Eddins Steps In It Again

Bill Eddins, the music director fo the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, was pilloried on his own blog for his earlier post (It’s Schoenberg’s Fault!).  Undeterred, he posted a second blog (No One Expects the 12-Tone Inquisition!) now claiming that he was being attacked for challenging “orthodoxy” and attacking a “sacred cow” by suggesting that the music of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern was responsible for a supposed lack of interest in classical music among the general public.

The new blog is almost as incoherent as the first (and does not deal with my prior blog on the topic).  In the end, Eddins backtracks a bit from his original posting, even claiming that his title was just a tongue-in-cheek attempt to be provocative.

Of course, no one can blame Shoenberg [sic] for the current crisis in classical music, anymore than one can blame Queen Elizabeth II for the fact that no British born man has won Wimbledon since 1936. . . . But that was never the point of my post, and it is very, very interesting that this was understood immediately in the social media world yet almost completely mistaken on the “serious” side.  The point was, and is, that there are way too many sacred cows in this business. Orthodoxy is very, very bad for religion, nationalism, and art.

Oh, sorry we misunderstood.

Eddins’ main problem is that he’s just not smart enough.  Sorry, that’s the real sacred cow.  It’s a truism that the smarter people are, the more they are able to appreciate new and difficult music (or new and difficult anything).  And people who aren’t that smart, generally don’t like smart people telling them that they aren’t smart.

Apparently it is ok for someone like Eddins to denigrate the entire output of a composer like Schoenberg, but it is not ok for someone to challenge Eddins’ opinion and point out the logical errors in his argument.  So, for example, Eddins takes issue with those who pointed out that his repetition of the myth that “In the width and breadth of this mighty land the universities and colleges during this era were the bastions of the Dodecaphonists” was simply not true, according to the recent statistical study by Joseph Straus (The Myth of Serial “Tyranny” in the 1950s and 1960s).  The comprehensive study can be ignored, apparently, because Eddins himself once witnessed a member of a faculty at the school he attended “deriding” a student for writing a melody.  ”It was depressing in the extreme,” he writes.  No doubt.  No one likes being told by an authority that they aren’t talented or smart enough.  And the standard defense is to challenge the authority as “elitist,” as if that epithet can explain away the pupil’s deficiencies.

Here’s his new explanation of why Eddins thinks people don’t like classical music:

However, I can’t count how many times I have gotten into a conversation with someone who no longer attends classical music concerts because they were made to feel uncomfortable expressing a negative opinion about the music they were listening to.  Because they didn’t like what they heard, and they happened to not be “experts” on music, their feelings were denigrated.  Herein lies the worse aspect of orthodoxy – the inability to understand or give creedence to an opposing point of view without denigrating it with attacks or arguments of a condescendingly personal nature.

According to Eddins, music is a “very personal choice” that apparently has nothing to do with training, education and innate intelligence.  So, I suppose it is perfectly appropriate for someone who lacks all three qualities to denigrate a piece of music, or even a composer’s entire output. Not only appropriate, but the lay critic can then be offended if someone with more training, education and intelligence challenges his opinion.  Imagine if this were true in physics, and Mr. and Mrs. Average could say “I just don’t like relativity and that whole quantum physics thing.  Newtonian physics was better.  Down with the ‘sacred cow’ of new science. If only scientists would stop talking about the Higgs Boson, I would pay attention to science again.”  And if anyone dared to point out the problems with Mr. Average’s views, he would say

It doesn’t mean that the [science] we dislike is evil, but rather it is not for us. It also doesn’t mean that the [science] we like is good.  However, I can’t count how many times I have gotten into a conversation with someone who no longer attends [science lectures] because they were made to feel uncomfortable expressing a negative opinion about the [science] they were listening to.  Because they didn’t like what they heard, and they happened to not be “experts” on [science], their feelings were denigrated.  Herein lies the worse aspect of orthodoxy – the inability to understand or give creedence to an opposing point of view without denigrating it with attacks or arguments of a condescendingly personal nature.

Mr. Eddins, we all “understand” your point of view.  You have an inferiority complex. Sorry if that’s a personal argument.  Sort of like blaming your own inability to connect with audiences on my grandfather is personal.

