Broad Tastes in Music are not Necessarily Encompassed in one Audience

I believe there is room in the Contemporary Classical Music world for a broad spectrum of musical tastes. While I am not particularly a fan of Webern, I can appreciate his style and even enjoy listening to some of his music - but generally consider him toward the end of my alphabetic tastes in music. Neither am I particularly a fan of Mozart putting him more midway in my alphabetic choices of who I might listen to. Mozart's classical music style is certainly lovely with some stunning pieces, but there are also a number of pieces that are, well, pieces I'm less than enthusiastic about - although given a choice Wolfgang is far preferred to Anton. I tend to gravitate towards Bernstein and Copeland when organising my music listening selections.

That said, I know a number of people who really enjoy Webern, who put his music at the top of their listening list. And there should be room in the world for listeners of all sorts.

However, I'm not sure you'll find the people who are Mozart fans are Webern fans - and visa versa.


Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

Friday Night at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Avery Fisher Hall was the site where these two composers were performed together under the baton of Louis Langrée with Christiane Oelze as Soprano. Unfortunately, it seems there weren't many Webern fans in the audience; the Webern “Five Canons After Latin Texts” (Op. 16) (his last predodecaphonic work) was boo'd.

In a NY Times review by James R. Oestreich, Mr Oestreich suggests this blending of first and second Viennese composers might expose Webern to a broader audience, and thereby create converts. Perhaps a worthy goal, but not one that sounds like it succeeded. Again, while I appreciate some of Weberns music, he really isn't a composer I would pay money to go listen to. Not everyone is a fan of Copeland either and I'm not sure Copeland would mix well with Mozart. So, while it may have been a worthy goal, it probably was not one that would be successful in this particular context. It is, after all, a mostly Mozart festival, so the audience is going to be mostly Mozart fans. Perhaps they would have been better served to have put Webern's Passicaglia in the program, or his Five Songs after Poems of Richard Dehmel, but these are perhaps too tonal for Webern afficianados.

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