Tag Archives: Charles Bernstein

Living the Non-Narrative Life with Nielsen, Ashbery, and Ives

Housatonic River at Bull's Bridge, Kent, Connecticut

Housatonic River at Bull’s Bridge, Kent, Connecticut

Where was I?
—John Ashbery (from The Skaters)

If you didn’t know what was going to happen next would you live your life any differently?
—Charles Bernstein (from The Meandering Yangtze)

At the New York Philharmonic concert of Carl Nielsen’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, conductor Alan Gilbert said, with palpable glee, that the symphonies were “like life.” Composer Daniel Felsenfeld, in his pre-concert talk, said something similar: that the symphonies convey what it means to be human. He went on to say, of the Sixth Symphony’s final movement, that the only composer it reminded him of was Charles Ives: “things come in and out and they don’t really jibe.” Continue reading