20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18740
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by Lance » Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:12 pm

It will be interesting to see what transpires here given my subject matter, this subject inspired by a recent response to another post:

On a scale of 1 to 10 [10 being your best/highest rating], how would you rate contemporary music ... let's say music composed after 1950 to the present ... composers such as Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, etc. - or "contemporary" music in general. If you love Baroque, Classical, Romantic and music written up to 1950 and composers generally rate a 9 or 10, as might Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven, how does the "contemporary" music rate in comparison - from YOUR point of view?

My rather generous rating: 1.5. (Beethoven would be a 10.)

No explanations necessary; just looking for a hard number - as you see/hear it.

Hey, don't be ashamed of your rating or don't be intimidated by anyone else on this board. Respond by the answer that comes from your heart!
Last edited by Lance on Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:59 am

Formal classical music - 3

Movie scores - 10
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

val
Posts: 1039
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:46 am
Location: Lisbon

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by val » Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:24 am

My rather generous rating: 1.5. (Beethoven would be a 10.)

No explanations necessary; just looking for a hard number - as you see/hear it.

Lutoslwski 7
Berio 7
Dutilleux 7
Britten 7
Boulez 6
Carter 6
Nono 6
Penderecki 6
Stockhausen 5
Tippett 5
Zimmermann 5
Dufourt 5

gfweis
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:02 pm
Location: Aiken, SC

Post by gfweis » Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:45 am

Excluding Poulenc, Finzi, Walton, Bliss, Shostakovich, and others as post-1950, but not modernist composers in the sense intended, I suppose I'd give Berio a 1.5 and Britten a 2 (if Mozart & Beethoven are 10's), raising the overall average of post-1950 modernist composers to 1.01.
Greg Weis

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:58 am

Early 20th Century (inclunding the tail end of the 19th) seems the richest period to me (Stravinsky, Sibelius, Mahler, RVW, Puccini, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel, Walton, Bax, Copland, Barber, Gershwin, etc.), so let's score it a 10. The late 19th gets a 6, mostly due to Brahms, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky. The early 19th gets a 6, thanks mostly to LvB. The late 18th gets a 6, due mostly to (without Mozart, a 3, and without Haydn also, a 1). Early 18th gets a 6. Adams, Glass, Hovhaness, Reich, Pärt, Lutosławski, Rautavaara, Shostakovich, Takemitsu, etc. make the late 20th comparable to most other periods so I'd give it a provisional 6, with the understanding that in time we may unearth a treasure trove of neglected works that will raise the overall assessment a notch or two.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

BWV 1080
Posts: 4451
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:05 pm

Post by BWV 1080 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:27 am

Carter, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Messiaen, Takemitsu and Dutilleux all rate a 10

Haydnseek
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by Haydnseek » Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:03 pm

Lance wrote:On a scale of 1 to 10 [10 being your best/highest rating], how would you rate contemporary music ... let's say music composed after 1950 to the present
I'll give it a collective 3. I think it's important that new music be performed and keep hoping I will hear something I'll really love, but very, very little of it works for me - almost nothing really. I really wish the picture were different. I can't bring myself to attend concerts of the old warhorses anymore (though I still enjoy recordings of them very much.) Jazz is the form of contemporary music I listen to with the most pleasure.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Cyril Ignatius
Posts: 1035
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:14 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by Cyril Ignatius » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:27 pm

With Beethoven, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky and Brahms as 10s, I might collectively give recent compositions a five, very generously. I can only give a vague collective rating because so few of the compositions I've heard really intice me to look further. They often play them as opening pieces in the concert halls - and most I just take in - I try to find what I can in them, but for the most part I just don't find them beautiful. Many are okay in their own way, but overall I'm indifferent. I know some people obviously love the dissonence and atonlity, and that's fine.

There are sriking exeptions to my overall response to modern pieces:. I recently heard "Old and Lost Rivers" by Tobias Picker, at the Cincinnati symphony. I really like that piece and wish they would record it and give Tobias PIcker lots of support.

