LETTER:Batting for Britten

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The Independent Online
From Mr Stephen Newbould

Sir: I feel moved, almost against my better judgement, to respond to Frederick Stocken's outburst against "modern music" ("Dear Bill Oddie", 4 January) in which he singles out with particular venom Britten and Birtwistle as bad and unpopular composers.

What is it about Mr Stocken's tirade that makes my hackles rise so much? Perhaps that he seems to be denying the genuineness of my own response to these composers' work. I have listened to, loved and been nourished by so much of their music, including the castigated Britten operas. I have not manufactured these responses. I have always found them mirrored in many of my fellow audience members

I am baffled by Mr Stocken's implied assertion that this music is bad (and reviled by all but the politically correct), rather than simply not to his taste. It makes me want, however lamely, to shout a defence of art and reason.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Newbould


West Midlands

4 January