After a well-argued and link-rich discussion of the state of German composition and theory, Mr. Ross makes reference to my oft-stated desire that "we have to get beyond a politicized new-music scene and celebrate the best of all traditions, 'conservative' and 'radical.' A fine idea, but how do you arrange a cease-fire? Who's going to tell the Germans?"
Given Alex Ross' prominence in music criticism, I think it is fair to say that the Germans have now been told. They will undoubtedly have to be told again--more than once, to be sure.
As will others. Jens F. Laurson of ionarts ends a post on analogies about tonality with this slap:
P.S. I made someone (innocent) listen to all of Pierrot Lunaire last week. Somebody stop me before mere bystanders get hurt.Well, OK. What. Ever. Substitute Beethoven 9 for Pierrot and it still "works".
A. C. Douglas posted the other day on some lame poetry, a critical response to it, and a response to the response. Mr. Douglas adds:
Why is it, I wonder, that the dissing of Ms. Houlihan and her criticism, and the defense of "post-avant" poetry (represented here by the above quoted two "nonorganic" poems) and poets by their champions sound eerily the same as the dissing of the critics and criticism of so-called "New Music," and the defense of such music and its composers by their champions? Could the answer be that New Music and nonorganic, post-avant poetry are eerily the same; near-perfect analogues, each of the other?
The lack of specifics in this rant is typical--no composers, pieces, or champions are named, so no response is possible. Mr. Douglas posts like this often enough that I wonder if he has a macro for it.
At any rate, both sides in the style wars would do well to listen to a call for a cease fire.
PS: Mr. Douglas fires up his macro again, as I was writing this. Who's going to tell the Bloggers?