Discussion:
Classical music: colonialism, racism, exclusion and elitism ???
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Chris J.
2021-04-03 08:34:43 UTC
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From the woke front:

"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."

https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop

"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music

This week's (not April 1st) madness:
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."

<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>

Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
enter my home, but then I saw:

(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."

https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra

There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."


Chris
Dan Koren
2021-04-03 08:45:57 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Chris J.
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves.
Shame on you! ;-)

dk
number_six
2021-04-03 21:22:30 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Dan Koren
Post by Chris J.
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves.
Shame on you! ;-)
This strains the limits of my credulity.

Chris - maybe your music is non-CD-centric?
MiNe109
2021-04-03 12:21:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chris J.
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
From my memories of academia, this looks to be out-of-context responses
to the question of what can be done to increase enrollment and/or
relevance in music classes. This wouldn't be the first time a prof
decried the time spent on the First Viennese School at the expense of
the Second and more contemporary music. I can easily imagine an
ethno-musicologist decrying representation of non-Western music in
conventional notation.
Néstor Castiglione
2021-04-04 02:17:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).

Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"

Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.

Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)

While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?

Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?

Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.

The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Henk vT
2021-04-04 09:58:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Thanks for the post. I have been listening to some pieces of the South American composers you mentioned. If you have the time, could you make a list of 5-10 CDs of these (or other) composers that you personally listen to most often?

Henk
Néstor Castiglione
2021-04-05 22:37:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Henk vT
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Thanks for the post. I have been listening to some pieces of the South American composers you mentioned. If you have the time, could you make a list of 5-10 CDs of these (or other) composers that you personally listen to most often?
Henk
Sure, glad that you found my rant informative. :) I have a few recs for Latin American composers which I'll follow up later with ones for East Asian (mostly Japanese) composers.

Latin American composers:

* Revueltas: Centennial Anthology 1899–1999 (New Philharmonia Orchestra/Eduardo Mata; London Sinfonietta/David Atherton; Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa/Luis Herrera de la Fuente) [RCA/BMG] — Still maybe the best all-around compilation of this remarkable composer's music. These 1970s-era recordings were produced by Charles Gerhardt under the auspices of the Mexican Ministry of Education. The Mata recordings especially have a wide, Cinemascope quality that fits this music well. I often hear Revueltas likened to Stravinsky, but he's nothing like him; Revueltas is Revueltas. Very blunt, emotionally forceful, and unconcerned with classical forms (despite Revueltas' own obsession with Beethoven and his music). At times the performances are a bit messy, but they make up for it by their earthiness and conviction. (Salonen's much-praised CD, in comparison, sounds stiff to my ears; he shows little sympathy for Revueltas' rhythmically charged scores with their clashes of color and mood. It's Revueltas in costume as Hindemith or Copland.) The liner notes are very fine.

* Salgado: Symphonies Nos. 1–9 (Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca/Michael Meissner) [Brilliant] — Total blind buy; was very pleased to find how good the music is. Salgado (1903–1977) was, like Brahms and Vaughan Williams, a late-bloomer as a symphonist. His first, the "Andean," wasn't composed until his 43rd year. Like a lot of Latin American composers of the mid-20th century, he initially was an adherent of the "Streamline Moderne" style of musical nationalism popularized by Copland. This First Symphony is packed with native rhythmic motifs and recollections of folk music that are not only very attractive, but are also fused into a compelling musical statement. His later symphonies wander off into more interesting, original paths; the residue of Ecuadorean folklore remains, but these elements are seamlessly blended into the musical material, never calling attention to themselves for their own sake. In those freely tonal works he reminds me a little of Paul Dessau, Irving Fine, or Roger Sessions, but to be clear this music is by no means derivative—Salgado is very much his own man. His later symphonies, especially, strike me as being excellent and would be very worthy additions to the international repertoire. The performances by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra are courageous and full of conviction in their cause, but it needs to be admitted that they are taxed to the limits of their capabilities by this music. Salgado may be an obscurity known only, perhaps, to Ecuador, but his music has a scope and complexity which aspired to international recognition. Most of the time the Cuenca ensemble's sense of struggle heightens the excitement of these performances, but sometimes they are simply struggling. The liner notes by conductor Meissner mention a few "retouchen" for the sake of mitigating what he felt were orchestral demands that "sometimes exceed with is technically possible or reasonable." Without scores available to compare, it's difficult to judge whether this is indeed the case, or it's just a matter of saving face. (The fact that the orchestration heard here evinces a sensitive and skillful craftsman would suggest the latter.) Caveats notwithstanding, this is a highly rewarding set which can be had for the price of a modest lunch or dinner. All I can hope for is that more Salgado is on the way.

* Maiguashca: Oeldorf 8 [Karlrecords] — Another Ecuadorean! This electroacoustic score (actually comprising of several smaller pieces which can be played either one after the other or simultaneously) was conceived by Maiguashca as a diary in sound of his "two years of togetherness" with his friends and colleagues in the group Oeldorf 8. It is gnarly, harsh; the acoustic instruments end up almost being swallowed up by the onslaught of electronic pulsations. I'd imagine this wouldn't be everyday (or even any day) listening for civilians, but if you enjoy the creations of Darmstadt, this uncompromising, but evocative score calls forth.

