Saturday, September 06, 2003


As we enter the final straits of the current Proms season, I'm reminded of a famous story from the past: Harrison Birtwistle's 'Panic' provoked more complaints after it was shown on BBC 1 (in the first half of the Last Night, 1995) than any other event in British television history.

" ' Panic' is quite a fun piece. It's got a drummer. It's got an upfront saxophone virtuoso. It's soundworld is not that extraordinary. Its simply when it's put in that context; you hear things like it at the cinema all the time. What would have happened if it had been a piece by Xenakis? The fuss was about something else. It wasn't a criticism of the piece.

"For me there is no more chance of setting out to please an audience than there is of setting out to shock it... I don't think that creativity is negotiable. It's for those who appreciate it. I can't be responsible for the audience. I'm not running a restaurant."

No comments: