This is a short read, a bit annoying at times, repetitive but still well worth it imo. Some will like it, some won't. I'm finding that it answers a number of questions for me personally including why I find myself at odds and so annoyed with the general concert/show going experience (it's not you, it's me ). That and the concept of music's purposes and challenging the idea that "valid" music comes down to our subjective tastes.
Thanks, Mark! Added to my Amazon shopping list.
I've got a good friend who alerts me whenever there's a Mahler symphony performance coming up and teaches me a bit about it. I've seen 3 with him now, the first one being #6 which is the one with the hammer. That's still my favorite show so far, because of the hammer. We've also gone to shows at Library of Congress where the classical programming has been adventurous. That's where I caught performances of Messaien's Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-JÚsus, Ethel String Quartet, Arditti Quartet playing Beethoven's more avant-sounding quartets, John Cage stuff, etc.
When I was younger I didn't understand why some jazz musos included classical music in their personal practice, but I think I get it a little more now.
Ever watch Mozart in the Jungle? The RIkers Island episode was aweome imo.
One of the weirder depictions of classical composers I've seen - weirder than the Bill & Ted movies: