Back from that jaunt around town on my brakeless bike and inner city blues was replaced by Rossini in my mind’s ear as vaulted away from the park. Now back considering Anne Migrette’s discussion via Think Denk whether Charles Ives was a homophobe or a victim of prejudices of his time. Migrette takes it a step further looking for gay markers in Ives’ music. Interesting exercise.
The out composers I’ve been lucky enough to talk to have reinterated, sometimes emphatically, that there is no such thing as ‘gay music.’ Principle among these is Ned Rorem, who admitted that he regretted being included on a recording ‘Gay American Composers’ just for that reason. Timeless music is, after all, bigger than sexuality even though it may have everything to do with who you are sleeping with.
Anyway, even though there is a collective gay mantra about there not being anything as ‘gay music’ in classical realms, can anyone conceive that ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies’ could have been written by anyone else but Tchaikovsky? Or as I’m listening now to ‘Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis’ Henry the Eighth’s court composer and I’m wondering where classical music would be without gay aesthetics, consciously recorded or not.