Had I never listened closely enough?
Interesting article in New York magazine by Justin Davidson. His subject is Philip Glass.
Do you have composers who you try and try again with but remain resistant to, vaguely feeling it might be your fault?
I had trouble with Hugo Wolf for many years, but then the dam broke.
Falling in love with a piece of music is like falling in love with a person - it's completely irrational. If you are not in love with someone then getting to know them better is very unlikely to change that. Glass's music (or what I know of it) bores me and I don't feel, even vaguely, that it might be my fault.
Every so often I revisit Berg's violin concerto but my negative reaction to it remains the same. That doesn't bother me.
most of Bruckner leaves me cold. Too long,too thickly scored. My tinnitus doesn't help to be fair to AB.
Not always true. To extend your analogy, that initial attraction to someone wears off fast, unless there is more lying beneath the surface glitter to sustain interest over a period of time.
Originally Posted by rauschwerk
Some works reveal their beauties only gradually. I'm thinking of the Bartok quartets which initially left me cold; these are now among my very favourite works, and I'm might glad I persevered with them. Ditto Lutoslawski, the Gross Fuge and the symphonies of Robert Simpson, to name but a few.
I must admit to never really having "got" Robert Simpson's music. To me, after Beethoven, the greatest composers were those who expressed a feminine side to their musical personalities. Simpson, though, seemed determined to plough on with that uber-masculine, mid-Beethovenian way... little or no give - always struggle, struggle, struggle to the fore.
I blame Bruckner and Nielsen.
... a lot of the music that is now central to my listening was not something I found immediately comprehensible or attractive. It took me a very long time to 'get' Brahms and Bruckner. But I am glad I persevered.
Jonathan Harvey and Michael Finnissy in particular. And my own "Wolf Dam" remains un-busted.
Originally Posted by verismissimo
But I had the same difficulties with Martinu until a couple of years ago (thank you Mr Belohlavek!) - so I keep listening in the hope that there's the same sudden revelation.
I sometimes think that 'memory almost full' kicks in. As I have got older I listen to more and varied music, classical and non-classical, some of which I embrace, others reject or put on one side for later. There are some works works that I am gradually getting to know better, and it is only recently I have really got to grips with Mahler 9. But one problem I still have is wanting to hear too much and maybe I should select a few works to crack per month. I like the sound of Arnold's symphonies (Shostakovich with an English accent) and have the Penny set on Naxos but I cannot say I know any of them intimately. I have, I suspect like others on these boards, CDs of works awaiting listening.
It is true that the symphonies do plough similar furrows (or perhaps that should be, chart the same astronomical course) but, in the best of them (3,5,7,8, 9 and 10) an irresistible musical logic is at play.
Originally Posted by Serial_Apologist
Last edited by Panjandrum; 03-02-12 at 17:06.