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George Vecsey

Dear Bill Lucey: what a terrific post by you -- to know that much and then consult others. Well done.
It's a great subject. I am touched most by Dvorak but I understand that there are Old Masters. Recently I heard a spare and haunting piece for three instruments by Brahms, and also a live performance by Yo Yo Ma of the six Bach suites, as a gift to listeners at home. And I was reminded there are indeed masters.
But I agree with the premise that there are always masters, for different times.Think of the 20C and Bartok, Walton, Barber, Shostakovich, Vaughn Williams, leading up to Piston and Glass and Copland. Lately, our classical station (WQXR-FM, 105.9) has been playing a lot of Florence Price, and I now recognize some of her compositions and I realize how much of her talent and her own life she put into these more familiar pieces -- a woman, African-American, getting her due decades later.
Asfor the true 21C, just evolving, try finding John Schaefer's little industry on the FM web, called "New Sounds." So eclectic.
Maybe some masters. Thanks again for all that work. George

Filip Sande

It is indeed about time to consider the contemporary Composers, or the Composers of the 20th centery, compared to the classic canon of Composers. The very obvious fact about the Composers of the past having more attention than the modern Composers, is the musicians. The classical musicians are educated and trained to learn the older Music to perfection and it is also mainly what they performe, as soloists, in orchestra and Chamber Music. In th 19th centery this was not common, they performed mainly their contempories and it was a habit that also educcated the audience to pay more attention to the contemporaries than the once of the past. Since the musician the last hundred years started to focus mailnly on older Composers, it is not strange that the contempories lost their main role also among the lovers of classical Music. Nevertheless there are as great Composers today and over the last hundred years as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. And it is not necessary Steve Reich and John Adams, but many more. So actually the performance standard of classical Music "killed" the contemporary Composer. One also must mention that the most of the avant-gard Music composed the last centery is very hard to apprehend for both the audience and the musicians, but looking closely, you will find even that there are more modern compoers making Music that is actually easy to approach than the extreme avant-garde. And if it was performed more often, the audience would learn to love their Music as much as the Music of Mozart and Bach. Classical Music is actually a musical style you have to learn to know, so the musicans, conductors, orchestras and soloists have a huge responisibility when it comes to modern composers.

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