* Aparicio: Expansión Galáctica [Mental Experience] — Aparicio, a pioneer in electronic music composition and performance in Central America during the 1960s, became friends with fellow student Roberto Abularach, artist and heir to one of the richest families in the region. The support of the latter eventually led to an idea wherein Aparicio would be commissioned to compose and record several electronic compositions short enough to fit onto the side of a 45 RPM discs. These discs would be prizes in a contest where customers of Salvavidas Rojas, a local soft drink, would trade in a number of collected bottle caps in exchange for one of the discs. The music was met with bewilderment by the few people who bothered to participate in the giveaway. This compilation from a few years ago collects all of Aparicio's discs for the Salvavidas Rojas giveaway. These brief electronic vignettes—decidedly avant-garde, with a taste of rock/pop or jazz—teem with aural curiosity and just plain weirdness; their homespun goofiness, yet sophisticated textures among the most memorable musical utterances in Latin American art music of the 1970s.

* Catán: Florencia en las Amazonas (Singers and orchestra of Houston Grand Opera/Patrick Summers) [Albany] — There was a lot of noise about the new tonality and romanticism back in the 1990s, which amounted to so much tonal schlock that purported to be more "accessible" than the atonal schlock that had preceded it. Lots of forgettable music cluttered programs in those days, but the music of Daniel Catán was a notable and elegant exception. One of the finest of his works is his second opera, Florencia en las Amazonas, which has a Tristan by way of the Tropics quality to it. Catán's idiom was often likened to Puccini, but at least to my ears it's closer to the works of Ponce and the lyric boleros of Agustín Lara than anything else. This lithe, yet opulent music, held aloft by long-breathed melodic phrases, deserves the praise it garnered at its premiere; it, gratefully, continues to be performed. (I think the Chicago Lyric scheduled it for next year or so.) This Albany set is hard to find now, but worth the search.
gggg gggg
2021-04-06 01:03:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Henk vT
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Thanks for the post. I have been listening to some pieces of the South American composers you mentioned. If you have the time, could you make a list of 5-10 CDs of these (or other) composers that you personally listen to most often?
Henk
Sure, glad that you found my rant informative. :) I have a few recs for Latin American composers which I'll follow up later with ones for East Asian (mostly Japanese) composers.
* Revueltas: Centennial Anthology 1899–1999 (New Philharmonia Orchestra/Eduardo Mata; London Sinfonietta/David Atherton; Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa/Luis Herrera de la Fuente) [RCA/BMG] — Still maybe the best all-around compilation of this remarkable composer's music. These 1970s-era recordings were produced by Charles Gerhardt under the auspices of the Mexican Ministry of Education. The Mata recordings especially have a wide, Cinemascope quality that fits this music well. I often hear Revueltas likened to Stravinsky, but he's nothing like him; Revueltas is Revueltas. Very blunt, emotionally forceful, and unconcerned with classical forms (despite Revueltas' own obsession with Beethoven and his music). At times the performances are a bit messy, but they make up for it by their earthiness and conviction. (Salonen's much-praised CD, in comparison, sounds stiff to my ears; he shows little sympathy for Revueltas' rhythmically charged scores with their clashes of color and mood. It's Revueltas in costume as Hindemith or Copland.) The liner notes are very fine.
* Salgado: Symphonies Nos. 1–9 (Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca/Michael Meissner) [Brilliant] — Total blind buy; was very pleased to find how good the music is. Salgado (1903–1977) was, like Brahms and Vaughan Williams, a late-bloomer as a symphonist. His first, the "Andean," wasn't composed until his 43rd year. Like a lot of Latin American composers of the mid-20th century, he initially was an adherent of the "Streamline Moderne" style of musical nationalism popularized by Copland. This First Symphony is packed with native rhythmic motifs and recollections of folk music that are not only very attractive, but are also fused into a compelling musical statement. His later symphonies wander off into more interesting, original paths; the residue of Ecuadorean folklore remains, but these elements are seamlessly blended into the musical material, never calling attention to themselves for their own sake. In those freely tonal works he reminds me a little of Paul Dessau, Irving Fine, or Roger Sessions, but to be clear this music is by no means derivative—Salgado is very much his own man. His later symphonies, especially, strike me as being excellent and would be very worthy additions to the international repertoire. The performances by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra are courageous and full of conviction in their cause, but it needs to be admitted that they are taxed to the limits of their capabilities by this music. Salgado may be an obscurity known only, perhaps, to Ecuador, but his music has a scope and complexity which aspired to international recognition. Most of the time the Cuenca ensemble's sense of struggle heightens the excitement of these performances, but sometimes they are simply struggling. The liner notes by conductor Meissner mention a few "retouchen" for the sake of mitigating what he felt were orchestral demands that "sometimes exceed with is technically possible or reasonable." Without scores available to compare, it's difficult to judge whether this is indeed the case, or it's just a matter of saving face. (The fact that the orchestration heard here evinces a sensitive and skillful craftsman would suggest the latter.) Caveats notwithstanding, this is a highly rewarding set which can be had for the price of a modest lunch or dinner. All I can hope for is that more Salgado is on the way.
* Maiguashca: Oeldorf 8 [Karlrecords] — Another Ecuadorean! This electroacoustic score (actually comprising of several smaller pieces which can be played either one after the other or simultaneously) was conceived by Maiguashca as a diary in sound of his "two years of togetherness" with his friends and colleagues in the group Oeldorf 8. It is gnarly, harsh; the acoustic instruments end up almost being swallowed up by the onslaught of electronic pulsations. I'd imagine this wouldn't be everyday (or even any day) listening for civilians, but if you enjoy the creations of Darmstadt, this uncompromising, but evocative score calls forth.
* Aparicio: Expansión Galáctica [Mental Experience] — Aparicio, a pioneer in electronic music composition and performance in Central America during the 1960s, became friends with fellow student Roberto Abularach, artist and heir to one of the richest families in the region. The support of the latter eventually led to an idea wherein Aparicio would be commissioned to compose and record several electronic compositions short enough to fit onto the side of a 45 RPM discs. These discs would be prizes in a contest where customers of Salvavidas Rojas, a local soft drink, would trade in a number of collected bottle caps in exchange for one of the discs. The music was met with bewilderment by the few people who bothered to participate in the giveaway. This compilation from a few years ago collects all of Aparicio's discs for the Salvavidas Rojas giveaway. These brief electronic vignettes—decidedly avant-garde, with a taste of rock/pop or jazz—teem with aural curiosity and just plain weirdness; their homespun goofiness, yet sophisticated textures among the most memorable musical utterances in Latin American art music of the 1970s.
* Catán: Florencia en las Amazonas (Singers and orchestra of Houston Grand Opera/Patrick Summers) [Albany] — There was a lot of noise about the new tonality and romanticism back in the 1990s, which amounted to so much tonal schlock that purported to be more "accessible" than the atonal schlock that had preceded it. Lots of forgettable music cluttered programs in those days, but the music of Daniel Catán was a notable and elegant exception. One of the finest of his works is his second opera, Florencia en las Amazonas, which has a Tristan by way of the Tropics quality to it. Catán's idiom was often likened to Puccini, but at least to my ears it's closer to the works of Ponce and the lyric boleros of Agustín Lara than anything else. This lithe, yet opulent music, held aloft by long-breathed melodic phrases, deserves the praise it garnered at its premiere; it, gratefully, continues to be performed. (I think the Chicago Lyric scheduled it for next year or so.) This Albany set is hard to find now, but worth the search.
Dear Ms. Castiglione:

