LISTEN HERE: A Critical Essay on Musical Depreciation by Vernon Duke

LISTEN HERE: A Critical Essay on Musical Depreciation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Duke speaks with occasional colloquialisms that may drive off some otherwise interested readers (""the Hollywood dollaristocrats"", ""a fat lot of good"", snipe at Stravinsky as ""World's Composer Number One"" and ""Mr. Music"".) Once you realize that he is an honest man, however graceless a writer, his tirade takes on the rightness of a man compelled to speak his piece--he has been to the middle of the battle and back and this is what he discovered. His qualifications include the composition of some respectable symphonies and concert pieces, tunes including ""April in Paris"", some Broadway shows, movie scores and; more impressively, a host of famous acquaintances among this century's composers, conductors and critics. His main targets are the serial technique and a kind of violent boredom brought on him by Cage; Stockhausen; Boulez, and Stravinsky's productions for the past three decades. His analysis of ""the deification of Stravinsky"" is intentionally merciless (""Stravinsky is basically insecure, having traveled for many years with the slimmestemusical baggage on the grandest scale but with the falsest possible pretences""). A few sour notes- but no false ones a tonic critique for connoisseurs.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1963
Publisher: Ivan Obolensky