Janos Gereben points us to Lebrecht's latest tirade -- against Mozart,
of all people.
I admit I'm not Mozart's biggest fan, but -- my goodness! -- not even
I would gobsmack him with this:
Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that
were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to
ours. Beyond a superficial beauty and structural certainty,
Mozart has nothing to give to mind or spirit in the 21st century.
Let him rest. Ignore the commercial onslaught. Play the Leningrad
Symphony. Listen to music that matters.
In its breathtaking certainty, it reminds me of Samuel Butler's little
monograph "Bach vs. Handel" (Butler decided, decisively, in favor of
Handel). I mean, this is cranksmanship of the first order. Notice how
vague it all is. Notice also that Lebrecht's identification of music
exclusively with social rituals (elsewhere in the article) makes it
impossible for *any* composer born in a time different from ours to
legitimately claim us. It reminds me once again of the dreary Relevance
argument of the Sixties. Weak as the argument is with linguistic and
representational art, it's even weaker with an art as abstract as music.
The crude version of Lebrecht's argument is that your parents are stupider