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The Man Who Mistook returns home

October 10, 2017 by norman lebrecht

7 comments.


I was present when Michael Nyman’s chamber opera on a musician with dementia received its world premiere in the unexpected setting of London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts on October 27, 1986.

I shall be there again when the opera returns to the ICA on November 30, in the company of a new work by Kate Whitley, titled Unknown Position.

What comes round…

 

 


Comments (7)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    What an appropriate subject for Nyman’s opera.

    1. jaypee2 says:

      What is it exactly that you want to achieve with your postings, Borstlap? What’s your goal?
      By now, everyone knows your position on contemporary music. So, basically, you’re just begging for attention (what an empty life you’re obviously having…) by trying to be annoying….in other words, you’re a troll.
      And you know what trolls are, right, Bortslap?
      Yup… Psychopaths… and narcissists.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-online-secrets/201409/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists

      1. John Borstlap says:

        I am really sorry to have to inform you that you are wrong. But that does not matter….! I regret to have stirred your inferiority feelings, but it should inspire you to work a little more on them, and as a precaution I would advise to never read my comments.

        1. jaypee2 says:

          Why am I wrong?
          Because you say so?
          Here are some facts:
          1- By now, everyone knows your position on contemporary music.
          2- You have an ego the size of a small planet.
          3- You’re arrogant.
          4- You feel you *have to* comment every time SD puts something on contemporary music.

          Bottom line, no one will ever change his or her opinion on modern music because of you. You can continue your little OCD shtick, I’ll make sure to remind you and the other contributors what you are: nothing but a troll. And trolls are narcissists and psychopaths.

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-online-secrets/201409/internet-trolls-are-narcissists-psychopaths-and-sadists

  2. John Borstlap says:

    One of the ills of contemporary music life is the appearance of a half-seriously meant new music which is, however, firmly rooted in pop music, or else film music. This then considered, by many people who don’t like modern music, as a viable alternative. But it is not, it exploits the well-meaning ignorance of people who otherwise could have been won over for classical music, but who merely support the rise of populism. Nyman, Louis Andriessen, and many more of such types, represent the primitive, juvenile spirit of the age which wants to do away with anything reminding it of its inferiority. Pluralism is a great good, but only if things of different nature and sophistication exist next to each other – and not on places where they have nothing to seek.

    I remember the magical film ‘Prospero’s Books’ by Peter Greenaway, a superb creation but entirely spoiled by the awful, vulgar and flat ‘music’ by Nyman. A good example of musical understanding today: people can be sophisticated artists in their own right but when the subject is music, they fall back upon pop.

  3. Frederick West says:

    Thanks, good point well made.
    I’m going to have a try at contemporary music at Huddersfield soon. I have no real preconceptions but what the hell!
    It’s a ‘free’ day but I will go with an open mind and see what transpires.
    I was there at the first festival in the 1970s and even performed in some works if George Crumb, it was very enjoyable and fun.
    Nevertheless, I go with foreboding. Will the novelty wear off ?
    I’ll give it a try but I have a real sense that it will be a fruitless journey.

    1. John Borstlap says:

      Also apparent fruitless journeys can be immensily rewarding. Maybe you enjoy an entirely refreshing and stimulating experience of a visionary utopia behind the ever-withdrawing horizon, or a pulverizing aural attack upon the nerve system, or just flat, acoustic processes which don’t care a damn about what the listener thinks, or feels because it is something in and for itself only. But it will be instructive, and possibly, there will be some real music there. Even in prison sometimes the sun rays slip through the bars.


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