Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Cultural untouchables'

Writing for The Guardian (UK), The New Yorker’s Alex Ross revives an old question: Why do so many people who appreciate modern art and architecture despise modern art-music?

His answer: "[M]odern composers have fallen victim to a
long-smouldering indifference that is intimately linked to classical music’s idolatrous relationship with the past" . . .


The Guardian’s Tom Service begs to differ, offering evidence that the classical audience has come to terms with modernism:


Seems to me that the correct answer hinges on performers: Audiences will tolerate, even enjoy, modern and contemporary music, and unfamiliar music in general, if it’s performed by soloists, chamber groups, conductors and orchestras whose artistry they already value.

’Twas ever thus, I'll bet.