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As a mere "advanced beginner" in the world of classical music, I won't pretend to give any lectures here. No map, just a record of my stumbles through the vast uncharted territories of human culture.

Too much ado already.

And anyway, today was a pop day.

For the first time, I listened to If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, an album bt The Mamas & the Papas. The experts tell us it's a classic.

I won't presume to review it, but I will comment that it is very mellow, a little more like what I think of as 50s pop than I expected. The most famous song to me, "California Dreamin'," is typical.

Before that, I listened to some great bluegrass:

This is the music of some of my ancestors, or so I imagine, and I feel that connection to it. Lot of classic stuff there, and some very nice banjo pickin'. It's been a favorite album of mine for a long time, but I hadn't listened to it for at least a year.

Speaking of haven't heard in a long time, the first album I listened to today was Genesis' We Can't Dance.

I don't know whether this is objectively any good or not, but it was the soundtrack to a week I spent at Myrtle Beach in high school, the first time this country boy saw the ocean. Whatever "I Can't Dance" is really about, I want it to be about a guy selling stuff to tourists at Myrtle Beach. Anyway, it's definitely an artsy album, with a stylish social consciousness.

I did hear a little classical music: a few of Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brazileiras.

They're nice short works, each about 10-20 minutes long, several featuring unusual ensembles, such as #1 for 8 cellos, or #6 for flute and bassoon. I read somewhere that #5 is his most popular work.

I've had that album perhaps three months and I've only started to listen to it. It's not going to please the people who want their 20th century music to sound like it was influenced by Webern. So far it strikes me as both mildly creative and satisfyingly expressive.

Updated Apr-18-2011 at 18:52 by science

Tags: villa-lobos
Classical Music , Personal , Non-Classical Music , Recorded Music