Bert Bailey argues:
>Pointless, boring, indulgent, unrestrained, excessive, flashy, flabby,
>and the like, make sense and convey something meaningful. They're valid,
>if controversial, observations, and you might concieveably persuade
>another with such views. ...But saying that those sounds reveal vanity
>is quite another thing. ...One must leap beyond such empirical data and
>read biography to show that Lizst was vain and self-centred (or not),
>that Tchaikovsky was gay, that Hildegard von Bingen was a woman, that
>Stravinsky was careful, even pathological about money.
But surely, what Robert Peters means is precisely that music which is
"unrestrained, excessive, flashy" reveals the vanity of its creator in
his lack of self-critical discipline. "Unrestrained, excessive, flashy"
is not the sort of criticism that is likely to be levelled against the
music of, for example, Sibelius. Conversely, although one cannot tell
from his music that Stravinsky was miserly with money, one can certainly
discover disciplined economy of means. I am not surprised to learn that
he was as economical with money as he was with notes.