Monday, April 25, 2011

Footnote of the Day: A Little Music Criticism Perhaps

New music always sounds loud to old ears. Beethoven seemed to make more noise than Mozart; Liszt was noisier than Beethoven; Schoenberg and Stravinsky, noisier than any of their predecessors.

N. Slonimsky, Lexicon of Musical Invective: Critical Assaults on Composers Since Beethoven's Time 18 (1953).
One music critic wrote of Prokofiev:

Those who do not believe that genius is evident in superabundance of noise, looked in vain for a new musical message in Mr. Prokofiev's work. Nor in the Classical Symphony, which the composer conducted, was there any cessation from the orgy of discordant sounds.

Id. at 5 (internal quotations omitted).

 Justice Marshall, dissenting in Ward v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781, 808 n.7 (1989).

 

800px-18_century_house_concert

RR

[image: Anonymous, 18th C House Concert, via]

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