This is weird and creepy and offers to push classical music yet further down that grody path to the tits & ass & dollars obsessions of popular culture but still: I am perversely glad to see the women of classical music getting even this much attention. Go ahead, click that link. It's a hundred percent Safe For Work. You're just reading it for the articles, HAR HAR. What's crazy is that whoever compiled this list for Playboy dot com made it a list of classical musicians that are actually quite good! Like, Hilary Hahn is a very pretty young woman and all, but let's face it, she's not the boring-pretty you usually see drooled over in men's magazines. (Gay men's magazines, wipe that smirk off your face, I'm looking at you too, those dudes are seriously BORING.) No, she's obviously on this list because she is blonde and young, but just as obviously because she does play Schoenberg and Bach (and Stravinsky and Spohr). The inclusion of Danielle de Niese, a great opera star for television, is possibly symptomatic of something bad. I watched her Giulio Cesare and while she did turn in a thrillingly watchable performance in a very difficult role to act, I am not sure that it was a thrillingly listenable performance. While (to pick another name from this list) Anna Netrebko sings some roles inappropriately, and sings others a bit boringly, at least she always sings notes. I've been skeptical of the opera queens' laments re: the changing shape of divas (Covent Garden didn't want Debbie Voigt? COVENT GARDEN'S LOSS) but de Niese's variety of opera-celebritydom does give me pause. Still, the creepiest talk here is about Anne-Sophie Mutter:
WHO SHE IS: MILF violinist with rock-solid technique and a body to match Mutter made the transition from hot Austrian prodigy to hot Austrian star violinist with ease. Early in her career she could be counted on to try out edgy new works; later she married Academy Award-winning composer André Previn and premiered his Hollywood-lite Violin Concerto. They’re divorced now, so maybe we can expect more daring things from her again.Creepy, because it sounds like something I would hiss to my bitchy new-music friends without thinking about whether or not it's actually true, but with that word "MILF" (weird pun on "Mutter"?) also thrown in there for extra creepiness points. First of all, should I point out that she recorded the Dutilleux concerto while she was still married to Previn? (Although I do wonder whatever happened to that Boulez piece she was supposed to premiere. There was supposed to be an Anthemes III but I don't think it ever happened. Anybody?) It drives me crazy when people put together a whole narrative of an artist's career based on a single blip. Like when Harold Bloom used the words "precipitous decline" to refer to a single novel of Thomas Pynchon (guess he didn't like Vineland) even though it was bookended by two masterpieces. Only so much worse, because Harold Bloom didn't say "MILF."
Anyway, mostly I'm just jealous that Playboy dot com has stolen my thunder, because now nobody will care when I rate the hotties of the new-music scene. Even so, let me throw the question out to my commenters: whom do YOU nominate as the sexiest composers, performers, etc in new music? (And speaking of the Mac, any guesses as to the identity of his mysterious double-reed-playing crush, as alluded to in this post? Hautbois or Faggott?) Just to get the ball rolling, let me show you all this picture of composer Matthias Pintscher. You're quite welcome. (Link via the one the only Molly Sheridan)