Saw this in The Times today, didn't read it at all properly and thought I should have a look again. He wrote some interesting stuff on music in his 'Aesthetics' book. At least he knows some music.
It certainly seems to be true that without Christianity (Bach was a Lutheran OK, my one concession to ecumenism, if only he'd lived in Bavaria...) people cannot create beautiful music.
Tomorrow, I will be playing in a performance of a mishmash of religious, historical and cultural allusions bound together by repetitive, trite sub minimalist motifs. Trash.
I want Beethoven 9, The Missa Solemnis (and people say he was a weird Catholic, go listen to the Benedictus Violin solo,) or even the Brahms German Requiem (a miserable agnostic Lutheran.)
At least the viola part is easy. One movement I swear I play the same 16 bars five times and it's not even fast. So from the, 'Do I need to worry about this and do some practice?' perspective it's top stuff. As a piece of music, it's really making me angry.
NB Viola jokes in the com box will be dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly.