The blogosphere has been exploding with news of Milton Babbitt’s recent death. This erudite, but completely accessible regular guy sounds like he was a fascinating man and one whom I’m sad to have not met. Just his consecration of the term “interval” makes one smile. I’ve put together a short list of some of the not-to-be-missed reads and views for anyone who is serious about music.
American Music Center’s web magazine New Music Box
A wonderful transcription of interviews of Professor Babbitt done at Juilliard in 2001. What’s not to love about subtitles like “Baseball and New Music” and “Beer and New Music.” Brief 1-2 minute video clips accompany each entry.
NPR Deceptive Cadence: Portrait of a Serial Composer
Wonderfully fun 60 minute documentary on the man created by NY journalist, Robert Hilferty, and fully assembled by former Babbitt pupil, Laura Karpman.
Alex Ross blog: The Rest is Noise
This New Yorker critic is and always has been a great Babbitt fan. For those of you who may have seen Mr. Ross’ talk at the Art Museum last fall, you’ll remember him speaking very fondly of Mr. Babbitt in regards to Ross’ college radio station days. I would just post Ross’ YouTube clip into this blog, but wanted to give credit where it’s due and encourage you to check out this great 2 minute video.
Finally, hold your own Babbitt memorial by logging into your VPN and checking out the copious offerings on Dram and Naxos located on the Listen Tab at http://www.cim.edu/library/