Have you ever thought of trying to contact Maestro Dudamel? He probably would be very interested in your observations and comments.
Néstor Castiglione
2021-04-06 03:13:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Henk vT
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Thanks for the post. I have been listening to some pieces of the South American composers you mentioned. If you have the time, could you make a list of 5-10 CDs of these (or other) composers that you personally listen to most often?
Henk
Sure, glad that you found my rant informative. :) I have a few recs for Latin American composers which I'll follow up later with ones for East Asian (mostly Japanese) composers.
* Revueltas: Centennial Anthology 1899–1999 (New Philharmonia Orchestra/Eduardo Mata; London Sinfonietta/David Atherton; Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa/Luis Herrera de la Fuente) [RCA/BMG] — Still maybe the best all-around compilation of this remarkable composer's music. These 1970s-era recordings were produced by Charles Gerhardt under the auspices of the Mexican Ministry of Education. The Mata recordings especially have a wide, Cinemascope quality that fits this music well. I often hear Revueltas likened to Stravinsky, but he's nothing like him; Revueltas is Revueltas. Very blunt, emotionally forceful, and unconcerned with classical forms (despite Revueltas' own obsession with Beethoven and his music). At times the performances are a bit messy, but they make up for it by their earthiness and conviction. (Salonen's much-praised CD, in comparison, sounds stiff to my ears; he shows little sympathy for Revueltas' rhythmically charged scores with their clashes of color and mood. It's Revueltas in costume as Hindemith or Copland.) The liner notes are very fine.
* Salgado: Symphonies Nos. 1–9 (Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca/Michael Meissner) [Brilliant] — Total blind buy; was very pleased to find how good the music is. Salgado (1903–1977) was, like Brahms and Vaughan Williams, a late-bloomer as a symphonist. His first, the "Andean," wasn't composed until his 43rd year. Like a lot of Latin American composers of the mid-20th century, he initially was an adherent of the "Streamline Moderne" style of musical nationalism popularized by Copland. This First Symphony is packed with native rhythmic motifs and recollections of folk music that are not only very attractive, but are also fused into a compelling musical statement. His later symphonies wander off into more interesting, original paths; the residue of Ecuadorean folklore remains, but these elements are seamlessly blended into the musical material, never calling attention to themselves for their own sake. In those freely tonal works he reminds me a little of Paul Dessau, Irving Fine, or Roger Sessions, but to be clear this music is by no means derivative—Salgado is very much his own man. His later symphonies, especially, strike me as being excellent and would be very worthy additions to the international repertoire. The performances by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra are courageous and full of conviction in their cause, but it needs to be admitted that they are taxed to the limits of their capabilities by this music. Salgado may be an obscurity known only, perhaps, to Ecuador, but his music has a scope and complexity which aspired to international recognition. Most of the time the Cuenca ensemble's sense of struggle heightens the excitement of these performances, but sometimes they are simply struggling. The liner notes by conductor Meissner mention a few "retouchen" for the sake of mitigating what he felt were orchestral demands that "sometimes exceed with is technically possible or reasonable." Without scores available to compare, it's difficult to judge whether this is indeed the case, or it's just a matter of saving face. (The fact that the orchestration heard here evinces a sensitive and skillful craftsman would suggest the latter.) Caveats notwithstanding, this is a highly rewarding set which can be had for the price of a modest lunch or dinner. All I can hope for is that more Salgado is on the way.
* Maiguashca: Oeldorf 8 [Karlrecords] — Another Ecuadorean! This electroacoustic score (actually comprising of several smaller pieces which can be played either one after the other or simultaneously) was conceived by Maiguashca as a diary in sound of his "two years of togetherness" with his friends and colleagues in the group Oeldorf 8. It is gnarly, harsh; the acoustic instruments end up almost being swallowed up by the onslaught of electronic pulsations. I'd imagine this wouldn't be everyday (or even any day) listening for civilians, but if you enjoy the creations of Darmstadt, this uncompromising, but evocative score calls forth.
* Aparicio: Expansión Galáctica [Mental Experience] — Aparicio, a pioneer in electronic music composition and performance in Central America during the 1960s, became friends with fellow student Roberto Abularach, artist and heir to one of the richest families in the region. The support of the latter eventually led to an idea wherein Aparicio would be commissioned to compose and record several electronic compositions short enough to fit onto the side of a 45 RPM discs. These discs would be prizes in a contest where customers of Salvavidas Rojas, a local soft drink, would trade in a number of collected bottle caps in exchange for one of the discs. The music was met with bewilderment by the few people who bothered to participate in the giveaway. This compilation from a few years ago collects all of Aparicio's discs for the Salvavidas Rojas giveaway. These brief electronic vignettes—decidedly avant-garde, with a taste of rock/pop or jazz—teem with aural curiosity and just plain weirdness; their homespun goofiness, yet sophisticated textures among the most memorable musical utterances in Latin American art music of the 1970s.
* Catán: Florencia en las Amazonas (Singers and orchestra of Houston Grand Opera/Patrick Summers) [Albany] — There was a lot of noise about the new tonality and romanticism back in the 1990s, which amounted to so much tonal schlock that purported to be more "accessible" than the atonal schlock that had preceded it. Lots of forgettable music cluttered programs in those days, but the music of Daniel Catán was a notable and elegant exception. One of the finest of his works is his second opera, Florencia en las Amazonas, which has a Tristan by way of the Tropics quality to it. Catán's idiom was often likened to Puccini, but at least to my ears it's closer to the works of Ponce and the lyric boleros of Agustín Lara than anything else. This lithe, yet opulent music, held aloft by long-breathed melodic phrases, deserves the praise it garnered at its premiere; it, gratefully, continues to be performed. (I think the Chicago Lyric scheduled it for next year or so.) This Albany set is hard to find now, but worth the search.
Have you ever thought of trying to contact Maestro Dudamel? He probably would be very interested in your observations and comments.
That's Mr.; I'm a guy, my guy. Also, I doubt he'd be interested anyway. Disappointingly, he doesn't program music from Latin American music very often. When he does, they're usually programmed in special series apart from the regular season concerts, like in those "America and Americas" programs, or whatever they're called. Last couple of seasons they've been saddled with additional gimmicks: instead of devoting the whole program to Latin American symphonic music, it'll be half that, then half some random contemporary pop act from the region. Which all seems a bit condescending, at least to me. After all, nobody programs Debussy and Copland by making their music rub shoulders with David Guetta and DaBaby. (At least not yet. I may have given some classical marketing dork a really bad idea.) He might have some personal reason for distancing himself from Latin American music. Maybe he's afraid of being pigeon-holed by orchestras. Who knows?
Henk vT
2021-04-06 15:26:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Henk vT
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Post by Chris J.
"the wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven and turned his symphony
into a symbol of their superiority and importance. For some in other
