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Has Boulez's been a pernicious influence?


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Author Topic: Has Boulez's been a pernicious influence?  (Read 1929 times)
Gauk
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« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2013, 08:24:17 pm »

Well, you know, from my various observations of the world, I long ago came to the conclusion that a lot of what people call their musical taste has nothing to do with music at all, but is a badge of cultural identity. At some point in their life, someone may decide, probably entirely subconsciously, but based on their social milieu, that "their" music is, let's say hip-hop, and that is what they then play. But equally, it may not be hip-hop, but opera. I'm inherently suspicious of anyone who listens only to opera, that they actually don't care for music at all, they just like opera singing. And ALSO, I think it applies to many people who attend concerts of avant-garde (for want of a better term) music and cheer the music to the roof. Liking Boulez and denigrating Britten becaomes a cultural act and a badge of identity, rather than a purely musical judgement.

That does not mean I am suggesting that all music is equal, far from it. Rather that a lot of what purport to be musical judgements are in fact cultural ones.
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dyn
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« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2013, 08:55:23 pm »

And ALSO, I think it applies to many people who attend concerts of avant-garde (for want of a better term) music and cheer the music to the roof. Liking Boulez and denigrating Britten becaomes a cultural act and a badge of identity, rather than a purely musical judgement.
This is absolutely true; the people with whom i can talk about my enjoyment of Richard Barrett, Horatiu Radulescu and Toshio Hosokawa are disdainful if i happen to mention that i also like Christopher Rouse—and vice versa. There's a need to denigrate certain composers (the likes of Britten for the avant-gardists, the likes of Boulez for the traditionalists) out of a kind of siege mentality born, i think, from the belief that classical music is in decline and only their particular faction can save it.

i think both sides adopt certain kinds of music as standards to bear in this faction war. For the people on this forum it's the hundreds of little-known twentieth-century symphonists who worked in relatively traditional, tonal styles, whom you adopt in an effort to fight the prevailing cultural narrative that all such music became irrelevant when Schoenberg first set pen to paper; to the degree that if someone wanted to upload a rare work by a little-known twelve-note composer there'd be a very real sense that such contributions weren't welcome (though that's not in fact the case, and composers like Ralph Shapey do figure in the download archives, although with disclaimers). For other people it's the Wandelweiser composers, or the new complexity school, or free improvisers or les acousmatiques or Stockhausen. All of whom will definitely save classical music from whatever its problem is.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 02:22:08 pm »

There's a need to denigrate certain composers

Yes!  It's a straw-man argument, which runs like this:

1) I like composer X
2) So if I insult composer Y
3) then composer X will shine more brightly by comparison

 Huh   Huh   Huh

Crazy, I know - but there are quite a few fans of 'unfairly negelected' composers who think there is some grudge-match to be 'won'?   Roll Eyes

"If we all write to the BBC to say Berlioz is rubbish, they are certain to broadcast 'The Tigers' instead of 'The Trojans' in the Proms!" etc....




I am sorry to say that there is even a whole classical music website which works on this basis. All other composers are assaulted, belittled or rubbished, in the hope that Handel will appear to be a 'greater' composer than he already is...
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2013, 02:02:30 am »

It's very hard to have an opinion of anything these days, especially a subjective one...sooner or later, one will be accused of irrationality or bias, especially if it is negative. Maybe the "straw man" is in effect for some, but I would hope the members of this forum are more adult than that.
I do not slam a composer's music because it is "bad," but I certainly will certainly offer an opinion if the music of little value or inaccessable for me. I will not reccomend music I do not like, even the composer is in vogue with the newest "normal." To do otherwise would be dishonest and hypocritical.
My only concern is to share music that I value, especially that which has not been "discovered" by the mainstream of classical music devotees. The music is a much bigger issue than any personality cult.
 
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Latvian
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« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2013, 07:57:36 pm »

In looking through some files yesterday (the old kind -- printed paper, not computer files  Smiley), I came upon a clipping from the New York Times, from 1986. Unfortunately, only the last bit, so I don't know who wrote the article anymore. But, it's very apropos to the discussion here:

In his effort to remain at the head of the avant-garde class by becoming the prophet of computerized acoustique / musique, Mr. Boulez may be forgetting the advice of one of his own heroes, Varese, who cautioned composers against a narrow infatuation with technology at the expense of musical tradition: "Just because there are other ways of getting there, you do not kill the horse."

 Grin
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2013, 11:18:09 pm »

In looking through some files yesterday (the old kind -- printed paper, not computer files  Smiley), I came upon a clipping from the New York Times, from 1986. Unfortunately, only the last bit, so I don't know who wrote the article anymore. But, it's very apropos to the discussion here:

In his effort to remain at the head of the avant-garde class by becoming the prophet of computerized acoustique / musique, Mr. Boulez may be forgetting the advice of one of his own heroes, Varese, who cautioned composers against a narrow infatuation with technology at the expense of musical tradition: "Just because there are other ways of getting there, you do not kill the horse."

 Grin
And all this audio experimentation at the expense of other gifted composers being neglected. And not all of it necessarily tonal or traditional either. One case in point is Bruno Bettinelli's outstanding music, Do you know of him??
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2013, 03:35:37 pm »

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And all this audio experimentation at the expense of other gifted composers being neglected. And not all of it necessarily tonal or traditional either. One case in point is Bruno Bettinelli's outstanding music, Do you know of him??

Mostly from the various works of his that I recently discovered on YouTube. Very impressive! I've only just begun to explore, but the symphonic music has already grabbed my attention. I had heard a couple of other works in sub-par sonics a few years ago and wasn't impressed, but this trove on YT has changed my mind.
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2013, 05:44:09 pm »

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And all this audio experimentation at the expense of other gifted composers being neglected. And not all of it necessarily tonal or traditional either. One case in point is Bruno Bettinelli's outstanding music, Do you know of him??

Mostly from the various works of his that I recently discovered on YouTube. Very impressive! I've only just begun to explore, but the symphonic music has already grabbed my attention. I had heard a couple of other works in sub-par sonics a few years ago and wasn't impressed, but this trove on YT has changed my mind.

And only one of his symphonies (no 7) is posted there...what a shame..
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2013, 05:49:20 pm »

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And all this audio experimentation at the expense of other gifted composers being neglected. And not all of it necessarily tonal or traditional either. One case in point is Bruno Bettinelli's outstanding music, Do you know of him??

Mostly from the various works of his that I recently discovered on YouTube. Very impressive! I've only just begun to explore, but the symphonic music has already grabbed my attention. I had heard a couple of other works in sub-par sonics a few years ago and wasn't impressed, but this trove on YT has changed my mind.

And only one of his symphonies (no 7) is posted there...what a shame..

Sorry, Sinfonia Breve and the First string symphony are there also ..I do not think the string symphony is his symphony no 1.

BTW: I started a thread for Bettinelli here..you may want to check it out..
also, did you get the post I sent for Juri Karlsson Music for Strings at Latvian Radio?
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