Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vicarious Lunchbreak Dallapiccola Criticism

Anthony Tommasini on a recent Luigi Dallapiccola concert given by the American Symphony Orchestra (I didn't see this, incidentally):
"Throughout this gritty, bleak and astringent score, it is impossible to resist the sheer dramatic thrust and entrancing harmonic richness of the music."
This resistance is not impossible. Like you could probably track down the guy in the NY Philharmonic audience last September who blew his nose ten seconds into a performance of a bit of Boulez's "Pli selon Pli." I bet he could resist Dallapiccola.

I wanted to cherry-pick this line because I'm kind of torn about it. I really like the idea of people in the arts or humanities making falsifiable assertions about things for once. On the other hand, it's no fun when it takes less than a minute to falsify. Well, except for the fun of being ironically pedantic.

I can never like Dallapiccola as much as I want to like Dallapiccola, meanwhile. He had an incredible sense of quiet, slow, delicate music, but all his loud, emphatic music sounds like twisted Schoenbergian wreckage to me. Consequently everything inevitably gets really disappointing to me exactly when it needs to be getting dramatic. I haven't heard a note of it performed live, though.


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