A typical example of the contrast between the older beautiful classics and the modern was on full display at the Cincinnato Symphony this past weekend. The first half was modern pieces, and with the exeption of one gentler and melodic piece, I was indifferent. The second half was Mahler's First Symphony, marvelously conducted by Junichi Hirokami. It was great.
Cyril Ignatius

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:47 pm

The problem with comparing the contemporary scene to the late 18th century is that the comparisons don't include the mediocre composers of the earlier age, which would always bring down the average. You rate Beethoven and Mozart as a 10, naturally, but add in, oh, say, Benjamin Carr, Alexander Reinagle, Pierre Landrin Dupont, and James Hook, and the rating of the era drops considerably. The number of bad or unkown composers always overhwhelms the number of great ones, so that the whole age looks pretty medicore. ("I mean, except for Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, the music from 1780 to 1830 just sucks.")

I'd rate Carter and Wolpe each as an 8 or a 9, but John Adams as a 3 or 4, and so on. In this way, every age that has ever been rates about a 5. Look at the winning percentages for the entire history of major league baseball. No matter how good or bad the reputation of a particular franchise, they all cluster around .500.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:49 pm

Blip wrote:The problem with comparing the contemporary scene to the late 18th century is that the comparisons don't include the mediocre composers of the earlier age, which would always bring down the average. You rate Beethoven and Mozart as a 10, naturally, but add in, oh, say, Benjamin Carr, Alexander Reinagle, Pierre Landrin Dupont, and James Hook, and the rating of the era drops considerably. The number of bad or unkown composers always overhwhelms the number of great ones, so that the whole age looks pretty medicore.
Exactly. Except that the early 20th Century was an exception, and you're mistaken about Adams (a 3 or 4? balderdash!).

Cyril Ignatius--I've a nice recording of Picker's Rivers together with Hovhaness's Mysterious Mountain, Takemitsu's Tree Line, and John Williams's Bassoon Concerto, Five Sacred Trees--Williams/LSO Sony.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:44 am

DavidRoss wrote:Exactly. Except that the early 20th Century was an exception, and you're mistaken about Adams (a 3 or 4? balderdash!).
Well, maybe as high as a 5, but I've never found Mr. Adams' music any better than fair. I agree with you about the early 20th century, though: an extraordinary period. It's always been my favorite. There was so much going on, with many great composers writing in many different styles.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Post by johnQpublic » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:17 pm

8

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:45 pm

I can't do any better than Lance--1.5. But I hope he and all of us would agree that this does not mean worthlessness. It just means that we are dealing with mere art instead of colossal art.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:52 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I can't do any better than Lance--1.5. But I hope he and all of us would agree that this does not mean worthlessness.
No, just as $15 is not worthless compared to $100 :-)
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:53 pm

jbuck919 wrote:It just means that we are dealing with mere art instead of colossal art.
Even the term 'art' can be challenged when it turns off so many people. I think a lot of these composers are legends in their own minds and the minds of those who invite them to cocktail parties for their brilliant repartee.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:56 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Even the term 'art' can be challenged when it turns off so many people.
Right, so the Beethoven late quartets aren't really 'art' are they? If 'art' is contingent on acceptance by the booboisie.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:05 pm

karlhenning wrote:If 'art' is contingent on acceptance by the booboisie.
Are you including the knowledgeable concert-goer in your dismissal? I wasn't referring to people who don't listen to classical music at all. And I certainly wouldn't refer to people who do listen to classical music as "booboisie." Just because a music student can string together mathematically or intellectually satisfying musical sounds don't make it music any more than Barbara Cartland's stringing together words makes her a artist (using the term in the most general sense).
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:18 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:It just means that we are dealing with mere art instead of colossal art.
Even the term 'art' can be challenged when it turns off so many people. I think a lot of these composers are legends in their own minds and the minds of those who invite them to cocktail parties for their brilliant repartee.
Well, here we go again. This argument has been rehashed to death, and it always ends up in the same place: the people who do like moderism think the people who don't like modernism think the people who do like modernism are elitist, and the people who don't like modernism think the people who do like modernism think the people who don't like modernism are boobs.

I won't get into any of that. I can only speak for myself and cannot take responsibility for anyone else's reaction. I can understand why knowledgable concert goers don't like some of my favorite composers, and I respect it. On the other hand, I have never invited any of my favorites to a cocktail party and flattered myself with their presence. Lance asked for a response from the heart and I gave mine. I love a lot of this stuff (see my review of the new Bridge disk on the Carter thread). What others may regard as dissonance or ugliness, I regard as power. Of course, there are some phonies and no-talents among the current generation, but that's true in every generation.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:20 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
karlhenning wrote:If 'art' is contingent on acceptance by the booboisie.
Are you including the knowledgeable concert-goer in your dismissal?
Are you including great art in your dismissal? :-)

I borrowed the term "booboisie" from Mencken, of course.