17 thoughts on “Eddins Steps In It Again

  1. Hm. Comparing Music to science? Very clever, except…whether we like it or not, agree or disagree, there’s only one set of physical laws that are valid, although Newtonian physics will do in a pinch. In Music, there are many musical styles and purposes. Which one is right? The one that is satisfying at this time. I may listen to a Bach fugue, or a 12 tone composition, or to punk rock…each for a different reason. If I decide not to listen to Schoenberg today, the sky doesn’t fall…If I were to somehow invalidate physics, we’d all be in trouble. Comparing physics to music is like comparing water to concrete…there are certain parallels to be made, but I would be hesitant to attempt walking on water.
    Although I believe that it is important to educate the concert-going public, I also believe in eating. If we lead the people who pay for the concerts in a direction they don’t want to go…we starve. Worse yet, we have even fewer opportunities to present new and challenging music to the general public.
    As far as the “tyranny of the dodecaphonists”…yes. I’ve known many composition students who were denigrated by both instructors and peers (although I will admit more by peers than professors.) Serial music at 100 years is simply not new anymore…it’s an established conservative institution, and perhaps a bit stale.

  2. First, are you really wiling to give up any objective criteria for the evaluation of music? Is it really so different from science? How about Literature, Art, Poetry, Architecture? Should they all be ruled by the tyranny of Mr. Average? Is there no such thing as expertise in any of these fields? As I pointed out in my previous post, http://schoenblog.com/?p=106 , it is the bigoted misinformation by people like Eddins who have poisoned the public and made them believe that they will not like music that the “experts” universally acclaim. The fact that 100 years on, despite the unrelenting negative hype, the music of Schoenberg and his school is still performed, still admired, still discussed, still enjoyed, should be some evidence of its quality. If it is so bad, why hasn’t it disappeared? Why do the experts say it is so good?

    As for so-called new music in America today, most of it is naive in style. In other words, it is composed as if the composer had never heard of Stravinsky, let alone Schoenberg, or Boulez or Babbitt or Nono or Stockhausen, or even Philip Glass. It is the type of music that people find easy to listen to, a mix of Debussy and Rachmaninoff. Is it better? Perhaps for unconcentrated listening, for background. But few, if any, expert musicians really like it at all. It doesn’t speak to anyone with a real background in music and an understanding of what music can do.

    Here is what my grandfather had to say about the “chacun son goût” argument you are making:

    ARNOLD SCHOENBERG
    116 N. ROCKINGHAM AVENUE
    LOS ANGELES, 24, CALIFRONIA

    December 21, 1948

    Mr. Olin Downes, Music Editor
    new york Times
    New Y[o]rk, N.Y.

    Dear Mr. Downes:
    Before responding to some of the points of your very interesting letter, I must mention that I did not expect that in its imperfect form of a private letter it would be published. I was in a fighting mood, caused by your criticism of Mahler. I felt this can be a fight for death and life, in which case one is not obliged to worry about the and correctness [!] of the blows one deals out. If they only hurt.
    Nevertheless I should not have pretended that you do not study scores and that you are prejudiced by your own previous judgements. This, however, can not have hurt you as much, as I am hurt by your reproach of illogicality–there is nothing worse to me than that. Fortunately you can not prove Mahler\’s vulgarity and neither can I prove my attack on your musicianship. It seems to me that the scale goes down on your side and that a true equilibrium requires some additional weight in favor of my logic.
    In your letter to Mr. Mitropoulos*) you say that music is to you like a religion and you reserve for yourself the right to be intolerant against a believer of a different faith. I s[h]ould call this the claim of a fighter. But I will rather tell you a story:
    Several years ago an announcer over a nationwide network broadcast attacks on my music to a crowd of two and a half million listeners. I th[o]ught, This man is an …. Oh perhaps it is better even now not to tell you what I th[o]ught. But at this time I was bellig[e]r[e]ntly desiring to tell all the audience what I was thinking.
    You write?[!] \”Chacun à son gout,\” and you are fortunat[e] enough to tell hundred thousands of your readers, which is your taste. [!] But how can I inform those two and a half millions of radio listeners that their announcer is … wrong. One who p[o]ssesses such an unlimited power must have a sense of responsibility.
    You claim the right of a fighter, the right to be intolerant. Is it logical to deny the opponent the same rights if he is infuriated in a degree with makes him refusing to see the forest as long as he has to conquer individual trees.
    It is the word \”taste\” which excites me.
    In my vocabulary it stands for \”arrogance and superiority–complex of the mediocrity\”.
    And:
    Taste is sterile–it can not produce.
    And:
    Taste is applicable only to the lower zones of human feelings, to the material-ones. It is no yardstick in spiritual mattters [!].
    And:
    Taste functions mainly as a restricting factor, as as [!] a negation to every problem, as a minus to every number.
    \”Chacun a son gout\” wants to make believe that there exists an enormous number of ways to be extrem[e]ly personal–but there is not enough caviar, or gold or good luck in the world for everybody. And those \”chacuns\” must share the little \”gout\” which exists, which of course is a commonplace mass product, with very few marks of personal distinction.
    Your write that your reference to your taste means simply that you express your personal opinion and that everybody is entit[led] to his own. \”Entit[led]\”is the right word. Has he who disagrees with you a chance of telling this to the same audience as often as he disagrees?
    Furthermore: you do not pretend \”that your ideas of music are conclusive\”. Contrast this lighth[e]arted standpoint, to the stand standpoint [!] of an artist like Mahler, who would have preferred to die a thousand times, than to being forced to believe he was wrong. [!]
    I hope you will now understand why your condemnation of a great man and composer on the basis of personal taste enraged me. Then I will gladly admit that another cause to this fury derived from the fact that between 1898 and 1908 I had spoken about Mahler in the same manner, as you do today. For that I made good subsequently by adoration.
    And, frankly, this is what I resent most: Why should you not also have exp[e]rienced such transformations of your mind, from Saulus to Paulus with many of the greats in the arts, including besides Brahms and Wagner, Strauss and Mahler, even Mozart and Beethoven?
    Still, I am not a windbag of an unsolid fixation, who gamingly changes his position for no intelligible reason. All these changes corresponded to my progr[e]ssive development in various phases of my life, before maturity was reached. A very characteristic exp[e]rience of mine may serve as an illustration: Between 1925 and 1935 I did not dare to read or to listend [!] to Mahler\’s music. I was afraid my aversion against it in a preceding period might return. Fortunately, when I heard in Los Angeles a moderately satisfactory performance of the Second, I was just as enchanted as ever before: It had not lost of its persuasiveness.
    Now finally to your question whether I believe composers are as a rule fair or unbiased critics of other composers: I think they are in first line fighters for their own musical ideas. The ideas of other composers are their enemies. You can not restrict a fighter. his blows are correct when they hit hard, and only then is he fair. Thus I do not resent what Schumann said about Wagner, or Hugo Wolf about Brahms. But I resent about [!] what Hanslick said against Wagner and Bruckner. Wagner, Wolf, Mahler and Strauss fought for life and death of there I [!] ideas.
    But you fight only for principles, or rather for the application of principles.
    At the end I can tell you that I agree with the last of your points: \”…. that this is merely another case of critics and their readers, disagreeing as, Thank God, they will always disagree, and in the expression of their convictions greatly contribute to the development of an art\”.–negatively or positively.
    With best wishes, also for Christmas and New Year,
    I am most sincerely yours,
    Arnold Schoenberg

  3. What is also alarming is that someone like Eddins hides behind the supposed opinion of Mr. Average, as if that standard is objective and not, as I point out, the result of prejudice fed by Eddins himself and those like him. He says things like “I find this music to be completely soulless and, yes, ugly.” But he doesn’t discuss any particular pieces other than Berg’s 3 Pieces for Orchestra (a work composed 1913-15, so not 12-tone). Does he feel the same way about the Berg Violin Concerto? His entire argument is based on his own prejudice and the opinions he grafts onto Mr. Average, whose cause he pretends to champion. Rather than just saying, I don’t get it and I should keep my mouth shut and let people who do get it make the comments, he arrogantly assumes the role of the expert and condescendingly proclaims his ignorance as a great and new insight.

  4. I am from the Twin Cities, where Eddins has resided for years, and I know more than a little about the man and his reputation. He cannot buy an engagement with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra or Minnesota Opera. The man is a boob as well as a nut (two very different things), and everyone here knows it. No one here pays him the slightest attention.

    Eddins’s weblog has demonstrated, for years, that he is a breathtakingly ignorant man. I doubt that anyone other than equally-ignorant persons take him at all seriously. Surely he is read, above all, for the screaming comedy he provides.

    I hope you realize that your responses to Eddins’s latest lunatic ravings are far, far above his head. The man is dumb as a fencepost—there is no point in mincing words—and incapable of distinctions, subtle or otherwise.

    I am in agreement with your statement that American composers today write “naïve” music. Our own time parallels the period between the Baroque and Classical periods, a time during which composers had rejected the complexity of the Baroque and did not yet have the models of Haydn and Mozart to show the way forward.

