Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Classical Music is Too Boring

It only takes an occasional foray into contemporary music concerts to get the point:  Sound itself is no longer a subject matter that instrumentalists care about or know how to pay attention to.

There are many notable exceptions to this: most percussionists, a lot of club musicians, early music people, for example.  And there are living composers who know how to address the beauty problem in such a way that musicians who still know how to respond to their instruments make you aware of that as you listen.  My friend Ursula Mamlok is such a composer.

But among the "serious" musicians I hear, some of whom are very good, indeed, I get the feeling that difficulty has become their substitute for beauty.  In order for them to concentrate as they practice the music has to be difficult.

Too often I go to the concert and all I hear is difficulty.  I am rarely moved.