Bernstein's Mass - not a dishonest piece

The longevity of Overgrown Path articles is amazing. The thoughtful comment below from Movie was added yesterday to my July 2005 article Critical Mass. There have been seventeen comments on the post to date, including this one:

Bernstein's Mass was, back when the album came out, one of my favorite pieces. It has a huge emotional impact, particularly when staged well. Because of its "post-modern" aesthetic (was the term "post-modern" used back then?), the piece certainly IS very eclectic. And yes, there is much sentimentality. But then, wasn't Bernstein himself sentimental? It's not a dishonest piece and I think it still works today. Because it drew from pop rock styles of the times, parts of it DO sound dated today but that doesn't mean the pop rock music of today is any kind of improvement — just different.

My header photo is from another of my Bernstein articles, this time about a not dishonest, but scantily clad Lenny.
Image credit Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


Pliable said…
Rewarding to see such big reader numbers for this post on the server log, although that may just have something to do with the photo.

I was struck by Movies' thoughtful comment, particularly his assertion that Mass is 'not a dishonest piece'.

But what are examples of dishonest pieces of music?
Sergio Zenisek said…
In a less judgmental sense of the word ("intended to mislead", according to my dictionary), Eugène Ysaÿe's prelude for solo violin, "Obsession", from his 1922 a-minor sonata for violin solo, gets my vote. For those who haven't heard the piece, it begins with the unmistakable theme of Bach's e-major prelude, before diverging into more modern explorations. I used to begin playing the piece as if it were the Bach just to jolt anyone listening.
Pentimento said…
I'd say much of Strauss's oeuvre is dishonest.

Recent popular posts

Whatever happened to the long tail of composers?

A tale of two new audiences

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Classical music's biggest problem is that no one cares

Why new audiences are deaf to classical music

Nada Brahma - Sound is God

Dangerous people who make our problems insoluble

Audiences need permission to like unfamiliar music

The purpose of puffery and closed-mindedness

Storm clouds gather over Aldeburgh