Anything That Interests Me! :)





Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anything that interests me! - Infatuation with Handel (Haendel)

Anything that interests me! - Infatuation with Handel (Haendel)

I'm supposed to be writing about the New Institutional Economics and thinking of various private-order institutions and stuff along those lines, but instead here I am blogging and writing about my new infatuation - Handel. Handel's music is fantastic.

I know I'm supposed to speak German and call it Haendel, but I am so used to calling him Handel that it's quite hard to switch to German. I can, though. But I won't. So alternatively, anytime you see Handel, it's actually Haendel. Linguistic problem solved!

A small quiz is quite apt here. You know the common saying (well, to me, it's common):

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, ..."

What's the answer?

Well, the answer isn't "teach", for those of you cynics out there. "Wrong" answer! Teaching is a good and noble profession - and certainly not all teachers are theory-oriented. Teachers can be good at what they do, and some teachers can practise. Hahaha! The answer, to me, is:

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, cant!"

Before you point out a missing apostrophe, allow me to humbly refine your English: cant is defined as "to use pretentious language, barbarous jargon... to talk with an affectation". There are many other definitions, but this is the sense I'm using it here.

What's the point?

Well, although that's a joke, I think it's quite an apt quiz here, because I can't play Handel and I certainly know diddly squat about organ music and choral music. At least I'm honest! Yet I am writing about Handel, but I'll try not to use pretentious language because I really don't know much about Handel other than the fact that I like his music.

But what I do know is that Handel's music is extremely charming and somehow very pleasing to my ears. It really moves me.

There's a little story behind this.

Some time back, I attended a Protestant Church at Bishopsgate, London. Someone played Handel-Halvorsen's Passacaglia for Cello and Violin, substituting the violin for a viola, and I was very intrigued by this music. It made me feel very strange and, for want of a better word, tingly.

At the same event, another musician played the organ, and this time he showed how his feet moved. And I was suitably impressed. Wow. I never knew that feet could play instruments with that kind of dexterity - for a piano player like me, the only use of the feet are for pressing on the pedals, much like driving a car. [Driving a car, my foot! I couldn't resist that "lame" joke. OK, no more puns.]

In any case, since then, I've learnt how to appreciate Handel's music. That basically means that I listen to him in place of my former favourite, Mozart. Symphony No. 40 has been supplanted.

I've learnt that Handel was based, once upon a time, in London and composed music for operas at Covent Garden! I love Covent Garden! Handel even owned a company at Covent Garden. This is a really practical application of a microeconomics education.

(Apparently, the reason why he's called Handel rather than the German Haendel is because he lived so long in England that he became a naturalised Englishman.)

In any case, the music I like the best are: Organ Concerto Op. 7, No. 1; Harpsichord Suite in D minor; "O Be Joyful", Psalm 100; Organ Concerto Op. 4, No. 1; and Dettingen Te Deum, "Vouchsafe O Lord..."

Perhaps, I shall use Handel's music as background music for my thesis writing. After all, I've done that before:

I associate Joe 'Bean' Esposito - You're The Best Around with my honours thesis, having always played it to energise myself for the long hours of data collection, and computer lab work. I also associate Corrinne May not just with my ex-girlfriend, but also with Namazie's physics module. Maybe Handel shall be the "theme song" for my master's dissertation!

PS I shall be writing more about "how to get first class honours" since recently I've been flooded with lots of requests for advice on that area. No one really seems to care about psychology, mentalism, history, literature, and music. But they seem to really care a lot about Economics, Econometrics, First Class Honours and basically academic-related stuff. Hahaha! I read all my fan mail; don't worry.

Anything that interests me!