In the '60s and '70s when American modernism was at its height, when 12-tone composers were chic, the critics bashed the shit out of them because they were writing music that was inaccessible. There was a constant stream of vicious criticism and harassment, led by Harold Schonberg and the critics of The New York Times, directed toward my teachers, Elliott Carter, Milton Babbitt and Charles Wourinen, who were leaders of the American modernist movement. This has now turned full circle. As soon as composers started writing music that was accessible, the critics starting bashing the shit out of us. It proves that some critics will find no good in anything, and this basically renders most music criticism meaningless.UPDATE (5:30 AM): Composer-blogger Daniel Felsenfeld asks a related (if more restrained) question.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
A composer responds (in advance)
I'd read this 2001 interview with Tobias Picker before the production, but it's more funny now: