One reader brought up Gustav Mahler as one of her favorite composers
, and she mentioned an unusual percussion instrument—the giant hammer that's used to strike the blows of fate at the end of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. (Check out this video of the hammer in action.
And that’s only one of many to be found online)
Joel Stein recently wrote of his appreciation for the Mahler hammer as part of his humorous article “How to be a Classic Snob,"
the hammer doesn't show up until the end, but the whole article is pretty funny.
Not related to Mahler, but another funny piece on a classical music experience: Dave Barry writes about playing the corpse in Puccini's opera Gianni Schichi (probably best known for giving us the aria “O mio babbino caro”
) in “My Night at the Opera”
Do these articles cast a negative light on classical music and its audiences? Stein is making fun of snobbery and elitism associated with listening to classical music, but he also shows how easy it is to get engaged with listening to classical music and the approachability of the symphony musician who shares advice on music with him.
Maybe I’m thinking about this too much. Anyway, hope you have fun with these articles, and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below.