Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Peter Serkin on musical abstraction

Peter Serkin in his younger days

From the New York Times piece by VIVIEN SCHWEITZER"It is often remarked that contemporary audiences have a greater appetite and appreciation for Modernist art than for Modernist music. But abstraction can be easier for the eye, than the ear, to absorb. A set of abstract shapes and colors can mesh into a mesmerizing visual whole, but the ear (or certainly my ear) struggles to process a series of notes and gestures that seem to have no connection to one another. Rigorous methods of composition can sometimes result in bafflingly disjointed sounds that resemble a nonsensical sentence."

Richard Termine for The New York Times
“Is Beethoven really easier to listen to than Wolpe or Wuorinen?” These are examples but not played by Serkin.

Wuorinen: Saxophone Quartet

Wolpe sonata no 1

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