Incest, folk dancing and Abba

Deutsche Grammophon’s current artistic policy seems to be driven by Arnold Bax’s famous advice that one should try everything once except incest and folk dancing. This innovative strategy now brings us Anne Sofie von Otter (left) singing Benny Andersson, who is best known for penning Abba’s pop hits. The new album is titled ‘I Let the Music Speak’ and features six of Abba’s finest including ‘The Winner Takes All.’

In the PR material the versatile mezzo gushes ‘Some of the tunes are extremely gripping, they go straight to your heart, and it’s completely incredible. Very few composers that I know touch me in the way that Benny Andersson’s music touches me’, while Andersson confesses ‘These days I listen almost exclusively to classical music’. The record label that brought you Furtwängler, Karajan, Abbado, Barenboim and Pollini concludes by saying ‘It’s no wonder, then, that Benny and Anne Sofie have finally found each other.’

Anyone for folk dancing?

Image credit DGG. 'I Let the Music Speak', and all CDs featured On An Overgrown Path are available from the leading independent CD store, Prelude Records.Any copyrighted material on these pages is included for "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
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Daniel Wolf said…
I'm sure that the saying about incest and folk dancing is older than Bax. My father heard it from his grandfather, in Paso Robles, CA, sometime in the late 1930's, and there's little likelihood that he would have heard of Bax. I reckon that the phrase was first uttered sometime just before Christ left Chicago.

Incidentally, my father, when he passed the advice on to me, added the stricture "...and don't buy into gap openings". That's pretty obscure if you're not a broker, but probably the most valuable piece of the three.
Mark J. Easton said…
It's interesting you attribute the folk dancing and incest aphorism to Bax, when it's more commonly associated with his contemporary, Thomas Beecham.

I once heard a similar saying attributed to Dr Johnson, although the incest was replaced with buggery, and I suspect the attribution was done for effect rather than for historical precision.

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