29.11.04

Speculation

What would happen if a composer were to arrive on the scene who wrote in the style of (say) Mozart, with as much skill and invention? Would s/he be "accepted"?

I thought of this music school lounge/theory bar type of question when I read A. C. Douglas' rave about a young composer named Jay Greenberg, who was featured on CBS' 60 Minutes yesterday evening.

A little Googling turned up a good amount of information on the composer, including this appearance on PRI's From The Top, which includes a Pittsburgh Symphony performance of Mr. Greenberg's Overture to 9/11. I won't say much about the piece, which is well-, if not imaginatively, orchestrated, and competent.

I was not bowled over by the piece (could you tell?), and I don't know how much of that was due to overselling on Mr. Douglas' part, or by the fact I don't share his desire for a Great Tonal Hope to rise up and save us all.

Could it be professional jealousy? Of course it could.

EDITED TO ADD: The question about composers writing in styles of the past came to mind because of Mr. Greenberg's music (and his publicity), not because of Mr. Douglas' post. Of course there can be, and is, very fine music to be written in styles that are essentially tonal.

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