And no, I don't mean Franz Schubert. But seriously, this has got to stop. First, the Timeseses Bernard Holland takes it upon himself to defend the concert hall against the likes of Cornelius Cardew, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff, whose "1960s arrogance and self-absorption" was actually "damaging to music"—ah yes, who doesn't remember the 1960s as an era dominated by the likes of Cornelius Cardew, Earle Brown, and Christian Wolff! And what does this music-damaging oeuvre sound like? What pieces were performed? I guess that's not so important, since our critic declines to offer any description. What's important is "arrogance and self-absorption," but we might have guessed that: this is, after all, a Bernard Holland column. Well, the deaths of Cardew and Brown have ended their respective reigns of terror, but maybe there's still hope for Christian Wolff. Where can he look for a new aesthetic model? Hey, how about Radio City Music Hall, where the Rockettes put on a world-famous Christmas show each year? Well, I'm not exactly sure how this is even a musical event, since didn't the Rockettes tour with a CD in the orchestra pit one time and nobody noticed but the union? Holland isn't sure either; 875 words in this piece and only fourteen describe the music: "On its elevating orchestra pit Gary Adler and his players perform in high style." "High style," huh? Thanks! I feel like I was there. (For perspective, that is one fewer word than Holland uses to explain that the Rockettes arouse him sexually: "I like them especially with their antlers on. They can pull my sled any day.") [Shudder.] Now there's a piece about the deaths of brilliant young composers, which, as it turns out, aren't such a big deal after all. For instance, "Schubert died at 31. How much music did his early death deprive us of? Not a lot."
Friend #1: "Yes, no one talks much about the music he wrote 3 years after his death. You ever notice that?" Friend #2: "Me, I'm just relieved to see I'm not the only one who hasn't finished On Late Style."
Can anyone make a lick of sense out of this article? I'm starting to think he just bet somebody money he could get an incredibly filthy double-entendre into a New York Times headline.
Ugh, good night, everyone! New New Year's resolution: I will not put this goober's name in my mouth for another twelve months.