    The Galant was a very bad time for music, and at present we are living in our own Galant. However, within the next twenty or thirty years, some genius will arise and pick up where your grandfather left off, showing the way forward and, in the process, wiping out most music of the last thirty years.

    I hope you live to witness it.

    • Very bad form, Andrew. You should be ashamed. Maybe someday, you can see how hateful your words are. Is Bill Eddins the arbiter of all things musical? No.

      Neither are you.

  5. The purpose of my post is to ask a basic question (see below) but first a Schoenberg performance anecdote re: Chamber Symphony No. 1.

    The players were top notch and I was gobsmacked how they nailed the piece perfectly as the rehearsals were quite rough-edged all the way through. The players effusively thanked the conductor for programming this piece and for hiring them to play it as in their whole careers they seldom get such an opportunity. The reaction among many in the audience was quite different in tone, however, and I would say `anger` would be a simple and correct description.

    I suspect a factor was the way in which the concert was promoted or portrayed, as well as the nature of many of the patrons in terms of their general tastes and open-mindedness (or lack thereof) given their less frequent ability to attend concerts in that somewhat remote venue.
    The ticket price was quite high. For them, it was like going to a restaurant with all of the signage and menus, but when the plate arrives at the table the food is not at all what was expected, and then getting stuck with a high tab. They were very unhappy.

    Now my question. I have no issue re: 12-tone or not, but with the way such a system is viewed.
    With Hindemith we see that he *ranks all musical intervals…from the most consonant to the most dissonant* (phrase from the wikipedia page). George Russell has the same approach, but chooses a different order. This makes sense to me, and I am onboard with George`s view, both in his choice of notes and with the view re: consonance-dissonance that this is more an issue of
    tonal `color`. In that view, there is not really such a thing as `atonality` but rather the manifestation of more complex combinations of sound waves including notes with an increased `distance` from the tonic, and with that tonic in essense rapidly shifting at times.

    Without getting into lengthy babble re: the overtone series and prime numbers (eg.
    the number 4 is not a prime number which is essentially why I disagree with Hindemith`s placement of the Perfect Fourth in his order) what I am having difficulty with re: Schoenberg`s 12-tone rows is what seems to me to be a kind of forced or arbitrary approach without perhaps including (within the reasons for the choices in the row) enough of a weighting-sense of the individual tonal colors of the selected notes. Am I in error to have such an impression of his approach?

    Thank you very much to anyone here on this board for any enlightening comments.

  6. I would recommend that you read Schoenberg’s book Harmonielehre. It does not discuss the 12-tone method, but does discuss the issues of the overtone series, etc. Then try the essay on 12-Tone Composition published in Style and Idea. That should give you a better idea of his approach. But with Schoenberg it is never about the method, only about the music. As with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, nothing is “arbitrary.”

  7. PS. Where was the performance of the Chamber Symphony that you mentioned? Hard to believe that a modern audience wouldn’t like it. I’ve never seen or heard of that. But then again, it is a symptom of the prejudice that I mentioned before. No doubt that would have been thrilled to hear music by composers whom they are supposed to like, even if the music is just as difficult to understand.

    • Thank You very much Mr. S.,

      I will follow your advice re: reading materials, thank you.

      The performance was in a borough of Montreal. At intermission, I chatted with one of the patrons who was a lady in her 90s. A concert like this was pretty much her only opportunity all year to make it out of the house to hear music and I think what she was looking for might be described as softer-warm-legato-strings
      in the way of sound resonance. The Chamber Symphony No. 1 has elements at times which could be described as accented, almost `biting`, perhaps, kinds of articulations in the woodwinds, and marked forté, which would be the opposite kind of effect she would have wanted to hear. I believe the promotional-buzz for this concert gave the impression that the former, rather than the latter kind of sound would be on display. I must emphasize that the performance by these musicians and conductor was no less than brilliant. But the truth of the reaction of many in the audience was a less pleasant reality.

      I think approaching the 2VS is like hearing a speech in a foreign language, as most ears are rooted in the thirdsy Ionian mode system. You might be interested to know that a doctoral candidate at McGill did her thesis on the 2VS and has developed new fingering techniques in violin playing more attuned to 4ths and 7ths, for example, as the traditional approach on the fingerboard is set up to deal more with 3rds and 6ths etc. She was saying that your grandfather was saying that his music requires a whole new kind of violin player. I`ve been spending time with the Berg VC and it is starting to get into my bones, albeit slowly, so I guess it takes awhile to learn any new language (at least for me and some others as per above).

      best wishes, Ian

  8. Perhaps you’re not familiar with Bill Eddins’ style of writing, but he tends to go on rants and to do so with more than a touch of humor and hyperbole. At least that is how I read him. It’s tongue-in-cheek, fun and deliberately over the top. I think you and most of the commentators here are taking what he said (and perhaps yourselves) way too seriously.

