Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Foss, Lukas. "Foss Talks About 'Stolen Goods' and the Mystique of the New." Music and Artists 3 (September/October 1970): 34-35.

In an interview Foss discusses his Phorion (Greek for "stolen goods") as a "controlled chance" composition based on the prelude from J. S. Bach's Partita for Solo Violin in E. Designed so that each performance is unique, the work incorporates Morse code and instructs performers to "race" each other through technically challenging passages of Bach's music. Foss also discusses critical reaction, including a German orchestra that took a vote on whether to perform the "desecration" of Bach, prompting Foss to observe that "the Germans are a very tender and sensitive people." (Foss, a Jew, left Germany as a refugee in 1933.) Bach is not harmed by Phorion; his music exists intact independently of its treatment in this work. If audiences are uncertain how to respond, that is Foss's intent. Violence in art, such as Foss is committing here, in fact communicates a message of non-violence.

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: David Lieberman

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