But there are three errors of the broad brush in your post here, Corlyss. (1) That all new music is of the same character, and/or of the same level of quality; (2) That composers who don't write warmed-over StuffThatEveryListenerAlreadyLikes are charlatans; and (3) That no knowledgeable concert-goers (or an inconsiderable percentage of concert-goers) appreciate new music.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:53 pm

karlhenning wrote:Are you including great art in your dismissal? :-)
If it's inaccessible to even knowledgeable people, can it be great? Can it be art?
I borrowed the term "booboisie" from Mencken, of course.
I can't ask him, so I asked you.
But there are three errors of the broad brush
You're jumping to conclusions since I didn't specify any particular composers or compositions. I know who I have in mind. You have a different list obviously. That's okay. I'd don't want to talk specifics. Generalities serve better for a discussion of the notion that the 20th Century has failed woefully to produce nearly the quality of composer and music that the 19th did. 500 years from now, people will still be playing and admiring most of the 19th Century output and looking on the 20th Century's as a curiously and inexplicably dark void. This reminds me I owe you those articles on human and other nervous system preferring tonality. They are around here somewhere . . .
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:02 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Are you including great art in your dismissal? :-)
If it's inaccessible to even knowledgeable people, can it be great? Can it be art?
That is a tendentious simplification. I'm a knowledgeable person, and I find Carter's Boston Concerto "accessible."

We will probably find some knowledgeable person somewhere who finds practically any piece of music which has been composed "accessible," so that pretty much takes care of attempts to dismiss greatness or arthood on that basis.
. . . This reminds me I owe you those articles on human and other nervous system preferring tonality.
I await these with interest.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:33 pm

Lance wrote:Hey, don't be ashamed of your rating or don't be intimidated by anyone else on this board. Respond by the answer that comes from your heart!
Karl wrote:I rate at 10:
Prokofiev, Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Prokofiev, Symphony No. 7
Shostakovich, Symphonies Nos. 10, 13, 14, 15
Shostakovich, The Execution of Stepan Razin
Shostakovich, Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarotti
Shostakovich, Viola Sonata
Shostakovich, Violin Sonata
Shostakovich, String Quartets Nos. 12 & 13
Stravinsky, Agon
Stravinsky, Cantata
Stravinsky, Canticum Sacrum
Ligeti, Lontano
Ligeti, Atmosphères
Ligeti, Piano Concerto
Wuorinen, Third and Fourth Piano Concerti
Wuorinen, Genesis
Wuorinen, Mass for the Restoration of St Luke's
Wuorinen, Piano Quintet

Karl wrote:I rate at 9.5:
Stravinsky, Requiem Canticles
Stravinsky, Movements for Piano and Orchestra
Boulez, Le marteau sans maître
Boulez, Pli selon pli
Carter, Double Concerto for Harspichord, Piano and Two Chamber Orchestras
Wuorinen, Percussion Quartet
Moody, Akáthistos Hymn
Moody, Passion & Resurrection

Karl wrote:I rate at 9:
Stravinsky, Threni
Wuorinen, Concerto for Amplified Violin
Rautavaara, Vigilia
Shatin, Ignoto Numine
Erb, Ritual Observances
Andriessen, Hoketus
Harvey, Mortuous Plango, Vivos Voco
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26867
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:46 pm

Lance is an extremely mild-mannered and affable moderator, for which I thank on a daily basis whatever gods there be. It is unlike him to start a controversial thread, and I imagine he did not anticipate the baggage some of us carry with us on this topic.

Lance wasn't asking for individual ratings of either pieces or composers on a scale of one to ten (he mentioned Beethoven as a 10 as an exemplative benchmark, not so we could say specifically that Milton Babbitt was a "1.") He was asking for a relative rating of music before circa 1950 (which includes Shostakovich and Stravinsky even though they died later) and music of the newer era. Did anyone really have to draw a picture to see what he was getting at?

