Karl Miller wonders:
>Is Kozzin right telling us that the
>situation with classical music is great?
and then provokes us with a "where are the good old days?" film article.
I agree with Kozin in general. Art music is thriving. Only it's different.
And for all the nice differences, there are some lamentable ones.
The number one in my book, and apparently so as the major undercurrent
in the film comments, is lack of importance in melody. The great tunes,
the great art tunes, just aren't being written much any more. Right now
I'd say it's the least exploited of the major elements of music, with
rhythm, tone color, and harmony way ahead. Only dynamics, or at least
dynamic flux, seems to be the only other relatively neglected musical
I'm becoming afraid that hacks like ALWebber succeed only by pounding
in his derivative lines ad nauseam, that the few subtle tunes now written
aren't picked up by audiences. I still can't get over one reviewer's
stating that De Sabata's "Juventus" had no melody--when I thought it has
one of the greatest ever written.
There are lots of great pieces written in the last 30 years, but few
with tunes. The ones I remember include Corigliano's Red Violin chaconne,
Hoiby's Second Piano Concerto, Liebermann's piccolo concerto, the Rouse
Barcarolle, Daugherty's Violin Concerto, and I'm sure Listers could
contribute more, but these are isolated pleasures.
I hope it's just a fashion, and the tunes will come roaring back the way
"Light" piano concertos did in the '50s, we'll see.
But I agree with the writer: good melodies are hard to write. Too bad few
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