Program Book 1997-1998 page 20
Concert III Program Notes, continued

Something bluesy would be good for saxophones and voice, I wrote my own text:
Music died yesterday.
I read it in the news.
She didn't just fade away
Like some forgotten blues.
It must have been homicide ...
The papers didn't say
For certain who killed her...
Was it Igor Stravinsky.
With his frightening Rite ofSpring?
He called it "Sacre"
They called it "sacrilege"
Or it might have been Claude Debussy.
Out with his faun
One wan
Afternoon.
Or Richard Wagner,
Maybe ...
Or Chopin:
With his mad chromatic modulations
He may
Have paved
The way
For everything that is going wrong with our tunes today.
Not even Beethoven
Is beyond
suspicion!
* * *
Wait a minute!
Do you believe everything you read?
Have they ever found the body?
Is music really dead?
* * *
I guess not.

Agreeing with Crutchfield about the 'Perennial newness" of Mozart, I composed a little "Mozart" of my own to begin the piece, which gives way to a blue-note ostinato. Next, it was logical that literal quotes from "revolutionary' works by Stravinsky, Debussy, Wagner, Chopin and Beethoven should telegraph backward along the "great curve." Having arrived almost back at Mozart, though, I found myself stuck: if! was going to refute Crutchfield's pessimistic view, I couldn't just stop here! For many days I gazed balefully at my score. My fickle muse must have been off helping some other composer. Suddenly she returned and blessed me with the obvious answer: turn that "great curve" into a boomerang! I simply rewound my K-Tel Classic Hits, homing back relentlessly through BeethovenChopinWagnerDebussyStravinsky to the present, where music is still alive and kicking. Mozart gets the last word, though, because I think he would have enjoyed the joke.

Amherst Saxophone Quartet Program Book Program Notes