Back to modernism

Real life, both personal and professional, has dragged me away from blogging, so I haven’t posted some thoughtful responses about modernism, James Levine, and the Boston Symphony. Here’s one (and I’m grateful for all of them), from Mark Styker, classical music critic with the Detroit Free Press:

Many interesting and complicated things in this discussion and I agree with you on some points. But one thing I really like about Levine’s programming for next season is that he’s doing what a music director ought to do with any important historical style but especially one that is still widely misunderstood and mistrusted, often unfairly: He’s acting as a curator – he’s culled the modernist canon and pulled out the works of the highest quality that he truly believes in, and he’s saying to the audiences, “Here are specific pieces by specific high modernist composers that I think have held up, that have merit, and if we are to understand them, we need to hear them regularly, in context with the music that came before.” This is not the same as saying, “We are going to listen indiscriminately  to every piece of far-out-music-that-no-one-wants-to-hear.”

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