groups — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color - Beethoven’s symphony may
be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and
elitism."
https://www.vox.com/switched-on-pop/21437085/beethoven-5th-symphony-
elitist-classism-switched-on-pop
"The field must acknowledge a history of systemic racism while also
giving new weight to Black composers, musicians, and listeners."
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/21/black-scholars-confront-
white-supremacy-in-classical-music
"Musical notation branded 'colonialist' by Oxford professor hoping to
'decolonise' the curriculum."
"Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans
works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on "white European music
from the slave period".
The documents reveal that a faculty member, who decide on courses that
form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this "white
hegemony", including rethinking the study of musical notation because it
is a "colonialist representational system"."
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/27/musical-notations-branded-
colonialist-oxford-professors-hoping/>
Wow! By that time I was going to hide my CDs and buy some politically
correct noise before the woke front's stormtroopers would forcefully
(also from Oxford) "Chineke! was founded in 2015 by the double bass
player, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, to provide career opportunities for young
Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians in the UK and Europe.
Chineke!'s mission is: 'Championing change and celebrating diversity in
classical music'."
https://www.chineke.org/chineke-orchestra
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Thanks for the post. I have been listening to some pieces of the South American composers you mentioned. If you have the time, could you make a list of 5-10 CDs of these (or other) composers that you personally listen to most often?
Henk
Sure, glad that you found my rant informative. :) I have a few recs for Latin American composers which I'll follow up later with ones for East Asian (mostly Japanese) composers.
* Revueltas: Centennial Anthology 1899–1999 (New Philharmonia Orchestra/Eduardo Mata; London Sinfonietta/David Atherton; Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa/Luis Herrera de la Fuente) [RCA/BMG] — Still maybe the best all-around compilation of this remarkable composer's music. These 1970s-era recordings were produced by Charles Gerhardt under the auspices of the Mexican Ministry of Education. The Mata recordings especially have a wide, Cinemascope quality that fits this music well. I often hear Revueltas likened to Stravinsky, but he's nothing like him; Revueltas is Revueltas. Very blunt, emotionally forceful, and unconcerned with classical forms (despite Revueltas' own obsession with Beethoven and his music). At times the performances are a bit messy, but they make up for it by their earthiness and conviction. (Salonen's much-praised CD, in comparison, sounds stiff to my ears; he shows little sympathy for Revueltas' rhythmically charged scores with their clashes of color and mood. It's Revueltas in costume as Hindemith or Copland.) The liner notes are very fine.
* Salgado: Symphonies Nos. 1–9 (Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuenca/Michael Meissner) [Brilliant] — Total blind buy; was very pleased to find how good the music is. Salgado (1903–1977) was, like Brahms and Vaughan Williams, a late-bloomer as a symphonist. His first, the "Andean," wasn't composed until his 43rd year. Like a lot of Latin American composers of the mid-20th century, he initially was an adherent of the "Streamline Moderne" style of musical nationalism popularized by Copland. This First Symphony is packed with native rhythmic motifs and recollections of folk music that are not only very attractive, but are also fused into a compelling musical statement. His later symphonies wander off into more interesting, original paths; the residue of Ecuadorean folklore remains, but these elements are seamlessly blended into the musical material, never calling attention to themselves for their own sake. In those freely tonal works he reminds me a little of Paul Dessau, Irving Fine, or Roger Sessions, but to be clear this music is by no means derivative—Salgado is very much his own man. His later symphonies, especially, strike me as being excellent and would be very worthy additions to the international repertoire. The performances by the Cuenca Symphony Orchestra are courageous and full of conviction in their cause, but it needs to be admitted that they are taxed to the limits of their capabilities by this music. Salgado may be an obscurity known only, perhaps, to Ecuador, but his music has a scope and complexity which aspired to international recognition. Most of the time the Cuenca ensemble's sense of struggle heightens the excitement of these performances, but sometimes they are simply struggling. The liner notes by conductor Meissner mention a few "retouchen" for the sake of mitigating what he felt were orchestral demands that "sometimes exceed with is technically possible or reasonable." Without scores available to compare, it's difficult to judge whether this is indeed the case, or it's just a matter of saving face. (The fact that the orchestration heard here evinces a sensitive and skillful craftsman would suggest the latter.) Caveats notwithstanding, this is a highly rewarding set which can be had for the price of a modest lunch or dinner. All I can hope for is that more Salgado is on the way.
* Maiguashca: Oeldorf 8 [Karlrecords] — Another Ecuadorean! This electroacoustic score (actually comprising of several smaller pieces which can be played either one after the other or simultaneously) was conceived by Maiguashca as a diary in sound of his "two years of togetherness" with his friends and colleagues in the group Oeldorf 8. It is gnarly, harsh; the acoustic instruments end up almost being swallowed up by the onslaught of electronic pulsations. I'd imagine this wouldn't be everyday (or even any day) listening for civilians, but if you enjoy the creations of Darmstadt, this uncompromising, but evocative score calls forth.
* Aparicio: Expansión Galáctica [Mental Experience] — Aparicio, a pioneer in electronic music composition and performance in Central America during the 1960s, became friends with fellow student Roberto Abularach, artist and heir to one of the richest families in the region. The support of the latter eventually led to an idea wherein Aparicio would be commissioned to compose and record several electronic compositions short enough to fit onto the side of a 45 RPM discs. These discs would be prizes in a contest where customers of Salvavidas Rojas, a local soft drink, would trade in a number of collected bottle caps in exchange for one of the discs. The music was met with bewilderment by the few people who bothered to participate in the giveaway. This compilation from a few years ago collects all of Aparicio's discs for the Salvavidas Rojas giveaway. These brief electronic vignettes—decidedly avant-garde, with a taste of rock/pop or jazz—teem with aural curiosity and just plain weirdness; their homespun goofiness, yet sophisticated textures among the most memorable musical utterances in Latin American art music of the 1970s.
* Catán: Florencia en las Amazonas (Singers and orchestra of Houston Grand Opera/Patrick Summers) [Albany] — There was a lot of noise about the new tonality and romanticism back in the 1990s, which amounted to so much tonal schlock that purported to be more "accessible" than the atonal schlock that had preceded it. Lots of forgettable music cluttered programs in those days, but the music of Daniel Catán was a notable and elegant exception. One of the finest of his works is his second opera, Florencia en las Amazonas, which has a Tristan by way of the Tropics quality to it. Catán's idiom was often likened to Puccini, but at least to my ears it's closer to the works of Ponce and the lyric boleros of Agustín Lara than anything else. This lithe, yet opulent music, held aloft by long-breathed melodic phrases, deserves the praise it garnered at its premiere; it, gratefully, continues to be performed. (I think the Chicago Lyric scheduled it for next year or so.) This Albany set is hard to find now, but worth the search.
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.

