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Philosophy of the Social Sciences 8 (4):398-405 (1978)
Abstract
Consider such light musical pieces as Schumann's and Debussy's Arabesques, Schumann's Traumerie, Debussy's Petite Suite, Tschaikowsky's Andante Cantabile, and so on. They all strike their new listener very forcefully; indeed, if you can find music lovers who have not heard one of these you can easily move them to tears by a good performance. Yet they wear out, some with the first hearing, some with the tenth. To be really both immediately very impressive and very durable, like Debussy's Fetes and Mozart's standard music, is every artist's dream, yet many serious composers prefer the durable over the immediately impressive, and take comfort in the fact that Bach's monumental works, The Art of Fugue. The Musical Offering, the Goldberg Variations, and the Mass in B Minor, take a lot of sustained effort from their audience, as do most of Beethoven's later compositions, except for his ninth symphony and similar bits
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