So, much as I love classical music, I’ve never been able to get into vocal musics that aren’t pop-related. No oratorios or arias, no operas or song cycles–I don’t even like my jazz to have vocals, a fact which causes me spiritual pain and a certain degree of public embarrassment. These are serious failings of mine and I seek to correct them. So far, no go. But on up that mountain I trek.
Why do I then love the vocal stylings of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young and J Mascis? I have no idea. And yet there ‘tis.
But. If there were more oratorios like this puppy here, well, that might be a whole ‘nother cup o’ fish.
This is “Mackris v. O’Reilly,” a baroque oratorio composed by Igor Keller. The libretto uses the verbatim transcript of the sexual harassment complaint brought against Bill O’Reilly in 2004—a recording of which is also easily available online.
Now that’s art. Taking something hideous—Bill O’Reilly forcing someone who works for him to listen to his sick fantasies—and turning it into a lovely piece of music.
And, I mean, how can you not love a composition which has a passage as moving as “loofah mitts, loofah mitts, loofah mitts!”
I should warn you—this is most definitely not suitable for chillens. Well, I’m not sure it’s suitable for anyone, at least in the original—much like Bill O’Reilly himself—but since Bill O already let that cat outta the bag, we might as well make the best of it.
Oh, but also? The wordless vocals in Nielsen’s Third is glorious and magnificent.