Lo, poor Bach! Lo, for that matter, poor Domenico Scarlatti and poor Handel. For their ill luck in being born in the same year of 1685, they are being celebrated together in the present year, three not so glorious centuries later. This celebration will doubtless be perceived by the lovers of classical music as the tribute vice pays to virtue. The real danger of course is that the tribute will end up being the one virtue pays to vice.

An example of the dangers inherent in the possibility of winning converts from what might be called other musics was provided by the recital in the middle of March at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall of the eminent, or at least eminently successful, jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. According to the biography contained in the concert program, Mr. Jarrett has recently forsaken the worldwide performance of the “spontaneously composed and improvised solo-piano concerts” which have occupied him for...

 
Popular Right Now