This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, see our privacy statement

New Left Review I/225, September-October 1997

Andrew Bowie

Confessions of a ‘New Aesthete’: A Response to the ