Monday, October 17, 2011

Strained Synapse

I'm really tired of Post-Modern deconstructionism. It's flat and tasteless; and attempting to make something of it is like chewing straw and ice cubes hoping that the flavor of steak and good Shiraz will come forth. The Po-Mo's think they are being clever and shrewdly insightful, but they have nothing to offer that brings any beauty to the life around them.

The Saint Louis Symphony performed brilliantly the other evening. Wagner's Flying Dutchman opened the program and Sibelius' Symphony No. 1 closed. While No.1 is my least favorite Sibelian symphony, it was a far cry better than the American premiere of Philippe Manoury's 30-minute violin concerto "Synapse", performed by virtuoso James Ehnes. Ehnes and the Symphony were superb in presenting the technical demand that the concerto required, but the piece itself was tedious and irritating and pushed hearer's endurance to the furthest boundary.

Hence my comment about Post Moderns. Whatever makes a Po-Mo composer think that he is producing anything of timeless value if there is no recognizable musical form to it? Music is a language that is intuitively understood, yet there was nothing in that piece that was speaking. It strained my synapses, reminding me more of traffic noise than anything else, and to date, traffic noise is not musical. If the Wright brothers had attempted to build their plane utilizing the principles displayed in the Manoury concerto, they would still have a collection of bike parts laying around on the floor, and nothing that had any hope of flying.

If they hope to have lasting significant influence, the Post Moderns need to start constructing something that points to the beautiful.

Today's Influences and Soundtrack:
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Maurice Ravel, Bolero
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Wing