From The New York Times: “Searching New Music For Keepers”
Nice article by Allan Kozinn
The article is protected by copyright, so I will not repeat it here. Maybe just some “bullets”, and then a link.
” ‘Most of the music we play,’ a musician who specializes in contemporary works told me recently, ‘is not great. Some of it is very good, but it lacks something. It falls short. But we need to play it — not only because something great may turn up, and if we don’t play it, we won’t know it, but also because this is the music being composed now, and it ought to be heard.’”
“This musician’s assessment should not have surprised me, not because new music is inherently no good, as its detractors would have it, but because it captured the essence of a new-music performer’s job.”
“…when the program ends, musicians must become discerning critics who examine what they have played and assess whether they want to keep it in their repertories…”
“…it is becoming clear to more and more musicians, especially younger ones, that if they are going to have careers — or even a field to have careers in — they cannot keep playing the pillars of the standard canon over and over, spectacular though those works may be…”
“…musicians are, to borrow a term from the computer world, beta testers [for New Music]…”
“Even if performers eventually look critically at the work, they have an investment in it at first…”
“Musicians need listener feedback to know whether a piece speaks to anyone else.”
“…the audience, by creating a buzz about the music or the composer and buying tickets to hear the piece the next time it is performed, becomes part of the mechanism that either sends a score into oblivion or finds it a berth in the repertory…”
“And if you page through the reviews quoted in Nicholas Slonimsky’s “Lexicon of Musical Invective,” you will discover that many works now considered deathless masterpieces were dismissed, sometimes violently, at first hearing…”
That is enough. This is a good article, read the complete article here.
And, you should know that the best place to sample New Music at little cost in time and effort is at Q2, WQXR’s 24/7 New Music Stream. Especially, introduce yourself to Q2 with the twice daily four hour gig known as Nadia Sirota on Q2. As a host, Nadia is unmatched. She will tell you about what you are hearing in an efficient and intelligent manner. There are special “modules” like Hammered!, Cued Up on Q2, and Q2 LIve Concerts for your anytime listening pleasure and edification. Also, the sites are loaded with informative text and some pretty nice graphics. So, if you have an interest in New Music, or would just like to see what it is all about, Q2 is the “place “for you.
WQXR, and thus Q2, is a Public Radio station and deserves your financial support.