...Of any "neo" movements in contemporary art. "Tradition" scares me- and, shockingly, i agree with Boulez:
"No, I do not believe in tradition, I believe in history," he says in a different tone. "The lessons you get from history are your own lessons, you are teaching yourself. Tradition is simply the mannerism of people who came before you. Tradition is passive, history is active." (Sorce!)
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And just so you dont attack me - a word on other "neo"s -
Stravinsky's "Neo-classicism", for the most part, is very much modernist classicism, rather than the other way around. Its re-interpreting ideas rather than style(usually), and when he uses classical mannerisms, its usually quite brief and referential- as if he was beating it into you just what he's up to.
Likewise, Samuel Barber's (or Copland's) "Neo-romanticism" isnt so much looking back to a style, but rather looking to further its range and expressive possibilities. Could one of Barber's earliest and most conventional works, the Overture to the School for Scandal, been produced in the "romantic age" ? Hell no. Its starts off with a sharp bitonality that even Strauss wouldn't have touched.
I have little or no experience with the popular "neo-romantic" pieces written in the last 30 years (aside from those pieces by Glass and Adams that many have sometimes labeled as such) and this may be a good thing. It scares me that contemporary composers could be sinking into something backwards - the gesture seems nihilistic- as if to suggest that all that is artistically viable has been exhausted. What a horribly cynical and close-minded idea!
There are those in the art-history world who will argue that nothing artistic can be truly out of place, that there can be no such thing as an artistic anachronism. Artists are conscious of their times, no doubt, and even if they choose not to reflect that in their art, they're still expressing something. Artistic "anarchronisms" make a statement about the artist and their relationship to their modern world. Likewise, periods of great "anachronism", such as the victorian periods in architecture (which endlessly re-hashed and re-invented medieval architectural language) express a great deal about the society and culture of the times. (the industrial revolution, romanticism, etc).
Pardon my endless quotations around words, but i need to express in some way an idea without suggesting to you that i believe it. Its laziness, you might say, and you'd be correct.
im getting dizzy and tired. Its hard for me to re-read this.
I was honored by vilain fille's recent post which mentioned this site. She says its "chewey", a good thing i hope, but i can only ask- is my blog chewey? and if so, what does that mean?
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