Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dvorak's Symphony No. 9

Just now listening to Dvorak's "New World" Symphony which has been my favorite for decades. So much so, that recent nostalgic musings have reminded me (I just got my son's report card, more on that later) about a nerd explosion of mine back in 1982 when I moved from Binghamton to Ithaca.

Back then my pop music consumption was eclectic and my classical music knowledge was pretty good for a 10 year old. We had some decent pop records at home, notably the Jackson 5 which got me into their song "ABC" (who knew my father was so funky to own that record?) but when we would drive frequently from Binghamton to Brooklyn to visit my mother's parents (an action I know mightily endorse and would probably do the same if I could) the music in the car came entirely from 8-track tapes of classical music. And Dvorak's 9th was my permanent favorite.

The nostaglia point is to illustrate my immense dorkiness back then. Again, I knew pop music, but I dare say that compared to Dvorak's 9th, pop back in 1982 just couldn't compare. It was all soft-rock and disco for goodness sakes! I am defensive because, in 1982, I had entered a new school in a new city. I had been in Hillel Academy, a Torah U-Mesorah parochial school, and had just entered Northeast Elementary in Ithaca - a public school. And for the 5th grade yearbook, we were all asked what our favorite song was. The most popular ones were "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (which is great, don't get me wrong) or "Africa" by Toto. But when asked I said "Dvorak's 9th Symphony, 4th Movement."

And you know what, I'm still right!

But I also dare you to find non-pictorial proof of greater dorkiness than having a newly acclimatized Orthodox Jewish keepah-wearing fish-out-of-water-in-public-school 10 year old declare in his 5th grade yearbook, on a page of neo-disco tunes, that his favorite song is - the editorially shortened - "9th Symphony." I guess I'm still ticked that they shortened it, because I actually like Dvorak's 9th better than Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (which is my second favorite classical ditty).

And, I guess this shows that I'm still a massive nerd. Ah well, at least I get paid for it now. That's the joy of adulthood and the hope of all teenage nerds everywhere - in America, and other Western countries - you will get paid handsomely for being a nerd.

Pic of the autographed score of Dvorak's 9th from here.

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