From my piece that ran this morning on Alex Ross’ great book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Centery — J.S.

Most orchestras tend to avoid programming music composed after 1950, because the mere mention of the phrase “modern music” has been enough to spark debates over class, nationality, aesthetic philosophy, even race. For all that, however, the music of the 20th century remains deeply felt in popular song, Hollywood films, and mainstream dance music. It amounts to what Alex Ross in his landmark work of music history The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century calls “the cultural predicament of the composer.”

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