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Rear Garde

March 22, 1987

After hundreds of years of evolution, Western music culminated in the integrative genius of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, who produced some of the highest expressions of the human spirit ("John Cage Still Leaves Everything to Chance," by Donna Perlmutter, March 15).

Why, after this, are we to take seriously the "deconstructionist" efforts of one John Cage, who boasts that his distinction in music lies in his "not saying anything with it"?

Cage likes to believe that his thoughts and his works will last, but they won't. The human mind and spirit at their best seek intelligibility, meaning, value and enjoyment, but Cage's philosophy and music represent the exact opposite.

The future will realize, I believe, that Cage and his kind were only a fleeting phenomenon that was peculiar to a peculiar age.

RANDALL DAVIDSON

Hawthorne

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