Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Still in Quoting Mood

"Hatred of commercialism is also an absolute essential to any serious American composers nowadays; there is no grace, to reality, to be had from trade today, indeed the nature of American business is false from the beginning both to the heart and the mind. It is a monstrous fake carried out (like a patent medicine show) on the backs of slaves and pandering to a populous stupidity. That anyone survives to do really honest work in music is a blessed miracle, and that he should be professional in the usual sense is unthinkable.

In fact, American music, like so much other American art, is almost completely the product of amateurs. Its finest thinking and finest writing practicioners have for a long time been amateurs. And it is no disgrace to a country that its expression should arise out of a need of the private citizen. Rather it is a good sign that there is life in the old land yet. Confucius once remarked very neatly that you could tell the state of the nation from the condition of its music, and he didn't mean the kind of thing you get on the radio."
--Lou Harrison, "Ruggles, Ives, Varese," 1945


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