Henk
Gerard
2021-04-07 14:53:42 UTC
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Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Henk vT
2021-04-07 15:55:49 UTC
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Post by Gerard
Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Thanks. I just listened to Revueltas' Sensemayá by the Ebony Band. A captivating version. I wonder what Revueltas himself would have thought of it. Mata's performance is exuberant in comparison. In any case, the music is great.

Henk
Ricardo Jimenez
2021-04-07 16:28:14 UTC
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Post by Henk vT
Post by Gerard
Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Thanks. I just listened to Revueltas' Sensemayá by the Ebony Band. A captivating version. I wonder what Revueltas himself would have thought of it. Mata's performance is exuberant in comparison. In any case, the music is great.
Henk
Sensemayá is the last number on Leonard Bernstein's Latin American
Fiesta disc from 1961.
raymond....@gmail.com
2021-04-08 00:39:54 UTC
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On Wed, 7 Apr 2021 08:55:49 -0700 (PDT), Henk vT xs4all.nl>
Post by Henk vT
Post by Gerard
Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Thanks. I just listened to Revueltas' Sensemayá by the Ebony Band. A captivating version. I wonder what Revueltas himself would have thought of it. Mata's performance is exuberant in comparison. In any case, the music is great.
Henk
Sensemayá is the last number on Leonard Bernstein's Latin American
Fiesta disc from 1961.
That LP was one where I virtually wore all the grooves out. Tremendous recordings.

