Friday, May 4, 2007

Isn't It Romantic?

What should we call that gaggle of American composers who don't focus on a nameable technique like serialism or minimalism? I refer to the likes of Joan Tower [top] and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich [middle], whose works seem to follow in a direct line from the 19th century, although they are informed by 20th-century harmony and rhythm.

Kyle Gann calls them the Unreconstructed Classicists, but that seems overblown. Paul Griffith calls them the New Romanticists, but that's too close to New Romantics, a term for the pop crooners of the 1980s, the likes of Bryan Ferry [bottom], who formed a defiant front against the post-punk sound on the one hand and the synth-pop sound on the other.

No comments: