Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's Objectify!

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)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i demand you gather a list of hot male musicians. Equal opportunity! Bring sexy bach.

September 22, 2008 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Matthew Conley said...

Perhaps I'm pigeon-holing a bit here, but I think Hakan Hardenberger is pretty sexy. He's the trumpet who has premiered concertos by Turnage, Neuwirth, Gruber, Birtwistle, Henze, etc. (it's a long list). Interesting he wasn't that cute when he was young but now has a sexy older man charm to him.

September 22, 2008 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Håkan Hardenberger: DILF?


September 22, 2008 at 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont' see the controversy here. Mutter is a Milf and also free so it's just saying what's on everyone's mind. Well OK maybe just mine.

September 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maya Beiser, Wendy Sutter, Zoe Keating, Joan Jeanrenaud ....

... it seems to me the cello hasn't been that well-served since Susan Sarandon rosined the strings for Witches of Eastwick.

September 23, 2008 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Croche, you forgot Jeff Zeigler!

September 23, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was left as an exercise for the interested reader ...

September 23, 2008 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Joan! Met her with other some kids once after a concert in college. Somehow the conversation drifted and all we tried to hit on her because she looked 19. We were shocked that she was 40+ with kids. Damn!

September 23, 2008 at 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat reluctantly (because I am a bitter old hag who resents youth and beauty) I'm going to go ahead and nominate Alarm Will Sound violist John Pickford Richards.

September 24, 2008 at 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was this really a shock to anyone?

September 24, 2008 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh hey new nomination: Greg Heffernan.

September 25, 2008 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Anonymoi: I google imaged Heffernan and Richards and they were so hot I stood up and punched the cat.

Anon: Sir you are off topic. But the answer to your question is no.

September 25, 2008 at 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do I arrive when all the fun is already over? i could give such a nice list of european composing eye-candy.

March 23, 2010 at 5:30 AM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Never too late.

March 23, 2010 at 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God you are an early bird!
Let's see: The afore mentioned Matthias Pintscher, Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini,Steve Martland is now a DILF I guess , although he was quite the stud of his era, Philipp Maintz is a cute bear in making, Christophe Bertrand is a post-twink, Marko Nikodijevic is a Vin Diesel look-a-like, Marco Marinoni is the latin lover type, Marco Momi is boyishly cute.

March 23, 2010 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger Dan Johnson said...

Haha, not an early bird—there was a car alarm going off outside. Ugh.

March 23, 2010 at 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not quite the erotic-ecstasy-induced sleep deprivation one hopes for.

March 23, 2010 at 11:36 AM  

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