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 […]

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

Nancy GalbraithPhoto by Amy Rogers I recall a time in the not-so-distant past, when composers challenged the very essence of what defines music. This was a time when the exploration of new textures, sounds, concepts, and unusual combinations of instruments were far more intriguing to composers than the composition of a beautiful lyrical line, a […]

View From the West: New Choral Music – There’s Not Much to Sing About

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki I have been thinking for some time about the state of the contemporary repertoire in choral music, and the problems encountered in getting new work commissioned, written, and performed. This past May there was a great deal of discussion of choral music in NewMusicBox. While many who contributed to or […]

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

Beth AndersonPhoto by Elliotte Rusty Harold Lots of composers never left tonality. Minimalism could be seen as the antidote to serialism or as the reinvention/return of tonality. Certainly Terry Riley‘s In C has a powerful tonality. Cage used to say that all music was tonal since it was made of tones, but he wasn’t defining […]

View From the East: Dog Days Patter

Greg Sandow It’s August, the dog days, and I’m going on vacation the day after I write this. Very tempting just to comment more on things my friends and colleagues (not to mention total strangers) have been saying in the forum on my pages here. I confess I go two ways about that. On one […]

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

Bruce AdolphePhoto by Christian Steiner Are the emotionally charged harmonic progressions in a Gesualdo madrigal tonal? Are Debussy‘s whole-tone passages or Benjamin Britten‘s mixture of fourths and clusters tonal? Like so many common terms in music, tonality is a terribly abused word, almost as misunderstood as the phrase Classical Music. It is a matter of […]