Robert Gable has a fine post on Carl Ruggles' Sun-Treader, which is a great piece.

Mr. Gable has several interesting and provocative nuggets in this post:

. . . in spite of all that occurred in the twenties, the author [Nicolas Tawa, in American Composers and their Public: A Critical View] argues this generation of composers was arrogant, un-democratic, individualistic, self-aggrandizing, out of balance, etc.

I think I know the answer, but I'll ask this question anyway: We love those traits in our dead artists; why do we despise them in living ones?


. . . Richard Taruskin's opinion on Schoenberg, where the focus on the composer, his methods and tools, overwhelmed any sensitivity towards an audience. Taruskin calls this divergence the "poietic fallacy," which places the making of art ahead of how it is perceived.

But isn't that a poietic fallacy itself? I mean, doesn't casting an artist's work in terms of poietic fallacy overlook audience reaction: Mr. Taruskin goes on to list several of Schoenberg's works he likes, which seems to me to cancel the poieticism of Schoenberg, because it places the supposed lack of sensitivity of a potential audience above the positive reaction of a real audience (Mr. Taruskin himself).

At any rate, check out Sun-Treader.

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