Sunday, 27 October 2013

Musical quackery

It is an afternoon concert; and modern German music was largely represented on the programme. 

The patient English people sat in closely-packed rows, listening to the pretentious instrumental noises which were impudently offered to them as a substitute for melody. 

While these docile victims of the worst of all quackeries (musical quackery) were still toiling through their first hour of endurance, a passing ripple of interest stirred the stagnant surface of the audience caused by the sudden rising of a lady overcome by the heat.

Wilkie Collins - The Fallen Leaves (1879)


Sackerson said...

I think John Cage's 4' 33" takes the biscuit, especially when it turned into a copyright lawsuit:

The rest is silence, as Shakespeare said.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - sometimes I find myself admiring the chutzpah of such people. They just see what they can get away with.

Demetrius said...

1879? Assuming he does not count Austrian as German then it might be Wagner he is referring to. Having "done" a lot of Wagner in my time in later life I have come round to the conclusion that he needed a good and very firm editor.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - he doesn't mention Wagner, but that was my assumption.