Wednesday, December 07, 2005
What You Don't Know and Who You Don't Know
Jerry Bowles asked "Who's got a new topic for Composers Forum?" O.K., here's hopefully a new threadstarter…
Last week, in the midst of a NewMusicBox post I made which was essentially about contextuality, I mentioned that I had bought a CD featuring music by a composer I had never heard a note of: Ildebrando Pizzetti. Unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to listen to the disc, but a response posted by William Osborne about how national environments shape our perceptions got me thinking…
What composers whose names you have come across here and elsewhere are you not as familiar with as you wish you could be, or perhaps even not familiar with at all? Blackdogred, who comes to Seq21 as an "outsider", admits to not knowing about various composers in "our world" with some frequency on his Indie blog elsewhere on this site, but how often would any of us admit to such a gap in our own knowledge? Is part of the gestalt of being a "classical" music junkie an unwillingness to admit to not knowing something?
True confession time. I'll start. I listened to Glinka's A Life for the Czar complete for the first time only about two weeks ago and I have still never heard a note of Ruslan and Ludmilla although I bought a copy of it last week. I've also never heard a note of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Serge Gainsbourg or Art Pepper. Wow, perhaps this is residue from my partially Italian Catholic upbringing (something I rarely admit), but this feels so cleansing :) Yes, I know, I haven't brought up any "contemporary music" yet. O.K., here goes, I have 28 Morton Feldman CDs yet I still have never heard his Patterns in a Chromatic Field for cello and piano. So… Anyone else?