[Marxism] sundry cultural stuff

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 31 17:02:31 MST 2006

1. This year's Classical Countdown on WQXR ends tomorrow night (1/1/07) with Beethoven's 5th (#2) and 9th (#1). That's not unusual. What's interesting, though, is who they've chosen to perform them. The 5th will be done by the Venezuela Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, whose conductor, Gustav Dudamel, has been getting rave reviews. And the 9th will be done by Daniel Barenboim and the  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (which he cofounded with Edward Said). Not too shabby.  


2. Also see below on where Derek and the Dominoes got the title for "Layla." 
(sent to another list)
OK, this may be another one of those "Duh, you're just finding that
out?" moments, but it's still worth mentioning -- in fact precisely
because of that.

The Times Book Review today reviews a book on two "making of the album"
books, one about the Stones' "Exile on Main Street," the other 
by Derek and the Dominos.

It says: "Released in 1970, the album — and its soaring, anthemic title
song, still an overplayed staple on classic rock radio — takes its name
from an 800-year-old Bedouin poem about unrequited love: 'the
equivalent of Romeo and Juliet,' Reid writes."

I'd never heard that this is where the name came from, and more
importantly, had never heard of the original poem. (The review doesn't
say how Clapton or his colleagues heard of it.)

The reason it's worth mentioning is (as I said vis-a-vis Goethe's Divan
poems) that this is another case of borrowing from Arab/Persian culture
which is worth educating people about, hopefully to have the same
impact as when a white person hears -- years after the fact -- that so
many of the rock songs s/he loves were actually covers of Black songs.

Anyway, Happy New Year (and belated Eid), everyone!


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