I'm sorry Lance, you did not appoint me your interpreter, but just kick me off the board (or at least in the rear) if I've got this wrong and all these rushers in have it right.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:57 pm

Well, those ratings are from my heart, and I know you're not trying to intimidate me, John Image
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:31 pm

karlhenning wrote: We will probably find some knowledgeable person somewhere who finds practically any piece of music which has been composed "accessible," so that pretty much takes care of attempts to dismiss greatness or arthood on that basis.
Accessible to one is not even a starter in defining art, which is just modified communication, like a fingernail is a modified hair. At the core, art must communicate, or it ain't art.
I await these with interest.
The thing that hung me up last time was that the articles were unreadable technical stuff. I may send them if I can find the urls, but please don't feel obligated to read them. :wink:
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:53 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:...the 20th Century has failed woefully to produce nearly the quality of composer and music that the 19th did. 500 years from now, people will still be playing and admiring most of the 19th Century output and looking on the 20th Century's as a curiously and inexplicably dark void.
Understood as opinion, fine. But presented as a statement of fact, simply wrong. The twentieth century--especially the first few decades--was as fecund in music as in all the other arts. Mahler, Sibelius, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Barber, Bartok, Bax, Vaughan Williams, Copland, Gershwin, Hindemith, Holst, Strauss, Janacek, Nielsen, Shostakovich, Walton, Villa Lobos, Satie, Poulenc, Ives, Piston, Messiaen, Korngold, Berg, Elgar, Rachmaninov, and Puccini gave us as much quality and variety of marvelous music as all the previous centuries together, and that's only in the first half of the 20th. The second half is too recent to have been digested by all but a few specialists, yet there is no reason to believe that when the cream rises to the top it won't prove nearly as rich.

You might say (or jbuck would) that no period equals the late 18th/early 19th centuries when Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven were all alive. I agree that it was an astonishing time for music. But certainly no more than the late 19th/early 20th centuries, with Debussy, Sibelius, Mahler, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev all at once.

I love Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms...as well as many other old boys like Vivaldi, Berlioz, Dvorak, Schumann, Zelenka, usw. But my love for them does not prevent me from enjoying, appreciating, admiring, and loving many superb composers who stood on the shoulders of these giants and reached ever higher. And I am flabbergasted whenever I encounter someone who exhibits so much good sense in so many ways yet who denies that any great music has been written since Brahms (or Beethoven, or Haydn, or Monteverdi, etc.). It's like claiming that Dickens was the high point of English literature and nothing since has been worth reading, or that painting went straight downhill after Raphael: it's a point of view, hardly a fact, and not a very informed or enlightened point of view at that.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

springrite
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 6:53 pm

Post by springrite » Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:15 am

Lutoslwski 7
Schnittke 9
Feldman 9
Ligeti 8
Berio 7
Perle 6
Rorem 6
Pettersson 8
Kurtag 7
Dutilleux 7
Rihm 7
Maw 6
Gubaidulina 8
Lindberg 5
Saariaho 7
Rouse 6
Session 6
Xenakis 7
Veinberg 6.5
Henze 6
Dallapiccola 6
Salonen 7
Boulez 6
Carter 10
Nono 6
Penderecki 6
Stockhausen 7
Zimmermann 7
Messiaen 8
Takemitsu 8
Birtwhistle 7
Adams 5
Glass 2
Music starts where words fail.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:18 am

DavidRoss wrote:Understood as opinion, fine. But presented as a statement of fact, simply wrong. The twentieth century--especially the first few decades--was as fecund in music as in all the other arts.
No way. Neither in terms of quality or quantity or influence. Just for grins, try checking a music history book - Grout, Machlis, Crocker - and see just how many pages are occupied in mid-late 20th Century music compared to the 19th. Whereas the visual arts continued to flourish and evolve, formal classical music all but collapsed. People won't pay to hear it. They don't buy the CDs. They don't want it. Yet composers continue to strain at the very modest output they do manage to produce in a style that most people don't want to hear. If conductors didn't program such music in with warhorses, it would rarely be heard at all.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Dickson
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:45 am

Post by Dickson » Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:40 am

Boy, what a tough question. I really don't like judging music on a scale...it's like saying X is the greatest composer ever..I can't do that.

There's so much in the 20th century to love...Ligeti, Berio, Stravinsky, Webern, Schnittke, Bartok...how can you say anything but that it was a great time in which to live and be a music fan?

