Amazement at Classical Music Offerings of Late

Saw an amazing concert at Tullyscope festival- Feldman’s Rothko Chapel. Something remarkable about all the creativity in classical music festivals these past months. Ecstatic, Tune In, Thalia….There is Nowhere near the same dimensionality in Jazz festivals going on. Why? I welcome your view. We can list funding as a reason- but…that alone cannot be the reason. . Most of my life I saw classical music as the hidebound, conservative sector…now, I think there may be more happening there creatively than in jazz, although comparisons are perilous and possibly pointless. It’s quite exciting, a bit surprising. Somehow there is a youth movement that has caught on… How, why? A bunch of these younger devotees are championing Xenakis, Varese, Feldman…It’s quite amazing! Who would have predicted this? Meanwhile, I see a lot of young jazz players who are super talented, but I don’t know if they are advocates for NEW music as opposed to…JAZZ. Yes, there are amazing solos being played, but you probably won’t hear anything with the gravity of Rothko Chapel being presented. Or for that matter, music for 72 percussionists, or a 45 minute work for 18 musicians that is so freaking beautiful it lights up your week. My angle on this is that the walls between so called jazz and classical need further deconstruction, so that Feldman’s piece for bass clarinet and 2 percussionists can be paired with set of, say, Marty Ehrlich, Andrew Cyrille, and William Winant. But! (!!!!) how massively challenging it would be to even come close to the rapture of Feldman’s piece. Improviser beware!

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