Well, now you have.
The classical music channel (either 1848 or 1948, depending on whether you have Spectrum or Verizon) seems to have a few preferences in composers. A lot of Mozart (great), maybe too much Dvorak. So many Russians I began to wonder whether the company was Russian. (It isn’t; it’s American.) And although I am deeply fond of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Music Choice — which does play a lot of him — has a funny little quirk of defaulting maybe too often to Vaughan Williams’s “The Lark Ascending,” now known to me as, “That Fuckin’ Lark Is Ascending Again!”
The variety and depth of the musical selections are remarkable. I’m indebted to Music Choice for introducing me to Sviatoslav Richter’s haunting, unique interpretation of Bach’s piano music, as well as a lot of gorgeous Sibelius I’d never heard before.
But. I’ve decided Music Choice has a funky little closet in which it keeps recorded music by composers I’ve never heard of. When I write “never heard of,” I don’t mean “never heard this music before.” I mean the composer and the music are strangers to me.
I suspect it’s a game Music Choice is playing and has chosen me to be the contestant. I fancy the people who set up the programming giggle among themselves once a week or so, and say, “Let’s throw this guy in here to befuddle Naomi. That’s always fun.”
Thing is, I’ve been listening to serious music since I was, oh, 9 months old or so. Over the course of the many years since, I’ve heard, played, studied and sang a lot of music. I’ve read music history books. So how could there be so many composers of whom I’ve never heard? As well as their music?
I’m not arrogantly suggesting I thought I knew everything about serious music, no. Indeed, when I told a cousin who knows more about music than I ever will about this weird Music Choice thing, he asked me why I was so surprised. There are thousands of composers.
Music Choice is devoted to teasing me, that’s what I’ve come to believe. I mean, I’ve been listening to their channel for seven years; yet every couple of weeks they’ve managed to come up with an entirely new name and work.
So let me introduce you to this guy I was just introduced to. Gotovac. Jakov Gotovac. He was Croatian. I don’t know how “Gotovac” is pronounced in Croatian so I must assume it’s pronounced the way it’s spelled.
I dropped his name to a friend. “Is he any good?” my friend asked.
I said, “Eh.”
Maybe the next choice of Music Choice’s unknown-to-Naomi composer will be better than “eh.” I may let you know. Or not.