Music for a While II
On this occasion, mostly from the twentieth century, and including at least two water-nymphs
Contrary to popular reports, the twentieth century was a particularly rich period in the evolution of the “classical”—or “concert hall”—repertoire. True, the music of the period was marked principally by the absence of any distinctive marks; it was a century of no single dominant style. Traditional tonality, atonality, serialism, aleatory music, and any number of quite unclassifiable trends all had their champions; every age’s and every land’s musical traditions poured into the auditorium, ancient forms were recovered, new forms were developed, and every imaginable kind of experimentation—whether inspired, fruitless, or obnoxious—thrived. There were great figures both in every incoming wave of the avant garde and in every withdrawing roar of reaction, and there were also (naturally) a number of talentless cacophonists; in the end, though, the best composers came to avail themselves of all the creative avenues that had opened up in an epoch of boundless possibilities, and the results were in many cases quite magnificent.
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