Ray Hall, Taree
Henk vT
2021-04-08 09:12:12 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
On Wed, 7 Apr 2021 08:55:49 -0700 (PDT), Henk vT xs4all.nl>
Post by Henk vT
Post by Gerard
Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Thanks. I just listened to Revueltas' Sensemayá by the Ebony Band. A captivating version. I wonder what Revueltas himself would have thought of it. Mata's performance is exuberant in comparison. In any case, the music is great.
Henk
Sensemayá is the last number on Leonard Bernstein's Latin American
Fiesta disc from 1961.
That LP was one where I virtually wore all the grooves out. Tremendous recordings.
Ray Hall, Taree
Did listen to Bernstein's live version for kids on YT. The look on the faces of the kids says all about the music and quality of the performance.

Henk
Henk vT
2021-04-09 21:50:41 UTC
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Post by Henk vT
Post by ***@gmail.com
On Wed, 7 Apr 2021 08:55:49 -0700 (PDT), Henk vT xs4all.nl>
Post by Henk vT
Post by Gerard
Post by Henk vT
Nestor, many thanks! Just starting from the top: Revueltas.
Henk
There is a wonderful disc with chamber works by Revueltas by the \Ebony
Band Amsterdam on Channel Classics. That's a fine start ;-)
Thanks. I just listened to Revueltas' Sensemayá by the Ebony Band. A captivating version. I wonder what Revueltas himself would have thought of it. Mata's performance is exuberant in comparison. In any case, the music is great.
Henk
Sensemayá is the last number on Leonard Bernstein's Latin American
Fiesta disc from 1961.
That LP was one where I virtually wore all the grooves out. Tremendous recordings.
Ray Hall, Taree
Did listen to Bernstein's live version for kids on YT. The look on the faces of the kids says all about the music and quality of the performance.
Henk
Nestor, many thanks! I just bought the Salgado set. His symphonies are sui generis.

Henk

Bob Harper
2021-04-04 14:44:56 UTC
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(snip)
Post by Néstor Castiglione
It's Vox and The New Yorker. Not surprised at the sentiments they propagandize for under their banners at all. As I mentioned in another thread some weeks ago, it's easy to attack that which one is largely ignorant of (whether by circumstance or otherwise).
Wasn't Beethoven himself a victim of "wealthy white men?" He hustled after patrons his whole life long, never seemed to outdo his early Septet in their eyes, and lost out on his love interests because of the attentions of/commitments to the monied and established. He was even deemed inferior or passé in comparison to Rossini. As if that wasn't long enough, wealthy gatekeepers kept his late music well at a distance from the public for nearly a century after his death. Talk about your "history of exclusion and elitism!"
Also, the concept of "whiteness" as understood today is a fairly recent one, mostly developed post-1945. It may be true now. (I don't know as I'm not white.) But if you had told Germans, English, Irish, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Italians, Czech, French, Hungarians, Serbs, Russians, and Poles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, that they were all the same and that their cultures were basically interchangeable, you'd probably get socked in the face.
Of course there were very few black composers represented in the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe—comparatively speaking, there were very few black people living in Europe at all back then. (Although there were some "BIPOC" artists coming up back then. Pushkin and Dumas, anyone?)
While I'm all for supporting black composers and encouraging engagement with potential black listeners, people in the English-speaking world (including non-whites) overlook the fact that our society is far more diverse than merely black and white. There are literally countless worthy composers from Latin America (a region, by the way, with societies as racially diverse, if not more so, than that of the US) and Asia (ditto) which get virtually no attention at all internationally. When was the last time any major American symphony orchestra or chamber ensemble did a thorough retrospective series on the works of Revueltas, Chávez, Santa Cruz Wilson, or Roldán? (I think only Southwest Chamber Music, led by the wonderful Jeff von der Schmidt, ever did any deep exploration of this repertoire, which makes their current state of hiatus all the more lamentable.) All of the aforementioned composers were not only important within their own homelands, but their works of exceptional quality are more than worthy of being heard along with the best of Europe and the US. Just last week I bought that Brilliant set of the symphonies of Luis Humberto Salgado. His only problem was that he was from Ecuador, which is basically nowhere for most anybody in the US or Europe. But his music is of exceptional quality; it ranks favorably with the works of his US peers (I'd argue that he's often better). Can we expect any of the big American or European orchestras to take up his works for the sake of inclusion and shattering "white supremacy" in classical music?
Japan alone has a rich history of classical music extending back to the beginning of the 20th century. Its prewar composers and performing musicians, not to mention the unique and dynamic culture they thrived in, are barely known abroad. China, Korea, and the Philippines, too, have rich legacies which are barely investigated by foreigners. Southeast Asia currently is enjoying a burgeoning new music community, especially in Vietnam. Who in the US (again, including non-whites) ever do anything to bring this to the attention of people here?
Geez, don't even get me started on all the worthy non-white/non-black composers and musicians from the US who are constantly ignored for no good reason.
The problem—at least one of them—is the fact that white and non-white "folx" think classical music is all "dead white males" because that's all they ever bother to know. In fact, especially from the 20th century on, classical music is far more ethnically/racially diverse than its detractors are able to give it credit for. But I'm not holding my breath for anybody to do anything meaningful to rectify this. That's not where the money is, after all.
Well said, Nestor! But those who are determined to categorize and
evaluate individual human persons by how they fit a list of boxes (skin
color, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc.) will have troub
Frank Berger
2021-04-05 02:46:52 UTC
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Among my > 12000 CDs, I am aware of race and gender of many of the composers, of course, but this is purely by accident as I have never one purchased a CD BECAUSE of it. I do have a few sets whose titles bother me, like a collection of women composers and a collection of gay composers. I acquired these because the music was recommended. I have no idea if the music of gay composers is different in some way than that of straight composers. I doubt it. I could engage in an affirmative action by purchasing composers belonging to identity groups that have been discriminated against, but I don't believe affirmative action and prefer to be race- and gender-ignorant.
Reinhold Gliere
2021-04-05 18:38:45 UTC
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On Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 10:47:00 PM UTC-4, Frank Berger wrote:

