International Procrastination Day: do it to music!
The shopping? Do it tomorrow. Paperwork? Later. Telephone meeting? Afterwards. For now, take advantage of procrastination day to just listen to music.
You should never put off till tomorrow what you can listen to today. So today, Friday 25 March, the official Procrastination Day, will be devoted to music.
Procrastination consists in putting off till later what could be done today. Fans are known as procrastinators. And in the history of music, some composers are past masters in the matter.
If we were to name but one, it would have to be Gioacchino Rossini. "Only necessity takes precedence over inspiration". In an undated letter, the Italian composer aptly summed up his attitude as "(a bit) lazy".
And he was not the only one to talk about his customary laziness. Gaetano Donizetti, when asked about the time taken to compose The Barber of Seville (two weeks), replied: "I'm not surprised. He [Rossini] has always been terribly lazy".
To encourage him to write, theatre managers locked Rossini in a theatre before the performance so that he could finish writing the scores in time. In a letter, the Italian composer said:
« I composed the overture to Othello in a little room, [...] locked up by the managers with a plate of spaghetti and the threat of not being able to leave the room until I had written the last note. »
Rossini, the procrastinator-in-chief, was also in the habit of composing in bed. And legend has it that, if a page fell onto the floor, he didn't bother picking it up: he preferred to write it out again on a fresh sheet. This [gruelling] pace of life prompted him to retire at the age of... 37.
_Rossini may have been lazy, but at least he composed his works very quickly (he had little choice, since it was always at the last minute)._The same could not be said for Johannes Brahms. It took the German composer years to write his first symphony.
Dubbed "Beethoven's 10th" by the pianist and conductor Baron Hans von Bülow, Brahms' Symphony in C minor was completed in 1876. However the first outlines dated back to 1862, 14 years before the work was finished. Of course, this list of procrastinating composers is not exhaustive... but we'll do the rest tomorrow.