We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I was fortunate to recently hear a noted quartet play one of Brahms' masterpieces, his Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op.25, in an intimate setting. I am fortunate to live where there is plenty of live chamber music, and I am always happy to go listen.
I love chamber music as much or more than orchestral (too bad chamber music didn't have drum sets, though) but, with my tin ear and my slow brain, it takes me several hearings to get the structure, intent, and the direction of a composition unless I have studied it in advance. (Folk, blues, and pop are easy for my brain.) I mentioned this disability to Mrs. BD in reference to the G minor, and she replied "What do you mean? This is as clearly structured, developed, and disciplined a chamber piece as I have ever heard. The structure is transparent."
Listen to the whole piece for a day or two, if you need that as I do. It's a musical journey.
Here's just the familiar Finale, Movement 4 - the Rondo alla zingarese - a dance piece if there ever was one:
Brahms had gotten his first real music job as instructor for a German aristocrat and went to live at the palace. He had started by playing piano in a Bremenhaven brothel but worked his way up to choral director for a local Lutheran church before getting the position at the palace.
A young princess came to visit and took some lessons from Brahms. Of course, Poor Boy Brahms fell in madly in love with the princess. She in turn flirted and jilted Brahms.
From the depths of his broken heart he wrote the Piano Quintets Op 25/26. They made his fame and were the career breakout for him.
Nowadays, no one remembers the name of the princess.
When I was in high school I took some of my restaurant counterman earnings to purchase records, including Pablo Casals conducting Bach's Brandenburg Concertos at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont, with Richter on the piano. Those recordings swing! [I have never heard better recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos. Unfortunately, I no longer have the records.]
Some months later a friend of my younger brother stayed with us while his mother was in the hospital. My brother's friend gave Bach a left-handed compliment by informing me that while Bach was nice music, it didn't rock. To me, Bach rocked.