Artists of Their Time

August 27, 2010

Still working on the Montsalvatge book, I find the juxtaposition of these two quotes stimulating enough to share here:

A banda de no tenir cap pretensió de passar a la posteritat, em satisfà enormement que la meva música agradi als meus contemporanis. Jo diria que sempre he escrit amb sinceritat, tot i que tinc molt present que amb l’excusa de la sinceritat potser s’han escrit les pitjors obres que hom pot imaginar. Resummint diré que, quant a la meva música, prefereixo que interessi més que no pas que agradi simplement.

Having no pretension of mattering to posterity, it pleases me enormously that my contemporaries like my music. I would say that I have always written with sincerity, even though I am very aware that one can write the worst works imaginable while using sincerity for an excuse. In summary I will say that, as far as my music goes, I prefer that it be interesting rather than that it simply please.

– Xavier Montsalvatge, 1992

This age needs … men who are filled with the strength of their cultures and do not transcend the limits of their age, but, working within the times, bring what is peculiar to the moment to glory. We need great artists who are willing to accept restrictions, and who love their environments.

– John Updike, 1951

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