The only pop/classical distinction that ever made sense to me was the one Bob Ashley told me on a bar stool in Chicago in 1986: “Over five minutes it’s classical, under five minutes it’s pop.” Accordingly, I’ve always thought of Schubert’s songs as really, really good pop music. And of Brian Eno’s Evening Star album, with its long tone poems, as utterly classical. Imagination is near the top of my virtues list, and I hear more imagination in almost any Eno song than in all the Elgar I’ve ever heard put together.
Sunday, March 1, 2020
The "art song" is both the most "literary genre" and the most "vernacular." From a post from Kyle Gann's blog, "The Epistemology of Elitism."
Now this is very helpful to me. Doesn't the Lied flourish in romanticism, with the interest in folk music? One feature of the art song is its brevity, which also means that there is not going to be the complexity of form that comes in longer forms. The brevity is a direct consequence of the brevity of the lyric poem itself.