Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can Good Taste Be Taught?

Music critic Justin Davidson takes his son to you?

The article gets a bit muddled in the middle of the first page, but overall, Davidson is asking the right questions, and makes the keen observations of an involved parent (though he is way more musically permissive than I am):
I trace a strain of my adult tastes to a string-quartet concert I attended at 15, featuring a late Beethoven masterpiece, a few hushed, strangled utterances by Anton Webern, and George Crumb’s Black Angels, a work of somber electric beauty from 1970. The three pieces, from three different eras, share a compressed rhetoric of morbid dissonances that landed on my ears with an explosive force. But that was no accident: I was primed for revelation. I had spent time studying the composers on the program; I tried to follow the common thread of weirdness. No doubt I was also plumbing my own inner well of darkness at the same time, an exploration that Milo started much earlier than I. He recently spent months immersed in the acrid tang of Sweeney Todd, memorizing the morbid lyrics and watching the original Broadway production, clip by YouTube clip. That’s my boy.

Read the rest.

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