Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I should be writing about John S Mill...

But i'd rather write an essay about Ned Rorem and the song's i've just finished listening to.

My first question is, why hasnt he been marginalized yet? This music is lyrical, emotional and fairly "conventional"... its ripe for marginalization. I mean, why should we care about mid-late 20th century composers who arnt serialists or minimalists or avant-gardists? What "relevance" do they have?

Its really surprising to me, then, that i've heard his name and its not been dismissed in the same breath as "neo-romantic" or "sentimental", or, worse yet, "conservative". We have dismissed the achievements in Samuel Barber, so why not Rorem (who's music sounds very similar, actually) ..? Its beautiful stuff, this rorem music. He's got some really wonderful songs.

Poor Barber, a misunderstood and much maligned (thats right, maligned) composer. Have you heard his Knoxville: Summer of 1915? or for that matter, his sublime, his masterpiece for winds- Summer Music? ...i will leave my words for Barber another day. Back to essay writing...


Michael said...

M., you're being sarcastic, right? And, who's dismissing Barber?

M. Keiser said...

no... im not. :)

yes, yes i am.

And i have read so many times-

"Barber: conservative, neo-romantic. The end" ....And then many insults hurled at his work. While uneven, he did produce masterpeices that need to be given a fair play. I have read many an angry modernist who dismisses Barber (and sibelius, for the matter).

bryant manning said...

an old friend of mine, who knows more about classical music than anyone i know, thinks "knoxville: summer of 1915" is one of the best American compostions of all time.

who do you have singing?

M. Keiser said...

dawn upshaw.

This is about as american as the music gets. It fits in perfectly with the americana paintings of wyeth and grant wood, and even with the music copland was composing at the time.