    Perhaps the point he is making is that music in the early 20th century veered from being written primarily with an audience in mind to being written from a more academic, cerebral, and less immediately accessible perspective. Schoenberg certainly didn’t begin this and wasn’t the only composer whose music came to be perceived this way. When I began my career in orchestra administration in the late ’80s, there was already an entire generation of concertgoers who had come to regard “modern music” as a dirty word and pretty much all contemporary composers as purveyors of wanton cacophony. Trust me: this is still largely true today, although I believe it is slowly changing.

    You are absolutely right that some combination of education, experience and intelligence are important to a true appreciation of all serious music. I suppose I have varying combinations of all three: probably fair to middling cognitive abilities, an undergraduate degree in music, and nearly 25 years of active listening to classical and jazz after spending much of my younger years immersed in rock. While I am very much average or maybe slightly above average in my listening skills, I continue to work at deepening them.

    I personally like and appreciate Schoenberg’s music, but I have watched my own board members and people in the audience of the symphony for which I work struggle to comprehend and appreciate even more “accessible” composers like Mahler and Richard Strauss. I would hesitate to dismiss these concertgoers as “average” or “not very smart” as you seem to.

    As for your accusation that Bill writes as a conductor trying to understand and speak for “Mr. Average,” I’m sure he would say “guilty as charged.” Simply put, in order for an orchestra to survive it has to somehow attract and retain the loyalty of quite a lot of people whose listening skills may indeed be quite average. And although I think his blog blaming the whole thing on Arnold Schoenberg was slightly facetious, he is absolutely right that that composer’s name tends to strike fear in the hearts of most of these “average” listeners. If we have any hope of bringing them to an appreciation of his music and that of many 20th century composers who followed in his footsteps, we have to meet them where they are.

  9. Andy, I am curious why you think Eddins’ postings were “tongue in cheek”? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongue-in-cheek Do you mean that he was making a joke when he wrote “from a layperson’s point of view the music of the Dodecaphonists is just plain ugly” or “when it comes to our paying public the vast majority of them simply do not like the music of the Second Viennese School” or “I find this music to be completely soulless and, yes, ugly” or “From the perspective of Ms. Average this music does not seem to speak to most people’s souls” or “announce that your next season will have a heavy focus on the 2nd Viennese School and watch your subscription renewals drop like a paralyzed falcon” etc. etc. Tongue in cheek means that you intend to make a joke, or mean the comment to be taken ironically. What is funny or ironic about his comments? I find them to be just nasty.
    Other than prejudice, there is no reason why Eddins (and Mr. and Mrs. Average) are perfectly comfortable pretending to like “difficult” works by Stravinsky and Bartok, but not Schoenberg or Berg. And you are simply wrong if you think the answer is to “meet them where they are” rather than to educate the public. Anyone in Mr. Eddins’ position, a music director of an orchestra being interviewed on radio, should know better. It is not enough to just say (to ourselves) he is a buffoon (or “fun” or “over the top”). If we don’t correct his errors and speak up for what is right, no one will.

  10. It appears I was using the phrase “tongue-in-cheek” rather loosely. I agree that Eddins really really does not personally like Schoenberg and is not kidding about it. And I happen to disagree with him on this. I’m suggesting that when he says “It’s all Schoenberg’s Fault” he probably does not mean that literally. He likes to be provocative and I think he makes his point in an interesting way, whether or not I agree with it.

    As for your comparison between the “New Viennese” composers and Stravinsky (or Bartok), I find it curious that you apparently don’t believe someone can genuinely like the latter and not the former. They are very different. That’s like saying I’m only pretending to like Beethoven if I say I don’t care much for Schubert.

    I certainly agree that we must educate the public, if by that you mean help them to become better listeners who are able to comprehend and appreciate the rich variety of music in the repertoire. For me, that does not involve impugning their intelligence because they don’t like a certain composer or type of music. I don’t know any practical way to help them become more mature listeners that does not involve meeting them where they are.

