SWAN | Lots of Classical Music in My Spotify Library

One time I was having a classical music listening session with a friend of mine, and when he asked what we should listen to next, I suggested some of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He acquiesced, but not before mentioning that my choice was a very “mainstream” one. Whether I’m a classical poser or not, there are several moments in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that are — for simplicity’s sake — exemplary. Take, for example, the sudden thematic shift in the second movement, from an inevitable, definitive minor to an unhindered, lively major. Beethoven hinted at the possibility of such tonal fulfillment earlier in the movement, but it is not until this stark contrast that the extent of his creative vision is recognized.


SWAN | Trying to Be Relevant

I was at a party one time and I was introduced to someone through a mutual friend. “This is Nick,” my friend said. “He’s really into music and he plays the piano.”

“Cool, that’s sort of interesting! What do you like to play on the piano?”

“Well, I’m classically trained, and my favorite composers are Bach and Chopin.”

“Wow, you must be really sensitive and have an exquisite taste for the nuances of creating art, like Bach’s subtle suspensions and dissonances in ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ and other works!”

Or, some derivative of that story occurred, sans the closing remark. Being introduced as a musician of the western classical tradition often garners a vague, uninspired response of awe and not much further dialogue.