Don't know if anyone here cross-references or reads other classical music articles. Here's one
Golightly (yes yes - he does cast heavy footsteps for a man going about classically) seems to locate contemporary music within arguments over the economics of its survival. In any case, I found some fascinating quotes and snippets which he refers to. I can't stop myself rambling now
1. Performers and audiences, I believe, should be rewarded by those emotional elements in music which make us all 'more than we are'.2. There is a whole industry of academic pretentiousness that has been nurtured and cultivated by the contemporary music establishment which is, in my opinion, a million miles away from the motivation and philosophy of composers from past generations.Do these 3 quotes from Golightly lay a litmus test for contemporary music?3. How can you align a contemporary piece of art music (that may repeat a similar phrase over and over again, or a vast ever changing sound world where dissonance is piled on dissonance with no perceptible, and I underline the word perceptible, logic to the gradient), with the dramatic vivid orchestral colours of a film score? True - to anticipate a reply - 'one is absolute music and the other is wallpaper' (pretty sophisticated wallpaper, too, I might add!). The tragedy is that, in today's climate, the essence of heart and soul, traditionally found in all music is now, in the wallpaper, not the absolute, and worse - the consumer knows it. I accept that a lot of good contemporary music has been written and published in the last few years.
Should contemporary music reward us with an emotional experience which reveals to us, 'more than what we are?'
If so, much contemporary music would struggle to meet no.1, let alone no.2, or no.3. I'm sure there are much more richer and profound readings from Golightly's light article too.
This bit intrigues me:
I find, it would be much more rewarding and aesthetically pleasing, to listen to a complete string quartet cycle. However the very marketing forces which Golightly decries, close down marketing for complete string quartet cycles do they not? Who here, has ever heard all of Jindrich Feld's string quartets on CD? The leading exponent of contemporary Czech music, still hasn't had his complete string quartets recorded....!It would be much more rewarding and aesthetically pleasing to listen to a complete string quartet, than just one movement. However we live in a consumer environment and to market a product, no matter what its artistic stature, you have to employ the elements that are psychologically common to that society.