Benoît Duteurtre, Requiem pour une avant-garde, Time Literary Supplement, Roger Scruton, 5 December 1997

« International Books of the Year »

The power exerted over French music (or the serious side of it) by Pierre Boulez and his clique or claque is more than usually disproportionate to the slender talent on which it has been based; and the censorious advocacy of the avant-garde, at the expense of all other musical traditions, has placed an impassable barrier between French composers and their public. The intellectual, moral and political corruption which has made this possible has been brilliantly exposed by a young composer novelist, in one of the most lucid attacks on avant-gardism and its precocities that I have read – Benoit Duteurtre’s Requiem pour une avant-garde (Paris: Laffont). Only a Frenchman could have written this book, which out-ironizes the ironists, while showing the paucity of inspiration in those who claim to be solely entitled to represent the art of music to the educated world.

Roger Scruton

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