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Emily Grossman

I Never Should Have Told You That

February 9, 2008 at 11:02 AM

“Hey, Laura, the Dvorak Sonatina I ordered for you came in yesterday, so we can start working on it at your next lesson. You know, it’s funny, I was just playing through it and thinking how perfectly Americana it sounded, wondering how Dvorak pulled off such a flavor, and then last night I read that he actually wrote it for his children after visiting the New World. He based the main theme on the American folk tune ‘Oh My Darlin’ Clementine’. I never would have guessed; isn’t that interesting?”

“...Actually, I hate that folk song.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s like dining on a delicious gourmet dessert and asking the chef what’s in it, only to hear him say, ‘Well, first, you take some Twinkies and crumble them up...’”

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 11:16 AM
"Light she was, just like a feather, and her shoes where number 9." That's no twinkie, that's a surreal masterpiece.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 11:18 AM
Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM
That's not Clementine, that's the peanut song. Clementine is so frightening and bizarre they had to parody it.
From Jasmine Reese
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 3:41 PM
Yeah, if you read Clementine, it is quite haunting. I was the only one in my first grade class who was terribly disturbed by the song.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 6:55 PM
My research has revealed Dvorak actually used the peanut song for this, rather than Clementine. He most likely heard it on the immigrant bus on the long trip from Ellis Island. He proceeded it to turn it into a confectioner's delight or something, as the gourmets would say.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 7:26 PM
Nothing against folk songs in general, of course; you know I hold them in high regard. But call it Clementine or call it peanut song,


...hate it anyway, hate it anyway!

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 9, 2008 at 7:55 PM
Dvorak was the George Washington Carver of music. From a review of its first performance:

"Rarely has the omni-ambient aether pervading the purlieus of the palatial metropolis vibrated resonant to more majestic music, to more soothing strains, than sought the cerulean empyrean vault, "as the bee flieth," on Saturday morn from the digitals of the gifted Sigismond."

From Mara Gerety
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 3:50 AM
HAAAAhahahahahahaha that's from that famous Thalberg review, from right before his "piano duel" with Liszt! And yes, I am a huge nerd for recognizing it!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 7:19 AM
It's like he was gearing up to take down Liszt by penning lots of frilly ruffled phrases instead of playing them.

The pen is mightier than the digital.

From Mara Gerety
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 7:30 AM
It's a review OF Thalberg, not penned by him. But yes, if his music is any indication, Herr Thalberg probably WOULD write like that.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 8:58 AM
...Oh.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 11, 2008 at 9:57 AM
Hmmm. Nice to meet you, but I must be going!

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