Karl Miller wrote:
>I find Weber's music shallow and insipid, and I find Sondheim's
>music to be significant art music...even if he doesn't think of it that
Yes, I know he was talking of Webber, but a reported contemporary
comment on Weber seems relevant in showing just how wrong (in the eyes
of posterity) contemporary evaluations can be. I have this noted down,
though not the source: "Yes, for Beethoven's Sonatas one must give one's
whole heart. But those of Weber take one's soul as well".
>In art music, I see insipid classical music programming, in concert and
>on radio, having more of a negative effect on art music than even the
>most extreme examples of the "avant garde," of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
I wish I knew clearly what 'art music' is. One cannot judge it by its
subjective effects. I, for example, judge Wagner's music in general to
be 'great', yet even after 60 years listening and attempted appreciation
I loathe the bulk of it. As Mark Twain said "Wagner's music is really
not so bad as it sounds".:-). On the inverse side I find the recording
of a song 'O that we two were Maying..' by Vernon Midgely Longfield quite
enchanting even after repeated hearing, while another recording of Midgely
with a different soprano seems revolting. (I fully expect that 99% of
the list will never have heard of the song: it is a piece of trivia).
Perhaps the answer may be that 'art music' to a great extent does not
depend on the particular performance. Certainly I think that with a
reasonably competent performer such things as Mozart sonatas and Chopin
studies are 'unwreckable'. One may detest the particular performance,
yet still be able to see clearly the virtues of the 'piece'.
Ernie (ducking below the parapet)