Our Man in Minnesota (they call him “MN Dave”) tagged me on fb with an mp3 shuffle mode game. I was at an immediate disadvantage, having never used any shuffle mode on my Sansa Fuze player; my first attempt to play along, then, was a false start, as all the tracks being shuffled were from the same playlist (to which I had recently been listening). After a night’s rest, the solution came to me immediately: another feature I had never used before—Play All. In Dave’s note, he added the veiled threat, Yes, this can be embarrassing . . . .
First, the results, and then some notes:
1. Shostakovich, Prelude & Fugue in D Major, Opus 87 № 5 (Tatiana Nikolayeva)
2. Chicago, “Mississippi Delta City Blues” (Chicago XI)
3. Henning, The Mousetrap, Opus 91 (Henning, cl & Peter Cama-Lekx, va)
4. Bonzo Dog Band, “Turkeys” (Let’s Make Up & Be Friendly)
5. Palestrina, Sanctus from Missa Aeterna Christi munera (Oxford Camerata)
6. Shostakovich, iii. Allegretto from Cello Concerto № 2, Opus 126 (Jiří Barta/Maksim Shostakovich)
7. Nielsen, iii. Poco adagio from Symphony № 4, Det uudslukkelige (RSNO/Bryden Thomson)
8. Zappa, “Zoot Allures” (You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. III)
9. Mannheim Steamroller, “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”
10. Sibelius, Aallottaret (The Oceanides), Opus 74 (LSO, Doráti)
11. Stravinsky, Scene iii, At the Mill, from Le baiser de la fée (LSO, Craft)
12. Zappa & The Mothers, “If we’d all been living in California” (Uncle Meat)
13. Bartók, i. Allegro from String Quartet № 5 (Emerson Quartet)
14. Nielsen, iv. Allegro from Symphony № 4, Det uudslukkelige (RSNO/Bryden Thomson)
15. Bartók, i. Allegro from Piano Concerto № 2 (Géza Anda/Ferenc Fricsay)
A. Can hardly complain with starting out with the Shostakovich Opus 87; highly auspicious.
B. I had not listened to the première recording of The Mousetrap in months; funny to think of having Dave and a trivial facebook pursuit to thank for returning to it! I want to play it better still, but I am all chuffed to have written the piece.
C. Delightful bit of ‘deflation’ to have that followed, not simply by the Bonzo Dog Band, but by a track with such a title.
D. Palestrina-Shostakovich-Nielsen was an inspired sequence.
E. And the switch to “Zoot Allures” . . . a masterstroke.
F. Christmas in August with the Mannheim Steamroller, and why not?
G. The ‘audio vérité’ aspect of “If we’d all been living in California,” one of a number of objets trouvés peppering the Uncle Meat album, makes its appearance at random in this shuffle somehow cosmically fitting.
H. That it followed a snippet of Stravinsky, who late in his career resided in Hollywood (and who was admired by Zappa), confirms the cosmic Conceptual Continuity.
I. Since the game is a course of 15 tracks, the run of three Allegros proved a fortuitously brilliant closer.
J. I may just do this again.
K. Who knew?