Don’t let me hear you using that kind of language in my house

There are some things I just don’t like to see in print.

In the realm of music, I do not like to see a reference to Haydn which includes any of the following terms-








case study follows-

I wandered into a bookstore today, and spied two large and expensive volumes on Haydn (one was actually on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven). The cover of one used words like “rhetoric” and “genius” while the other one described the same composer as “little more than a servant” whose music was “delightful.”

I don’t need to tell you which one I bought.

“Delightful” reduces a work of art to an object of entertainment, as does “charming.”  

“Good natured” reduces a genius musician philsopher to a bumpkin.

 “Servant” reduces the director of the greatest orchestra ever assembled to the status of a musical cleaning lady.

Really, people…. Why write a book about a composer you don’t understand?

(Maybe I should ask __________  ____________….)

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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1 comment on “Don’t let me hear you using that kind of language in my house”

  1. John

    The same reason I tend not to rent movies that are “Outrageously Funny!”

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