[f_minor] Last minute Christmas present?
maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 14 15:52:41 MST 2013
For the music lover in the family who already has all the latest box sets, all the latest dvds:
"Lexicon of Musical Invective"
Critical Assaults on Composers Since Beethoven's Time
by Nicolas Slonimsky
This, on Beethoven's 'Eroica':
"The Heroic Symphony contains much to admire, but it is difficult to keep up admiration of this kind during three long quarters of an hour. It is infinitely too lengthy ... If this symphony is not by some means abridged, it will soon fall into disuse." - (The Harmonicon, London, April 1829)
This on Debussy's 'L'apres midi d'un faune':
"M. Claude Debussy is unknown so far as the great public is concerned. A Faun's Afternoon was certainly fin-de-siecle enough as a title. As a wit remarked, the next would no doubt be The Five O'Clock of a Nymph! The work itself is a curious fantasie, full of unprecise harmonies and fleeting phrases... There was a large and unimproved opportunity for some beautiful pastoral melodies. But then melodody is not the fashion, of course. - (Musical Courier, New York, October 28, 1895)
This on Wagner's 'Siegfried':
"I cannot admit that Siegfried is a great work, unless tediousness is greatness. Not from the first strain of the opening overture to the last crash of sound as the play ends, is there a solitary melody. The story is simply a chaotic mass of triviality and filth. Where it is not silly it is dirty... Any half-hour of it, from first to last, would make you blush, if you had a face on you as hard as a bronze statue, and a moral nature as tough as a section of New York pie-crust." - (Sunday Herald, London, May 30, 1882)
You can just begin to imagine what was written and published about Bartok, Berg, Mahler, Schoenberg, Stravinsky...
This is a marvellous "all in one" collection of multi-lingual historical music criticism destined for any music lover or anyone curious to know if anyone else 'hates it' as much as they do - but wasn't afraid to say so hahaha.
And you thought the critics were tough on GG? Wait till you read this collection on composers,
available at Amazon and others,
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