Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Music Which Had No Business Being Composed

Yes, I am a tough critic.  My ears are very sensitive things and are highly evolved.  Even though I can name a number of pieces which I like since Shubert's Unfinished Symphony, it is difficult.  As the 19th Century continued and the Romanticism of the Victorian Age ran rampant, this certainly became even more so.  The more layers of sugar and treacle that a composer could put on a piece of music made it indigestible.  Emotionally over-wrought Verdian operas with their dying heroines vied with wraith-like Willis on the ballet stage.  In the concert hall itself, the pianoforte was further developed in order to provide more of this grand emotion that this new audience seemed to crave.  Instead of the subtle intricacies of the earlier stringed instruments played by the Bach's, Mozart, Beethoven. et al, which you could hear playing with the musical groupings and early orchestras, now it was only a wave of sound.  My husband likes to term it "piano-banging."  I must say that at times it is quite apropos and can leave one with quite the head-ache.
Now, getting to music that probably never should have been composed, there are a number of late 19th century and 20th century British composers who liked to compose what I term "fake Baroque" or "fake Classical" music.  Examples of these are Lady Radnor's Suite and The London Suite.  It was not only the British.  I heard a symphony by an unknown Swedish composer (early 20th century) which I must say had no point to it at all.  Mayhap this is why he is unknown.
There may be unknown masterpieces being played in the repertoires in Europe which have not made it to this country because the few well-heeled who fund the arts only know the boring "war horses" -- the piano-bangers as it were.  At least here in Southeastern Connecticut we are fortunate to host two Early Music festivals in the early summer.
So, yes, I do find noise which claims to be music as obnoxious -- and I will speak up about it.