[Ads-l] first "ancestors", now "posterity" -- the blight is spreading

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Aug 10 15:26:39 UTC 2015

>From a recital review in today's NYTimes (August 10, 2015, section C, the
Arts, p. 5, col. 6)

Mr. Osborne’s collaborations with Ms. Johnson were pleasant if not
particularly eventful. Ms. Johnson, in a little talk of her own, held out
tantalizing suggestions of Wagner and Weber in the Adagio in D flat reduced
from Heinrich Baermann’s Clarinet Quintet No. 3 (Op. 23), but the movement
here offered nothing so portentous. (Really, posterity once mistook this
for Wagner?)

I didn't hear what Jean Johnson, clarinetist, said in introducing the duet
she was about to play.  However, I don't see how it could be anything else
but that Baermann's contemporaries "once mistook" his work to be similar to
We are Baermann's posterity; but I doubt that very many music authorities
who are contemporary to her and us are in a position to mistake Baermann
with anybody -- I'd never heard of him, anyway -- and if that was what she
meant, she would have used the present tense.

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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