I have no idea if the music of gay composers is different in some way than that of straight composers. I doubt it. I could engage in an affirmative action by purchasing composers belonging to identity groups that have been discriminated against, but I don't believe affirmative action and prefer to be race- and gender-ignorant.

Gay, plus the Nazi Germans had nothing good to say about any Russian, but whose music is among the most enjoyed, popular and appreciated the world over, TCHAIKOVSKY.

Similarly, Jewish composers so according to the German ubermenschen, Mendelssohn's violin concerto is ''degenerate music'.
Frank Berger
2021-04-05 20:37:29 UTC
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Post by Reinhold Gliere
I have no idea if the music of gay composers is different in some way than that of straight composers. I doubt it. I could engage in an affirmative action by purchasing composers belonging to identity groups that have been discriminated against, but I don't believe affirmative action and prefer to be race- and gender-ignorant.
Gay, plus the Nazi Germans had nothing good to say about any Russian, but whose music is among the most enjoyed, popular and appreciated the world over, TCHAIKOVSKY.
Similarly, Jewish composers so according to the German ubermenschen, Mendelssohn's violin concerto is ''degenerate music'.
All true, of course, but I'm not seeing your point.
Peter
2021-04-04 03:44:52 UTC
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This is simply weird, denying yourself some of the best music out there because it isn't white and male. First, do you listen to any jazz, and especially any of the forward-looking jazz composers of the post-1960 or so period? You really think Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell have nothing to say or no chops to say it with? And no women, right? No Louise Farrenc, no Clara Schumann, no (jumping ahead) Kaija Saariaho? And you're proud of this?

I think the quality of music should be judged on its own terms. I don't listen to stuff because I'm trying to fill racial or gender quotas on my stereo. But all kinds of people have displayed great musical talent, and as the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills is extended the CD shelves of people who want to hear the best will be ever more multiracial, multinational and multigender.
Post by Chris J.
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
raymond....@gmail.com
2021-04-04 05:41:26 UTC
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This is simply weird, denying yourself some of the best music out there because it isn't white and male. First, do you listen to any jazz, and especially any of the forward-looking jazz composers of the post-1960 or so period? You really think Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell have nothing to say or no chops to say it with? And no women, right? No Louise Farrenc, no Clara Schumann, no (jumping ahead) Kaija Saariaho? And you're proud of this?
I think the quality of music should be judged on its own terms. I don't listen to stuff because I'm trying to fill racial or gender quotas on my stereo. But all kinds of people have displayed great musical talent, and as the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills is extended the CD shelves of people who want to hear the best will be ever more multiracial, multinational and multigender.
Post by Chris J.
There are no black and no female composers on my CD shelves. And I do not
intend to change that because "woke" loudmouths and other confused
individuals reduce great the great classical music in my current
collection to "white European music from the slave period" with a
"history of exclusion and elitism."
Chris
Very true and well said. I don't think of Charlie Parker as anything but the greatest musician player, up there on his own, of the last century. His playing says everything about him.

Ray Hall, Taree
Flowsouth8
2021-04-04 13:31:14 UTC
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This is simply weird, denying yourself some of the best music out there because it isn't white and male. First, do you listen to any jazz, and especially any of the forward-looking jazz composers of the post-1960 or so period? You really think Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell have nothing to say or no chops to say it with? And no women, right? No Louise Farrenc, no Clara Schumann, no (jumping ahead) Kaija Saariaho? And you're proud of this?
Why do you assume people in a classical music forum listen to jazz? Also, why do I have to like composers based on their gender?
Todd Michel McComb
2021-04-04 17:29:22 UTC
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Some of us have a broader conception of what constitutes "classical
music". "Jazz" has a milieu, a vocabulary and a repertoire that has a
generally-agreed upon history of masters and masterpieces. The name
tends to generalize an enormously diverse range of works, and is not
fully adequate in the same way that "classical music" is not a
well-defined descriptor of the range of the repertoire.
At least since the 1990s, attempting to separate "classical" from
"jazz" in composed music is largely foolhardy. But most posters
ignore contemporary music in sum.
Why do you have to like composers based on their gender?
I won't say quite that, but as someone who spends a significant
chunk of time auditioning brand new music, i.e. just-made recordings
of just-conceived music -- I might listen e.g. to 10 new albums in
a row -- there's always the question of what might attract me to
listen. (Those 10 albums could easily be 100. Except not easily
in the obvious sense that I cannot expand the length of the day
X10, not to mention my stamina....) So what might attract attention?
Simply being a woman is one way, given the current context of
music.... And that is not politics per se, but an experiential
conclusion regarding what music might actually appeal, i.e. not
"sound like the same old thing" (as most does). I'm even more
attracted to something from someone from some weird place, for the
same reason.... (But then ultimately most music isn't all that
interesting, but that's at another step....)

(This very topic was actually discussed fairly extensively a while
back on freejazzblog.org -- which isn't actually a discussion site,
so.... -- especially around an editorial from bassist Joelle Leandre.
There're people who feel like they're being told what to like....
I see it more as what to hear in the first place being a lot more
malleable than people seem to acknowledge.)
Steven Bornfeld
2021-04-05 02:05:28 UTC
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Post by Todd Michel McComb
Some of us have a broader conception of what constitutes "classical
music". "Jazz" has a milieu, a vocabulary and a repertoire that has a
generally-agreed upon history of masters and masterpieces. The name
tends to generalize an enormously diverse range of works, and is not
fully adequate in the same way that "classical music" is not a
well-defined descriptor of the range of the repertoire.
At least since the 1990s, attempting to separate "classical" from
"jazz" in composed music is largely foolhardy. But most posters
ignore contemporary music in sum.
Why do you have to like composers based on their gender?
I won't say quite that, but as someone who spends a significant
chunk of time auditioning brand new music, i.e. just-made recordings
of just-conceived music -- I might listen e.g. to 10 new albums in
a row -- there's always the question of what might attract me to
listen. (Those 10 albums could easily be 100. Except not easily
in the obvious sense that I cannot expand the length of the day
X10, not to mention my stamina....) So what might attract attention?
Simply being a woman is one way, given the current context of
music.... And that is not politics per se, but an experiential
conclusion regarding what music might actually appeal, i.e. not
"sound like the same old thing" (as most does). I'm even more
attracted to something from someone from some weird place, for the
same reason.... (But then ultimately most music isn't all that
interesting, but that's at another step....)
Fair enough, and I agree.

Steve
Post by Todd Michel McComb
(This very topic was actually discussed fairly extensively a while
back on freejazzblog.org -- which isn't actually a discussion site,
so.... -- especially around an editorial from bassist Joelle Leandre.
There're people who feel like they're being told what to like....
I see it more as what to hear in the first place being a lot more
malleable than people seem to acknowledge.)
Andrew Clarke
2021-04-04 22:30:26 UTC
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Post by Flowsouth8
This is simply weird, denying yourself some of the best music out there because it isn't white and male. First, do you listen to any jazz, and especially any of the forward-looking jazz composers of the post-1960 or so period? You really think Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell have nothing to say or no chops to say it with? And no women, right? No Louise Farrenc, no Clara Schumann, no (jumping ahead) Kaija Saariaho? And you're proud of this?
Why do you assume people in a classical music forum listen to jazz? Also, why do I have to like composers based on their gender?
Some of us have a broader conception of what constitutes "classical
music". "Jazz" has a milieu, a vocabulary and a repertoire that has a
generally-agreed upon history of masters and masterpieces. The name
tends to generalize an enormously diverse range of works, and is not
fully adequate in the same way that "classical music" is not a
well-defined descriptor of the range of the repertoire.
Why do you have to like composers based on their gender? I have seen
literally no one that said that.
Steve
Steve, the wokesmiths cited by Chris *do* have a restricted definition of what constitutes classical music. That's the whole point. They don't have a problem with Gerry Mulligan (white) or Carla Bley (white and female) or T-Bone Walker (part African American part Cherokee). They are attacking specifically music "in the classical tradition" if you like, say from the European Renaissance on. Dowland, Monteverdi, Bach, Hayden, et al. Or, to put it more crudely, what record shops used to put in the bins marked "classical".

As I have said repeatedly, these people could have a serious effect on sponsorship of orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles etc., because sponsors don't like being associated with anything "racist". And attacking Chris ad hominem or attempting long-distance psychoanalysis a la Herman is not going to help.

That is all I have to say on this matter,

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Chris J.
2021-04-05 08:22:54 UTC
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think Chris was referring to his classical CD shelves, and the absence
of the Chevalier de Saint Georges, Louis Gottschalk and Samuel
Coleridge-Taylor from his collection. I don't have them in my classical
collection either, but I do have King Oliver, Johnny Dodds, Count Basie,
Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzie Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald,
Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, not to mention both Sunny Boy
Williamsons, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King etc. So, quite probably, does
Chris.
John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Joe Henderson, Theloneous
Monk, Lee Morgan, Charly Parker, Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, and a few
others. But whether I like jazz music or not isn't relevant.

From a 1962 Playboy interview with Miles Davis:

"Playboy: In your field, music, don't some Negro jazzmen discriminate
against white musicians?

Davis: Crow Jim is what they call that. Yeah. It's a lot of the Negro
musicians mad because most of the best-paying jobs go to the white
musicians playing what the Negroes created. But I don't go for this,
because I think prejudice one way is just as bad as the other way. I
wouldn't have no other arranger but Gil Evans -- we couldn't be much
closer if he was my brother. And I remember one time when I hired Lee
Konitz, some colored cats bitched a lot about me hiring an ofay in my
band when Negroes didn't have work. I said if a cat could play like Lee,
I would hire him, I didn't give a damn if he was green and had red
breath."

http://www.plosin.com/beatbegins/archive/miles.htm
So instead of pointing the bone at Chris, let's look at the intellectual
sewer he's exposing.
Which was the point. I thought that was obvious, but perhaps he prefers
to shoot the messenger.

Chris
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