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23 January 2007



Let's hope that the Zappa Family Trust finally releases The Sound and The Fury, the collection of Varese pieces performed by Ensemble Modern and conducted by FZ shortly before his death.

Bruce Hodges

A superbly written article, and makes me even sorrier I couldn't go. Keep up the great work.

Brian Roessler

Great writing. I'm going to pull out my Varese discs for a listen tomorrow. I couldn't agree more with your longing for a version of 20th c. music history that doesn't revolve around what increasingly seems to be the least consequential compositional movement.

richard friedman

To understand why Varese and not the Viennese you would have to understand the difference between middle European vs the French artists of the post-WWI era. They were about as different as quiche and rundfleisch mit speck. It took a Frenchman (Messiaen) to produce the post-WWII avant garde in Germany. Besides, Varese was in NYC for the rest of his life. His very early, romantic pieces were all lost in the chaos of WWI. He came to NYC with a clean slate, literally. And NYC in the 20's and 30's was about Pan-Americanism... lots of influence from Latin and South America. Nothing good was coming from Berlin/Vienna.

Varese is worth re-evaluating. His small output is unique, extremely recognizable, and powerful. Arcana is a masterpiece for its time, even if Igor thought Edgard has stolen his ideas from Le Sacre. (I don't think so.)

It sounds like it was a great concert. Alarm Will Sound will be in San Francisco in March. I'll have to check the program. So how did they handle the voice of Yma Sumac in Poeme?

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