Okay, confess. You came in here and first thing was you had a good look at the young ladies above, didn’t you? Go on, confess.
Lovely ladies. But do you buy their records? And is classical music really about sex? Well, as the Daily Telegraph notes here, you probably will, and yes it is. But there is an irony in the marketing of Vanessa Mae and Bond that might have been lost on the marketing departments:
...one way or another, the idea has taken root that classical music in itself is completely sexless, and needs an urgent transfusion of this life-giving elixir from the marketing department.So there. The music really is full of sex. Intensely, blindingly so. So are the young ladies above. But are they full of music? You’ll have to buy their music to find out for yourself, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. Ironically, when it comes to sex in music, dusty old Richard Wagner and Wilhelm Furtwangler do it way better.
Which is really a travesty of the truth, because classical music is mostly full of sex, or to put it better, eroticism - it's just that it's hidden, buried in music's grammar.
Every time you hear a dissonance (a tense-sounding interval or chord) melt into a consonant one, you're hearing the basic erotic pattern of arousal and relief. That's true even in the chaste polyphony of Renaissance church music (which is why some of it doesn't sound half as chaste as it ought to).
But where that pattern is spiced up with really grinding dissonances, or where it's repeated in ascending sequences, each repetition more intense that the last, then the sexual connotation becomes blindingly clear.
Some hot theremin players here though …
(Hat-tip to Irfan Khawaja for the link.)