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‘It Didn’t Seem to Bother the Dog’



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I have an odd little column in the current CityArts, which I link to in today’s Impromptus (another odd little column). The CityArts thing is about ballet music — how I “evolved” on the subject. (In youthful and callow days, I considered it sub-music.)

Got a hilarious letter from a reader in Watkinsville, Georgia: “. . . last night, I listened to Mahler’s Second really loud. My wife was out Grandmothering and it didn’t seem to bother the dog.”

There’s more: “The first time I heard Giselle, I lived in a basement apartment in Atlanta’s Peachtree Hills. I played it so loud that the next day Mrs. Smith, my landlady, said, ‘Why, we enjoyed your music so much that we just turned ours off and listened to yours.’ Kindly put, and I took the hint.”

And now the closer: “I can hardly listen to [Swan Lake] without tears. I once played it at a very high volume, just below the threshold of pain. This lasted an hour, and then the vintage Dynaco amp caught on fire. The reason was technical, but I like to credit the music.” 



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