Of course there are composers I haven't gotten yet (Carter and the "angry" composers from the 60s still come to mind...sorry Blip), but I won't give up on them.

Ok..I'll give this period an 8.36 out of 10. If I knew what 10 was...I'd listen to it more.

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 07, 2005 9:14 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Accessible to one is not even a starter in defining art, which is just modified communication, like a fingernail is a modified hair. At the core, art must communicate, or it ain't art.
Doesn't matter, unless you're trying to say that things which I find accessible, will be accessible to me alone.

All of the pieces on my list are a matter of public record, because a sizeable group of people find them accessible.

And, it is a matter of historical record, that a great many pieces which are now standard repertory, were decried in their day by conservative audiences as (essentially) inaccessible.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:20 am

Dickson wrote: how can you say anything but that it was a great time in which to live and be a music fan?
Easily. :D
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:24 am

karlhenning wrote: All of the pieces on my list are a matter of public record, because a sizeable group of people find them accessible.
History will judge. But I'm not coming back in 500 years just to find out what history says about Lygeti and Lutoslawski. I'll be busy with other things by then. :wink:
And, it is a matter of historical record, that a great many pieces which are now standard repertory, were decried in their day by conservative audiences as (essentially) inaccessible.
Yeah, but not necessarily dispositive.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:05 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Yeah, but not necessarily dispositive.
That is neither more (nor less) true of Medieval/Renaissance music, than of 20th-century music.

There are more people who just plain like this new stuff, than you are giving credit for, Corlyss :-)
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:21 pm

karlhenning wrote:There are more people who just plain like this new stuff, than you are giving credit for, Corlyss :-)
Well, I didn't say nobody liked it. But obviously the numbers are shockingly small considering. Otherwise, writers like Lebrecht wouldn't be continually announcing the death of classical music, or its "museumification." Opera companies would be clamoring to produce Blitzstein instead of safely producing Rossini and Verdi. Symphony orchestras would not be described as "fearless" in proforming things written after 1950. Conductors wouldn't be described as "champions of modern music" - it wouldn't be discussed at all. It would be routine. Is it routine among generalists? Or is it the purview of specialists? I think we both know the answer to that.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:48 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
karlhenning wrote:There are more people who just plain like this new stuff, than you are giving credit for, Corlyss :-)
Well, I didn't say nobody liked it. But obviously the numbers are shockingly small considering. Otherwise, writers like Lebrecht wouldn't be continually announcing the death of classical music, or its "museumification." Opera companies would be clamoring to produce Blitzstein instead of safely producing Rossini and Verdi. Symphony orchestras would not be described as "fearless" in proforming things written after 1950. Conductors wouldn't be described as "champions of modern music" - it wouldn't be discussed at all. It would be routine. Is it routine among generalists? Or is it the purview of specialists? I think we both know the answer to that.
My esteemed Corlyss, each of these points can be addressed; nothing is as easy as these bullet-points suggest, and the whole plate is a tendentious reading as a sum-of-the-parts.

I think one of the most telling things about this exchange of ours is, that you are doing some wolf-crying — hasting to panicked pronouncement of the supposed "death of classical" — while I, who am actually writing music (and in pretty robust obscurity, at that) am not in the least worried.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Volodya
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Modesto, California, USA

Post by Volodya » Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:04 pm

I've only really heard two composers from 1950 to the present in detail. One is Shostakovich (who I give a 10 for the music he wrote past that year) and the other is Lutoslawski (who I would give a 4 at this point--I need to hear more by him).

I thought about getting some discs by Carter, Cage, Glass and some other composers I see mentioned on this site and others, but it seems pre-1950's music always wins out.
Last edited by Volodya on Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:00 pm

Ok, now I remember why I stopped coming back here ...
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

Volodya
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Modesto, California, USA

Post by Volodya » Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:20 pm

Blip wrote:Ok, now I remember why I stopped coming back here ...
Did my post drive you away again, Blip?

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:45 pm

Volodya wrote:
Blip wrote:Ok, now I remember why I stopped coming back here ...
Did my post drive you away again, Blip?
No, you were perfectly reasonable. It's the persistence and general tenor of these arguments I find unpleasant. I thought I left this kind of thing behind when I moved to GMG.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Blip has it pretty much right...

