Thunder Stolen by Brits

Crud. I was going to blog about this:

Admit it, you're as bored as I am

from the Guardian UK. But they let one of their own beat me to it:

Why Joe Queenan is wrong about new classical music

Damn! So much snark and righteous indignation wasted.

Ah, well, perhaps next time. And by "perhaps" I mean "definitely".

Please go read both links. The arguments are fascinating.

Oh, and shame on you, Joe Queenan. You're not helping.


Anonymous said...

Queenan makes good points about the appreciation of Classical/Romantic Era music and Modern Era music. The two musics are not similar as they have an entirely different set of rules, and expecting the average person to make the crossover is unreasonable.
Ironically, Tom Service argues for Queenan when he states:
"The music of the 20th century now dominates most orchestral concerts you will ever hear. Shostakovich, Britten, Prokofiev, Stravinsky - especially the early ballets - Debussy, Ravel, Berg, Copland, Bernstein, Bartok: these are the staples of any orchestra's repertoire now in a way that simply wasn't the case 50 years ago."
Hilarious! So, Tom, 20th century "tonal" music that uses classical forms dominates orchestras? I'm sure Joe would agree with Tom, though Tom forgot to put Rachmaninoff on the list of dominating 20th century composers. Hilarious!

Danny said...

It's a shame my local papers don't have the courage to rebuke their own columnists for the crap they print.

It is too bad that they Guardian won't post that in the print edition.

Anonymous said...

Weird case of prescience since I I mentioned Queenan in a previous comment on here. I called him a "snobby ass funny man," except he wasn't all that funny in that Guardian article, was he? Queenan's such a dilettante that it's hard to take him at his word. Several years ago he had an article of searing hatred directed towards the music of James Taylor. EASY TARGET. As is modern music.

And yes, he ain't helping.

Tom Strini said...

Hey. HEY!! Read this: http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article06260802.aspx

Best piece I've read about criticism as a concept. -- Strini

Sator Arepo said...

Wow. Thanks Mr Strini! That is certainly worth reading, and possibly blogging about.

Anonymous said...


Awesome link! Criticism is ineffective when it is not attached to performance. I only listen to those who do.

"[I]t is a good idea to sing musical themes to oneself in order to find out how they should be played; this will in any case be more useful than relying on long-winded books and tracts, in which all the talk is of Nature, Taste, Song, Melody, notwithstanding the fact that their authors are often incapable of composing two notes naturally, tastefully, songfully or melodiously, since they attribute all those gifts and qualities to this and that according to their whims, but mostly injudiciously."

-C.P.E. Bach