Saturday, April 19, 2008

Premature elegy

The New York Times' Bernard Holland waxes elegaic on atonal music and one of its second-generation masters, the 92-year-old composer George Perle.

"I admire Mr. Perle’s music, although I can’t say I like it very much," Holland admits. "He speaks a language he and his contemporaries made up. I can speak only the languages I was born to. Sometimes I feel guilty. Maybe I should work harder at his grammar and vocabulary. With age I feel guilty less and less."

Here's the whole essay:

Meanwhile, young musicians and listeners, grazing through computer audio files and music videos, are migrating from alt-rock and world music to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and from there some of them are venturing into "classic" atonalism.

The top classical album this week on the Billboard chart: Hilary Hahn playing Schoenberg's Violin Concerto.