Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jennifer Higdon in the Times

Nice article in today's NY Times about Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. One quibble: why, oh, why, is Vivien Schweitzer describing as "experimental touches" such mainstream techniques as using knitting needles (or any other unusual object) as percussion mallets and muting piano strings with your hands? Those might have been experimental techniques in 1950, but they're surely not now. They're just part of the standard arsenal of coloristic effects an orchestral composer can use.
Okay, I admit to some eye-rolling over the comments about accessibility, etc. I'm fine with composers working in their own style, whatever it might be, but I wish everybody would keep in mind that there are lots of listeners who love the kind of complex music that is evidently considered "inaccessible."


Zerbinetta said...

My eyes were rolling starting with the "anxiety and naysayers" headline. The article wasn't so bad on that count but I can't imagine that headline on an article about a male composer.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Excellent point, Zerbinetta.