On this day in 1685, George Frideric Handel was born. [Actually, that’s old calendar; his actually birthday was on 5 March 1685. -FM] As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become very bored with Baroque period music. I think that Classical period music is perfect because it has far more emotional depth than Baroque without hitting me over the head with it as much Romantic period music does. What we see is mostly a move from highly contrapuntal work of the Baroque period to an emphasis on harmonic structure in the Romantic period. I like all the counterpoint, but I want something more. Still, in the case of Handel, there is much that I still admire. Although I think that Bach is the more important composer, I enjoy listening to Handel more. Here is something great, “Ombra Mai Fu” from Serse:
Other birthdays: philosopher Richard Price (1723); public intellectual W E B Du Bois (1868); painter Kazimir Malevich (1878); philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883); film director Victor Fleming (1889); good hack film director Norman Taurog (1899); film director Claude Sautet (1924); actor Majel Barrett (1932); experimental filmmaker Paul Morrissey (76); actor Peter Fonda (74); humorist Tom Bodett (59); singer-songwriter Howard Jones (59); and actor Tamsin Greig (47).
The day, however, belongs to the great blues guitarist Johnny Winter who is 70 today. Despite the fact that his life is generally a mess, his music is always so finely crafted. I don’t know anyone who surpasses him in terms of his musical ideas. His lead playing is as good as anyone, including Hendrix. But what is most impressive is his rhythm playing. You see him doing both in this version of “Mississippi Blues”:
Happy birthday Johnny Winter!