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Minimalism

May 11, 1997

The music of Philip Glass is minimal in every way except sheer bulk and relentless tedium ("Minimal Fanfare, Please," by Mark Swed, May 4).

I met him at a party 40 years ago where some of us were improvising variations on stated themes. Then, as now, Glass was full of himself and his "ideas" but he couldn't invent a decent melody then and he can't now.

HOWARD D. AMACKER

Santa Monica

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Please! Please! I did not teach La Monte Young "reductive Serialism." He studied counterpoint with me and heard the recordings of Webern I made with Robert Craft. That's all. After that he was on his own--with some encouragement from me, of course, as I have shown all my students, from whom I have learned as much or more as they have learned from me.

Incidentally, I consider Webern the first minimalist, so let him assume the role of godfather, which I gladly relinquish!

LEONARD STEIN

Los Angeles

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