with modern classical programming for concerts and festivals:
there is so much music from the 20th century which is BOTH rigorous, challenging, AND ALSO AT THE SAME TIME beautiful, seductive, sensuous, and (here's that word again) accessible ---- and sometimes, or often, i find the most impenetrable, difficult, and... almost farcical pieces performed.
i mean i kind of understand and even admire the impulse: a big acetic fuck you to "entertainment", to "bourgeois sensibilities", to consumerism... but at the same time, they are playing right into the stereotypical cliches the general population have about this music.
case in point: yesterday saw some Salvatore Sciarrino among others performed (don't remember whose piece the following describes) -- a group of 6-8 performers playing brief notes between long uncomfortable pauses, exchanging seats/instruments, all running to the piano to pound on it, etc., none of which being the least "musical", and just coming off like the sort of buffoonery people complain to arts foundations about -- and they wonder why funding often gets cut for "new music".
but the evening was saved by a drop dead gorgeous Stockhousen piece, which gently swelled and ebbed along elegant arcs... (nothing to do with the point but interesting: the 4 performers, per instruction of the score, had not slept or eaten much in 4 days)
well OK considering the theme of yesterdays concerts was "Audio Poverty" so maybe they consciously chose to showcase stringent works which do not "give", and embody an idea of "poverty" of experience... but the same holds true of many other concerts i've attended...
i think the reason stingy and difficult music is prized and elevated to the status of genius, and sensuous and generous music is often ignored, is because the institutions of academic music are run by joyless old male control freak kurmudgens.