Classica Cocktails and Classical Music: Mendelssohn

The Cosmopolitan Man

I know it isn't cool to like Felix Mendelssohn.  He was a sappy sentimentalist, born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He wrote pretty music that people enjoyed. In the heady world of classical snobs, these are unforgivable faults. However, I am here to publicly admit that I like his music.

LP Mendelssohn OctetMy public declaration is a way of standing up to the "classical snobs" who have nearly loved the genre to death. Classical music is wonderful, so why isn't it more widely performed, appreciated, and consumed? It seems that classical music can only exist in the weird bubble of public radio and non-profits trying to bring culture to the masses.  Sure, there are a few superstars that make large sums, but they are really the exceptions that prove the rule.  What makes this phenomenon even more perplexing is that the general public really likes classical music when they encounter the good stuff, which is secretly woven into our daily lives:

from film soundtracks (Strauss):

to commercials (Bach)

to Warner Bros. cartoons (Wagner):

I think the music stopped connecting to the public when a select few began telling us to be ashamed of our taste for the beautiful in favor of what they deemed "important." Composers, in turn, began producing more "important" music and less beautiful music. As a consequence, now we have to listen to a lecture before the performance in order to understand the historical context, the musical theory, and how the work fits into the "cannon" of important work.  Shouldn't the music connect to me on its own?  I think Beethoven does, and Haydn, and Mozart, and etc.  People love Chopin without explanation.  Why? Because it is good music. People understand it, even without the lecture. Mendelssohn is the same, listen to the octet and you'll see what I'm talking about.

link to a live performance of the octet:

Join me. Tell the academics to keep their weird 12 tone experiments, their songs without melody or repetition, and symphonies that sound like screecher monkeys fighting feral cats.  Explore. Listen to what you like. Ignore the taste-makers.  Refuse to be intimidated.  Have the courage to exclaim you like Pachelbel's Cannon, Ravel's Bolero, and/or Vivaldi's Four Seasons.  These works are overplayed for a reason... because people like them.

Tonight I'm listening to the wonderful Mendelssohn Octet in E flat Maj., Op. 20.  The B side is his Sextet in D Maj. Op. 110. I'm going to pair it with a drink that men aren't supposed to drink because it's girly and tremendously popular.

My Cosmo recipe (makes two drinks):
classic cocktail recipe: Cosmo

4 oz. Citrus Vodka
1.5 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Juice of half a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice.  Shake.  Pour. Garnish with lime wheel.


#cosmo #cocktailrecipe #Mendelssohn #classicalmusic #vodka #music #snob #StickItToTheMan #Pachelbel #Ravel #Vivaldi #FourSeasons #Cannon


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