A book I want to read: Taruskin's The Danger of Music - and Other Anti-Utopian Essays.

Tom Service of the Guardian wrote a review of the book "The Danger of Music - and Other Anti-Utopian Essays" by Richard Taruskin. According to the review:

The book is full of broadsides against the lazy thinking of musical establishments: the modernist juggernaut that Taruskin sees as hijacking critical thinking about music in the academy in the mid-century, the sort of kneejerk reaction that, "if it's difficult and nobody likes it, it must be good"; the emerging practices of early music, and the idea that what Roger Norrington and John Eliot Gardiner were up to in the 80s amounted to "authenticity" - Taruskin's elegant and brilliant rebuttal is that they are modernists, performers whose Beethoven and Mozart is of our time, not of the 18th or 19th centuries; and above all, the facile assumption of music's much-vaunted universality, and its supposed status as the highest and most ethereal of the arts. On every page, Taruskin reminds you how messy, dirty, and yes, dangerous, the works of western classical music and their reception have been.

These are the sorts of things I've been trying to say about Modern Classical Music and obviously no where near as elegantly done, or as substantiated. Still, it's nice to think that what I have been thinking isn't so far off from what other's far more respected in the field of musicology have been saying for 20 years.


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