  11. Quite honestly, I doubt Mr and Mrs. Average would actually like the Sacrificial Dance from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiH3vA7q0jo so much more than they would like the Dance around the Golden Calf from Schoenberg’s Moses and Aron http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTAjosr1gSE (just to pick an example that is chronologically unfair to Schoenberg, but would probably still prove my point — probably the Five Pieces for Orchestra would be fairer comparison, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2ZMnLENKVs).

    I’d love to see someone do an experiment to test my hypothesis that it is not the music, but the negative hype, that scares off audiences. Take some “average” folks and tell them they are going to hear a piece by Stravinsky, but play something (anything) by Schoenberg. Record the response. Now tell them they are going to hear Schoenberg and play a work (pick one) by Stravinsky. Record the response. Compare the responses to a control group that is told the correct author of each work. To make it more fun, you could have the subjects read Eddins’ blog first, and see what effect that type of propaganda has on the attitudes of the average listener.

    It is the job of people like Mr. Eddins (music directors) to inform the public correctly. So I am puzzled why you would want to defend someone who says nasty things you do not agree with in a “provocative” and “interesting” way. It is precisely those types that demand correction.

  12. Yes, it is indeed ironic that I would find myself defending Eddins’ viewpoint, and even more so if you knew me. I grew up in the house of a composer, Robert Below, although few people have ever heard of him. When I was a boy I remember him composing a concert band piece using the 12-tone technique, and I was fascinated. I loved the piece and still do. Later on, in composition class, I even wrote my own little twelve-tone piano piece, structured as a palindrome (though I was forced to conclude it sounded better backwards than forwards). My favorite opera is Lulu, my Pollini CD of Schoenberg piano music is among my most treasured, and one of my favorite Stravinsky works is Agon, one of his few ventures into serialism.

    So why would I defend Bill Eddins?

    First of all, you can’t “correct” someone’s opinion. If he finds Schoenberg “soulless and ugly” that’s how he feels. I don’t agree with the viewpoint someone expressed above, that a conductor shouldn’t be allowed to express such opinions publicly. Huh? Who says? I wish more conductors would permit themselves to appear as ordinary mortals to their audience. I admire outspokenness and candor, and Bill certainly has both in spades. I’m not defending what he says so much as his right to say it.

    Second, I know plenty of audience members who couldn’t care less if it’s Schoenberg or Stravinsky — they are happy to despise both with equal heartiness. I agree with you that there is a negative hype surrounding so-called “modern music,” a funny term to use for stuff that is now a hundred years old. But if you think audiences are that much more open to Stravinsky than they are to Schoenberg, you’re not getting out into the “hinterlands” of Classical-endom where I work! (Tacoma, Washington.)

    In fact I think that’s what Eddins is getting at: that over time audiences have gotten to the point where the mere name of a merely unfamiliar, modern-sounding name on a season lineup — be it Schoenberg, Bartok, Hindemith, Varese, whatever — is enough to provide pause and disincentive to buy tickets. When he says “It’s all Schoenberg’s fault” I suspect he is engaging in hyperbole, since he must know Schoenberg didn’t begin and wasn’t solely responsible for the change in classical music during the early years of the 20th century — when it veered from being written primarily with an audience in mind to being written in an increasingly academic and less accessible language.

    Finally, I guess I simply like to debate and discuss! Isn’t that what these blogs are for? It’s far more interesting than my simply agreeing with everything you say, or worse, engaging in the kind of personal rant that someone else named Andrew did above (which you didn’t seem to have a problem with — if someone behaved that way on my blog I’d kick them off for good).

    Anyway, I’ve never had the opportunity to get into an argument with Schoenberg’s grandson before; how cool is that?

  13. Andy, go to Eddins’ original post. He blames Schoenberg for scaring audiences, but claims average people thrill to hear Stravinsky and Bartok. That was part of my point. He’s just spewing propaganda, not only his personal opinion of the music. And it is the propaganda, not the music, that is the real issue. If he says, I like Rite of Spring and not Five Pieces for Orchestra, then fine, he can have his opinion. But when he crosses over from personal criticism to a broader point about the decline of his audience base, then that is where he needs to be corrected.

  14. I am biting my tongue re: CR on the other thread, but to AndyB re:
    programming: 17 March 2013 St. Patrick`s Day/green-beer promotions:
    E.J. Moeran`s beyond-gorgeous & beautiful Violin Concerto which of course no one ever programs etc. (`twould sell out the house) & then add a tidbit of Schoenberg…

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