Links, and a musical gift

December 18th, 2017 at 11:35 am

I contributed to this symposium on productivity growth in the The International Economy. I look forward to reading all the entries–they’re mercifully short–but I enjoyed mine!

Boy, this tax debate has really been terrible. There’s been endless exaggerations and lies about trickle-down, growth effects, while evidence, facts, and the historical record has been kicked aside to facilitate evermore upward redistribution. My take, over at WaPo.

Now, here’s you holiday gift from OTE:

Listen to this, starting at 24:48. That’s when the third movement starts, which is the part I want you to check out. Yes, the first two movements are breathtakingly beautiful–the first: majestic, sweeping; the second: soulful, soothing, gorgeous–but we’re not talking about those. In fact, I worry they crowd out the fun and beauty of the third.

Oftentimes, the third movement of Mozart’s piano concertos is structured as a few different themes that come and go. But this one is different: it’s a variation on a theme. The orchestra offers it up and the piano runs with it, first (25:35) with some simple embellishments. Then, at 26:22 he shows off his chops, riffing off the theme in a way that share’s a lot with jazz improvisations that would come a couple of centuries later. Next, at 28:00, there’s a really interesting minor key variation–it’s the same theme, but totally reworked.

The one part that’s not a takeoff of the main theme comes with the rousing bit at 30:10 that sounds like you just mounted a mighty steed and you’re galloping to the end, when, of course, the main theme comes back to say good-bye!

If, in these difficult times, with so much coarseness and divisiveness, this reminds you of the vital importance of sublime music and what humans are capable of as much as it does me, then enjoy.

And happy holidays from OTE!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email