Marc Shulgold concluded his review of the television program, "Steve Reich: A New Musical Language" with the observation that Reich's music "is definitely an acquired taste" ("Composer Reich Profiled on PBS," April 10).
Since he felt this concession to relativism was warranted, perhaps Shulgold might have seen fit to let it precede, rather than follow, the 10 or so column inches of crude and ignorant scorn which he heaped on Reich's music.
Under the circumstances, many readers were likely persuaded to ignore the broadcast. What they missed was a fine film about an important artist, and a compelling invitation to acquire the taste that eludes Shulgold.
I hope that the next time television offers a tribute to one of America's major living composers, The Times will choose a reviewer who has some appreciation for the artist's music, or at least an understanding of its purpose. As for Shulgold, I have only a single word of advice toward gaining an appreciation for the power and hidden complexity of Reich's recordings: Headphones.
MICHAEL S. KATZ