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Archive for 'Critics'

New Noises Hardly Explained

In a recent piece for Slate , musicologist Jan Swafford took readers on a little tour of contemporary music that has yielded a fair share of controversy. Mind you, that Slate is publishing a piece on contemporary concert music (or, as Swafford puts it, “contemporary ‘classical’ music, or whatever you want to call it”) for […]

Let the Ennui and Angst Begin

Nothing for those slooow summer days like another round of “everything sucks/everything’s fine” wars… Courtesy of The Guardian, Joe Queenan kicks it off with an article on how he just can’t take any more, what we “high priests of music” have been pawning off as art these last couple-three generations or so… While Tom Service tells […]

Alex Takes Some Lumps

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 […]

“What’s the problem?”

Gavin Borchert, composer and the Seattle Weekly‘s classical music critic, has an interesting take in this week’s rag, on current calls for jazzing-up or otherwise “slumming” the concert experience. A couple cogent paragraphs: A couple of things puzzle me. First, the classical concert experience is, in all essentials, identical to that of dance, theater, literary events, […]

You Can Leave Your Hat On

If you haven’t read Galen’s rather lengthy piece called Imprecations and Exhortations: A Rather Lengthy Defense of Richard Taruskin over in the Composers Forum, you should do so immediately.  I’ve been taking a short nap for the past couple of days and just go around to it and it’s very thoughtful and very good.  (I […]

From the Old Mailbag

Hey, I think you and your readers at sequenza21 will like this piece we just published, by Richard Taruskin: It’s a provocative argument that the dire situation in which classical music finds itself is being made even more dire by the sentimentality and unreality of some of the music’s most ardent defenders. Here’s a link. […]

The Norman Conquests

Norman Lebrecht is an entertaining writer who has never let the facts get in the way of a good story.  Come to think of it, he may have been the world’s first blogger–he adopted the sloppy research habit before blogs were even invented.  For years, he’s been planting verbal IEDs along the classical music highway, wiping out entire convoys […]

The Sun Also Rises

Adam Kirsch, writing in today’s New York Sun: The critic of the serious arts — poetry, painting, music — is addressing readers who are not just indifferent to new work, but feel justified in their indifference. The critic’s first job, then, even before he evaluates individual works, is to make the reader feel uneasy about […]

Contemporary Grande Frappucinos

Out my (Seattle) way, local composer and Seattle Weekly columnist Gavin Borchert this week offered up something titled “Small Apologies“. A few excerpts: Not that I have anything against Tony Bennett or Norah Jones or any of the other recording artists whose work is propped up next to the biscotti, but I was wondering when […]

Promoting Modern Music by Stealth

Tom Jackson over at Modernclassical writes: Donald Rosenberg, the classical music critic and correspondent for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, gets the cover of the arts section Sunday with a primer on classical music, an article about the “beloved staples” which form the foundation of classical music. The headline graphic lists the usual suspects — Tchaikovsky, […]