While Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise is winning awards over thisaway, its recent release in England gives a chance for the other side of the ocean to beat him up on it a bit. BBC3’s current Music Matters program (archived for the next seven days) has a pleasant chat with Alex which, as soon as he makes his exit, turns downright hostile. Poet James Fenton and writer/critic Morag Grant nicely rake him over the coals for a certain American myopia, reductionism and dismissiveness.
The “what about the Brits?” question doesn’t trouble me much (especially as Britten is pretty well covered), but many of their other gripes are the same ones I share. [note: If you want to go right to it, on the BBC iPlayer pop-up click the “15 min” fast-forward button; you’ll be right in the middle of Alex’s chat, and just before the crtic’s response.]