3 March 2004
Pounding rhythm to the brain
I was fascinated with Boléro for a short time when I was just beginning to explore classical music but it quickly became boring and then seriously annoying. Now it is one of the few pieces of classical music that I truly hate. It's sort of a neat idea but Ravel should have ended it seven or eight minutes sooner. The last few repetitions are nothing but unbearable noise.
Chalk me up as someone who considers them bearable noise; this isn't my favorite Ravel work that would be the Piano Concerto in G major but I've always admired it for its sheer perversity, and whether the composer did this deliberately or as the symptom of an illness, I'm still rather delighted that he did it.
And, if for no other reason, Boléro deserves credit for inspiring Roy Orbison's 1961 hit "Running Scared".