A Surrealist Composer Comes to the Rescue of Modernism

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
A Surrealist Composer Comes to the Rescue of Modernism

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This chapter discusses the rescue of modern music. Attention is paid to the English composer Thomas Adés. There is reason, at this time of millennial stock-taking and auguries of doom, for renewed hope. Adés has in effect extended to a satisfying end a century of culmination of the far side or other face of serious modern music, the alternative current that has always shadowed the severely abstract variety of modernism that hogged the headlines until it ran out of gas. In Adés late modernism there is a winner at last, a respectably hard-core talent to whom audiences, trusting their noses, have responded with enthusiasm, as they have not responded to Sir Harrison Birtwistle or Brian Ferneyhough, and never will. Adés can be promoted without recourse to the imperial haberdasher's manual.

Keywords: Thomas Adés; modern music; rescue; English composer; classical music

Chapter.  4142 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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