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Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

  • by Gordon Kerry — © News Limited
  • Source: Source: The Australian, 24 March 2009, pp.13
  • Only 10% of this article's text is displayed below for reference purposes.
    Please contact the copyright holder/source publication to obtain the full article.

Harmony has returned and composers have put aside their differences.

IT all got pretty ugly around 1990. Not music, but the discussion of it in Sounds Australian, then the official journal of the Australian Music Centre. What it boiled down to was a simplistic and often acrimonious disagreement about style. In the red corner there were the proponents of an uncompromising modernist aesthetic in which one could faintly discern the remains of the avant-garde's political program.

For young artists in late 1940s and early '50s Europe, it must have been tempting to want to clear the deck. The Nazis had remained devotees of the music of Beethoven and Wagner even as they had systematically murdered millions of innocent people. Culture was seen to be complicit in crime, so artists and philosophers argued that art, if it could exist after Auschwitz, needed to start with a complete ...