Thursday, December 31, 2009

Eau de music criticism

I've been re-reading Nicolas Slonimsky's infamous text, The Lexicon of Musical Invective, and was tickled when I came across this passage in the droll but perceptive Peter Schickele foreword that graces the edition I own:

As a serious composer and also as the sole discoverer of the putative music of PDQ Bach, I have been on the receiving end of both pans and raves, and, everything else being equal, I prefer raves. Any highly flattering review I get is, of course, humbly accepted and appreciated, but one stands out, head and shoulders above the rest. It appeared in a respected magazine, and it can only be described as an artist's wet dream: 'Having banished Mr. Schickele some time ago from my conscious mental life as being a fellow whose spoofs of Baroque music, both on records and television, struck me as labored, clumsy, and utterly sophomoric, it was not with alacrity that I reached for the latest sample of his wares. Mr. Schickele, I recant! I grovel before your genius, an abject idolater. Obtuse and inattentive, I have grossly misunderstood your methods and your motives. You are the most.'

Now that's what I call music criticism.

Hell yeah!

Here's to 2010. May we all suddenly and inexplicably graduate from "labored, clumsy, and utterly sophomoric" to "the most."

[photo credit: "The Future of Rock 'n Roll," by fmgbain]

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