I've been looking into Buk's favorite composers... (1 Viewer)

He did have pretty good taste in classical music! I played some Brahms and really liked him. Mahler was a bit slower it seemed, but maybe I have to play some more of his stuff. This Sibelius guy (sorry if I mispelled) is suppose to be super awesome, my former music professor who is one of my best friends told me about him. He has a basement with about 7-8000 classical records so its been fun!

What classical singers was Buk into? and does anyone know of any quotes on him discussing opera? his likes? or dislikes of it?

feel free to share you favorite composers that Buk liked!


This is really an extension of several threads already on this board, but since you asked about favorite "classical singers," I'll bite.

Classical singers, as you call them, are period-related. They fall into period categories as they perfomed classical works; in their lives, either opera or choral music. So, my take is that Buk had no "favorite classical singers." He had favorite composers, and for the most part, the composers he favored were not those who composed operatic or choral works - again, for the most part.

Let's look at the composers that are considered, by my weak hand, to be major opera composers - we have Berlioz, Bizet, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, von Weber, Wagner and a few others. And a few score of lesser-known opera composers who made a bigger name for themselves in other genres: Beethoven, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, ad infinitim.

The operatic works of these composers have been performed by countless orchestras and operatic singers over the past 100 years or so, which would represent which singers Buk might have heard on his transitor radio.

My point is that it's unlikely that Buk would have even cared about a particular operatic singer - if he even cared for opera. A list of his favored composers, which starts with Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, and also includes several others, such as Sibelius, is notably bereft of what we would consider to be major composers of opera. Choral work, maybe. But then again, one doesn't identify a favorite singer in choral work.

Perhaps a better question would be: Which composers of operatic or choral content did Buk prefer? Even then, my answer would likely be: "not so many."
On the 'Uncensored' CD set, Buk says he likes Wagner "take away the voice parts", which gave me the impression he did'nt care for opera singers even if he liked the music.
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Screams from the balcony:

To Jon and Louise Webb
March 28, 1963

I can talk for hours on paper because there is
only the click of the keys and this brown torn shade pulled down in front of my face. It is a clean
white thunder. That is why I do not like opera. Somebody I know pretty good and who knows I
like the classical symphonies [* * *] asked me, "How come you do not like opera?" and I
answered, "Because it contains the human voice." "What's wrong with that?" she asked. "I don't
know. I just don't like the human voice. I think it's fake. Almost anything that comes out in
voice is fake. I don't care if it is singing or the Gettysburg Ad., I don't like it. Here you have
some bitch singing ultra-soprano who beats her kids and squats over a bowl and drops turds like
the rest of us, and she is through the Art-form trying to become purified and trying to purify the
rest of us. I just don't like the human voice: it drags down, it wears, it will simply not let things
But she was fairly sharp. "You like the violin, or some of the horns, don't you?"
"Yes, at times," I said.
"But don't you realize that these instruments are played by human beings and that the
human voice is just another instrument?"
Which is a pretty damning argument, but I still say the voice is more direct, and that
something is gained (not lost) by letting it come down through the fingers (violin or piano).
Which is essentially why I am ashamed of the one or 2 drunken phone calls g.d. put through to
you: because I had only the voice and the voice could not say, never damn can. [* * *]
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"Never damn can." Oh, yes. Mahler was prominent for me, or it seems that way because his symphonies were the ones that blew my gourd when I was 18 and first reading Buk, checking out classical vinyl heaps from the library, hauling them home on foot.

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