out on. But stick with it if that's your limit. Don't waste your time on "another shot" unless you take seriously the possibility that human beings can grow if they make the effort to arise from the comfort zone of their own ignorance and filth-addiction.

Song One

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Well, I checked out Song One of Lindsay's concert. It took a bit of an effort to stay with it. But it also seemed very civilized -- and even rarified. Still, I want more excitement and drama in my life. This concerto probably gets better the second and third time around. But it also seems like listening to it might be a menace to an active, fun, energetic, thrilling lifestyle. I don't want to be lulled into oblivion in my finite existence. But I also want to learn and refine my tastes as I age. So I'll give it another shot.


Mr_Lineberry's picture

Very funny Greg. The music teacher at my private school, circa. 1983 was a Grieg fanatic and so I was forced to listen to every single piece Grieg wrote about 108 times a year, for 5 years, at that impressionable age; Grieg and I have a very close association haha!

Truly Impressive

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Lindsay has given us all an impressive-looking, but intimidating, musical list. Seems great but...I still relish rock 'n' roll far ahead of classical. There's more life, vitality, energy, passion, and exuberance there, as far as I can tell. Still...I should probably tough it out, and listen to some of these. This is definitely my plan.


gregster's picture

The Bruch was better than the Grieg.

Thanks for this, Linz. I'm

Richard Wiig's picture

Thanks for this, Linz. I'm going to work my way through this when I get the time.


Mr_Lineberry's picture

seduction days are over? at your age you should just be getting warmed up, and rough trade is always fun (there is usually little requirement for seduction) haha!

Love the Grieg; good choice.

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