Tag Archives: Johann Sebastian Bach

Farewell to Dodecaphony

In the June 10 edition of his Russian Music class, David Nice explored “End of the Thaw and musical life after Khrushchev.” Nice wrote:

“Khrushchev’s sudden rages against jazz and abstract art signalled a closing-down of hard-won freedoms. Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony, setting a range of poems by the young iconoclast Yevgeny Yevtushenko, was a surprise casualty. Meanwhile, dodecaphony was having its impact on a younger generation of composers, but not for long: we see how with Alfred Schnittke and the Estonian Arvo Pärt.”

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“Therefore, since we have to do our business/In spite of things, why not make it in spite of everything?”

John Ashbery turned 90 on July 28, 2017. However belated, it’s an occasion to celebrate. Just Walking Around on the internet, I ran across this quotation:

I don’t quite understand about understanding poetry. I experience poems with pleasure: whether I understand them or not I’m not quite sure. I don’t want to read something I already know or which is going to slide down easily: there has to be some crunch, a certain amount of resilience.—John Ashbery Continue reading

Of Cabbages and Kings

Cabbages_and_Kings_(1904)_cover_edited-1

So much has passed through my mind this morning
That I can give you but a dim account of it
—John Ashbery, The Skaters

These lines from John Ashbery’s The Skaters are among my favorites, for good reason. I keep thinking to write about something among my several ongoing projects, when next I know, I’m on to something else. So, I’m afraid, this is a bit of a miscellany, likely of no interest to anyone but me, but an attempt, at least, to record some of the “dim account” before even that is lost. Continue reading