The Well-Tempered Ear

Beethoven helps LeBron James break a big basketball scoring record

February 5, 2023
7 Comments

PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not just “Like” it) ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw potential audience members to an event. And you might even attract new readers and subscribers to the blog.

By Jacob Stockinger

Sometime this coming week — maybe even by the time you read this — basketball superstar LeBron James (below) will break the all-time scoring record for the NBA.

The current record of 38,387 points is held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (known earlier in his career as Lew Alcindor) who he broke the previous record held by Wilt Chamberlain on April 5, 1984. Abdul-Jabbar, who is famous for his “skyhook,” retired at 42 in 1989 and is now 75.

At 38, James — who is just 63 points away from the record as of this writing — still has many years to play and score. 

Based on what the James (below, in action)  — who is also the first player to become a billionaire while playing in the NBA — usually scores each game, professional sports watchers expect he will surpass Abdul-Jabbar at a game against the Milwaukee Bucks this coming Thursday night, Feb. 9, in Milwaukee.

When he does, you will no doubt hear about it. It will be big news since the previous NBA scoring record has lasted for almost 34 years.

James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, is known as a very disciplined, even obsessive, player who even follows a special diet to stay in shape.

What’s more, according to reports, James  — who took his first piano lesson from  the famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang — also listens to classical music. He especially likes to listen to Beethoven (below) after he listens to hip-hop while in the weight room, and then leaves to get ready and “calm down” before a game and heading out to the court.

Here is a link to that story on ClassicFM: 

https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.classicfm.com%2Fcomposers%2Fbeethoven%2Flebron-james-listens-before-basketball-game%2F&data=05%7C01%7C%7Ceeb2dbf1cde64157f57d08db0397e907%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C638107723208686058%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=6NsIo2MJe4LPGtvmevriGoM35znKQ2FPYNEpJ3VNyRk%3D&reserved=0

What Beethoven pieces do you think LeBron James listens to in order to calm down before a game? Symphonies? Concertos? Chamber music? A lot of Beethoven seems more aggressive than relaxing to The Ear. But the slow middle movement of the Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” (played by Lang Lang in the YouTube video at the bottom) seems like a good choice.

Maybe James will even somehow read this and let us know his favorite works by Beethoven and other classical composers.

Do any other readers or athletes listen to classical music as part of their athletic training, preparation and activity? Do a lot of the runners who are listening to something through ear buds listen too classical music?

The Ear wants to hear.


Classical music: Opera diva Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem to open the NFL Super Bowl XVIII (48) next Sunday. But WHY and HOW did that happen and WHAT does it mean for professional music and professional sports?

January 26, 2014
3 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

What is THIS all about?

Next Sunday -– a week from today – is Superbowl XVLIII (that’s 48 in plain English numerals — does the NFL think Latin adds class to football?)) between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. It will be held in bad cold weather in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands. That’s the football game where the best seats are going for more than $25,000. (Where are you now, Tony Soprano?) Not that a wealth gap exists between professional sports like football (below) and the rest of America. Oh, no — never that.

football

And guess who will sing the national anthem, the tricky “The Star-Spangled Banner,” to open the show – and it is a show. None other than superstar soprano Renee Fleming (below).

reneefleming

Yep, the lovely and gifted opera diva herself.

Now, I am not about to complain about a classical music star getting a chance for such exposure. But it does makes you wonder how it happened.

Did her agent approach the NFL?

Or did the billionaire-packed NFL decide on its own — somewhere in its posh 280 Fifth Avenue headquarters (below top is the exterior, below bottom is the interview its tacky half-Football Desk) that are tax-exempt – that it would buy some highbrow class and at the same time help the cause of classical music and maybe build a new audience?

NFL headquarters 280 Park Ave

Inside NFL headquarters

The Ear can’t imagine it was done by popular choice, under pressure from the fans.

And WHY was it done?

Did a lot of classical music presenters, who already realize that it is commercial suicide to hold a concert on Super Bowl Day, think to put some class into the Super Bowl and not risk bad attendance?

Was it just out of a taste for variety?

Fleming, who has a deep background in jazz and popular music, will probably nail it of course.

But will Renee Fleming create the same kind of rowdy, over-the-top atmosphere that is appropriate to the occasion as some bluesy-gospel, pop-rock or hip-hop star rendition would? Sure, Fleming sells a lot of records and tickets — but nowhere near as much as the superstars in those others genres of music do.

I guess we will see.

If she goes over well, maybe they can book her for the half-time act in a couple of years. But someone like superstar pianist Lang Lang (below), who will perform with metal rockers Metallica at this year’s Grammy Awards to be broadcast live tonight, seems a more likely candidate. Why book Rubinstein when you can get Liberace?

Lang Lang goofy

Well, at least folks at the Super Bowl can feel as classy as the Metropolitan Opera folks for a couple of minutes –- until the concussions start.

I don’t know if we will ever get the back story about the why and the how. But here is a link to the story that NPR’s excellent Deceptive Cadence blog had about Renee Fleming and the Super Bowl.

It is good, short and to the point, even if it doesn’t move beyond the headlines.

See what you think.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2014/01/21/264553311/guess-whos-singing-the-national-anthem-at-the-super-bowl

And for True Fans, here is a link to the official NFL Super Bowl 48 site, loaded with information and complete with a clock counting down to the coin toss and kickoff:

http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/48

What would be a good, an appropriate opera aria to mark the Super Bowl? How about Puccini’s “Nessum dorma” (“No one sleeps”) from “Turandot,” below in a popular YouTube video with almost 9 million hits. It features tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who made it his signature aria, and it shows the last time he sang it in 2006 at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Look at the sets. Listen to the crowd going wild. It seems in keeping with the Super Bowl, no?

But if you can suggest another choice, The Ear wants to hear it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,245 other subscribers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,425,794 hits
    June 2023
    M T W T F S S
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    2627282930  
%d bloggers like this: