4 October 2016

Following my review of Spectrum: New American Music on Elektra Nonesuch 9 79222-2 (see my previous post), I needed to create the respective composers’ introductory pages. I started with Babbitt – and I had a helluva hard time writing it. It’s not that I lacked ideas and things to say (not me!…), it’s rather than I had too many. It’s something to have a bunch of ideas and things to say, and something else to organize them in a coherent and non-contradictory whole, with a beginning (Babbitt’s “historical” and infamous article published in the February 1958 issue of High Fidelity, “Who Cares If You Listen”), a conclusion (as sympathetic as I am with avant-garde music, the music of Babbitt usually loses me), and a logical unfolding implacably leading from one to the other. Well… I’ve published the page. Whether its logic is implacable, I wouldn’t stake my hand on it…

The introductions to the other composers featured on the disc, Rochberg, Shifrin, Wernick, Wolpe, were easier to write – and much shorter, too.

Comments are welcome