I like scrunchy music! Anyone else?


Last night, BBC Four aired the first episode in a new three-part series on modern classical music, entitled The Sound and The Fury.  For me, as a great fan of the screechy, discordant, hell-raising music of the 20th Century, it was a programme I was greatly looking forward to.  But I have to confess I found it a little disappointing.  Obviously, modern classical being the niche interest that it is, the show was aimed more at expanding the audience than in engaging the current one.   Fair enough, but in trying to explain and justify such ‘difficult’ music to a presumed audience of unbelievers, it made a cardinal mistake: it ended up apologising instead.

Schoenberg, we were told, was responsible “for the great rot that happened in classical music”.  The popular American composer John Adams pitched in to tell us that he liked Webern, “but I also find it…

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