Post by RebLem » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:32 pm

...except that I would give Hummel and Field a 5, and Arriaga a 6 or 7.

Most modern music is crap, but then Goldmark wasn't any great shakes either. I'd give George Crumb and Ellen Taafe Zwilich 7's. Not very familiar with most of the others, except I must protest the inclusion of Benjamin Britten in this group. Britten was a great, conservative composer, and for the period he lived in, only Gershwin,Copland, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich are peers to me. They all get 10s.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:53 pm

Blip wrote: I thought I left this kind of thing behind when I moved to GMG.
You mean they don't have "this kind of thing" at GMG?
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Blip
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:55 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

Post by Blip » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:19 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Blip wrote: I thought I left this kind of thing behind when I moved to GMG.
You mean they don't have "this kind of thing" at GMG?
Not since Eric left.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

BWV 1080
Posts: 4451
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:05 pm

Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:06 am

Interesting how the argument goes "I never listen to it, but it is crap"

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:09 am

BWV 1080 wrote:Interesting how the argument goes "I never listen to it, but it is crap"
Or in the case of some, "I went and listened to it once, just so I can say I've listened to it, and it's crap."
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:14 am

karlhenning wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:Interesting how the argument goes "I never listen to it, but it is crap"
Or in the case of some, "I went and listened to it once, just so I can say I've listened to it, and it's crap."
I like the forthrightness of John's pronouncement that he "knows in advance" that most modern music is crap, thus he needn't waste time hearing it. I'm saddened, however, that he regards this attitude as enlightened (calling to mind, Karl, that related thread on the decline of critical thinking in universities).
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

Volodya
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Modesto, California, USA

Re: Blip has it pretty much right...

Post by Volodya » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:04 pm

RebLem wrote:...except that I would give Hummel and Field a 5, and Arriaga a 6 or 7.

Not very familiar with most of the others, except I must protest the inclusion of Benjamin Britten in this group. Britten was a great, conservative composer, and for the period he lived in, only Gershwin,Copland, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich are peers to me. They all get 10s.
Forgot to mention Khatchaturian, who may not have been a 10 but was at least a steady 6 or 7.

Agreed that Gershwin and Copeland were two great American composers, although I wouldn't place them in the league of the Great Ones.

Would like to hear more of Britten (and R. V. Williams, too).
The Mighty Five:
1.) Beethoven
2.) Prokofiev
3.) Shostakovich
4.) Brahms
5.) Stravinsky

Gregory Kleyn

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by Gregory Kleyn » Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:50 pm

Lance wrote:It will be interesting to see what transpires here given my subject matter, this subject inspired by a recent response to another post:

On a scale of 1 to 10 [10 being your best/highest rating], how would you rate contemporary music ... let's say music composed after 1950 to the present ... composers such as Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, etc. - or "contemporary" music in general. If you love Baroque, Classical, Romantic and music written up to 1950 and composers generally rate a 9 or 10, as might Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven, how does the "contemporary" music rate in comparison - from YOUR point of view?

My rather generous rating: 1.5. (Beethoven would be a 10.)

No explanations necessary; just looking for a hard number - as you see/hear it.

Hey, don't be ashamed of your rating or don't be intimidated by anyone else on this board. Respond by the answer that comes from your heart!
Can a friggin number ever come from the heart?

Dickson
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:45 am

Post by Dickson » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:19 am

Greg, the 8.3 score I gave was straight from my heart. I'm not sure where the .06 came from.

karlhenning
Composer-in-Residence
Posts: 9816
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:12 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by karlhenning » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:54 am

Gregory Kleyn wrote:Can a friggin number ever come from the heart?
Until the heart can express itself, we find symbols to express what we read there. Why is a number an 'ineligible symbol' for this purpose?
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

DavidRoss
Posts: 3384
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 7:05 am
Location: Northern California

Re: 20th/21st Century Music: Ratings 1 to 10

Post by DavidRoss » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:57 am

karlhenning wrote:
Gregory Kleyn wrote:Can a friggin number ever come from the heart?
Until the heart can express itself, we find symbols to express what we read there. Why is a number an 'ineligible symbol' for this purpose?
And the Russian judge gives that comment a score of 8.6 on content, 8.9 on form.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests