Nixon in China

Daniel drdq at
Tue Dec 15 18:46:16 PST 1998


I haven't read the text of the opera (Nixon in China). But, as subject matter for opera, it pretty much implies the heroic quality of the event it narrates. I've just never seen Nixon's overture to China as heroic in ANY way - for any of the participants. Every now and then, it becomes necessary for heads of state to publicly acknowledge an inescapable reality (usually something that has been known anyway for a very long time). There is rarely anything of the heroic in these acts of "statesmanship."

Since I was drawn into one last comment on this musical thread, let me just say that I am sorry to have created confusion: by saying, in my post, "loudness" instead of "the characteristic use of loudness." The classical composers NEVER EVER get as loud as the typical pop concert, and they use loudness (such as it is with acoustic instruments even in great ensembles) in a completely different way. Of course, they also use loudness in characteristically personal ways, and so their individual styles might lead some people to feel that there is a greater flavor of the fascistic in one composer than another. On the whole, however, as other's comments have made abundantly clear, this is always a question of personal taste or perception.


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