Neo Neo-Romanticism

I’m filled with torment. Is the question this month really whether there is such a thing as neo-romanticism in contemporary music? Does such a term refer to composers who are openly and proudly reactionary, led by Gian Carlo Menotti, alive and kicking at 92? But wait—doesn’t Stockhausen have an ego and artistic agenda bigger than […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? Andrew Violette

Andrew ViolettePhoto by Barbara Nitke Minimalism, neo-romanticism haven’t been cutting edge for thirty years. Tinkering with new timbres goes back to musique concrète in the 1940’s. Tinkering with the computer goes back to the turn of the last century. Microtonalism: Cowell, Ives, and the ancient Greeks. My own innovations have been structural. The colorfield form […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? 1

Alex ShapiroPhoto by Jeremy Davidson I don’t think tonality and overt melody ever left the building, but in some circles they were like a couple of illicit lovers locked in a small broom closet for quite a while. Until very recently, the perceived power in the concert music world came largely from universities, conservatories and […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? Kevin Puts

Kevin PutsPhoto by Christian Steiner I can’t speak for my contemporaries, but I personally don’t feel that tonality ever really went away. My predecessors had to endure a much more arduous battle for academic legitimacy than I do today, and since contemporary music was almost exclusively connected to the academy, writing the music they cared […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? Tobias Picker

Tobias PickerPhoto by Benjamin Seaman Even thirty years ago when “uptown music” was in vogue, tonality was the elephant in the room. It was always titillating to listen to a new, 12-tone piece and discover the inevitable hints of tonality tucked away or skirted by in little corners and interstices. No. Tonality never went away. […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? Anthony Iannaccone

Anthony IannacconePhoto by Dick Schwarze I believe that tonality and melody are treated with greater interest and more flexibility by composers and critics today than, say, in 1960, when I entered college. It’s no secret that composers like Britten, Barber, and Bernstein, were routinely pilloried by progressive mavens who preferred the stylistic purity of Webern […]

Would you describe yourself as a neo-romantic? Why (not)? Jake Heggie

Jake HeggiePhoto by Lisa Kohler This question makes me smile, because it brought me back to when I was at UCLA studying with Roger Bourland almost 20 years ago. The L.A. Phil hosted a Green Umbrella concert featuring his work and some others, titled: “The New Romanticism.” It was all about the return of tonality […]