Filler By Proxy LXX: Apology Accepted

Sunday 7 June 2009

Kyle Gann has been reading the latest collection of Morton Feldman interviews, and discovers that Feldman is a gift to the musical world that keeps on giving. Now, I can listen to Feldman’s music and opinions for hours on end (in the case of the music, it’s kind of mandatory), but then Gann quotes the following passage where Feldman compares the composers Stefan Wolpe and Ernst Krenek:

Wolpe was in the midst of a musical revolution in New York. He was in the midst of the rising young, fabulously talented people coming up in Europe, and he knew it. Krenek never knew it. There’s not an ounce in Krenek’s music, in things that I’ve heard of his late style… But nothing existed, nothing happened. It’s music where nothing happened. It’s the kind of music somebody might write some place in Adelaide, Australia.

Speaking as a native I’d object to that comparison, except I left Adelaide many years ago and so my criticism might look a teensy bit hollow. I wonder why Feldman’s mind alighted on my home town in particular?

Gann comments, “Fascinating and endearing stuff (apologies, though, to any composers in Adelaide).” Mr Gann, you have nothing to apologise for. Mr Feldman, on the other hand…