Unspecified sources of "more than a few" speaking of retreat in art music can be of many sorts. (A&E Reviews, "St. Lawrence String Quartet," Dec. 2-9). The most common are dilettantes who feel after Bach Beethoven and Brahms there was nothing. Certainly few composers match the collective creative output of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and a few others for quantity AND quality. But to imply a consensus of "retreat," however one is to understand its context in this review, does disservice to people who might consider exploring for themselves a rewarding music experience containing composers other than those mentioned. I know this critic has written previously about exciting performances of new music.

Posted by John F.

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