Today I did two unusual, but interesting things:
ONE: Listened to a discourse on the appreciation of western classical music…. hmm… was almost convinced, but not quite… Pancham sent a link….take a look at
TWO: Read Shakespeare (Julius Caesar) with my 16 year old daughter, Ada….. more interesting that no 1) above.
1) Now, my younger kid, Anya also plays the piano (quite well at that) and she does play mostly western classical; stuff like Beethoven’s Fur elise, other older stuff I don’t know names of, more recent Yanni type of numbers etc. I always thought I could pretty much appreciate the stuff she was playing, and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it as well (and not just because my own blood was playing it).
However, the video above did nothing much to me in terms of understanding the joys or pains of listing to classical music… maybe it was meant as a more basic presentation to people who as he says consider themselves tone deaf. Anyhow, it was interesting to hear Ben Zander give the entire presentation, because I though he was a lot more entertaining that the music he played. He held the audience’s complete attention, and overall made a lot of sense… I like the guy!
2) Shakespeare was an entirely different story! From when I was in the age range of 15 to 23, my father, who has a Master’s in English Literature, tried his very best to nag me into reading this guy. I always brushed him off by saying “who wants to read plays where people say thou, thee, art, wherefore, dost, thy for simple english words like you, are, why, does, your etc. etc.?” I found SP completely ridiculous and really wondered why anyone in their right minds would want to even go there.
Cut to age 41 and close to a half, I found myself intrigued by the JC play that Ada was reading tonight. She has a class 10 board exam in Eng. Lit. tomorrow morning. In my attempt to be a good, supportive mother, I thought I’d give it a shot and try and be of help. So I read lines out of SP’s JC for the first time in my life. And I quite enjoyed it!
Now, I am not saying I should have listened to you-know-who and read all this in the 15-23 age range, however, I admit I may be just a wee bit inclined to take a deeper look into the thou, thee era and style of SP.
Here’s the catch to this inclination… take a look at http://nfs.sparknotes.com/juliuscaesar/page_46.html. Its a piece of cake to figure out what these guys are saying. There’s a full blown translation into plain English right there!
Hah! Even the page heading says NO FEAR SHAKESPEARE!