'Disparagement and invidious comparisons'? Assessing critical reactions to Mathias's First Symphony

Jones, Nicholas (2006). 'Disparagement and invidious comparisons'? Assessing critical reactions to Mathias's First Symphony. Tempo, 60(238) pp. 8–14.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0040298206000283

Abstract

A composer can't, and shouldn't, expect to please everybody. What is really important to me is whether what I've produced is exactly what I mean, and on that I'm prepared to stand. That doesn't imply, of course, that I don't think that some of my works are better than others – that is inevitable. One of the problems in modern music is that some composers tend to feel that they should be saying what they ought to mean; they're thinking about the process of writing too much, and relying too little on the tremendous power of the instinct, which must be trusted in the end.

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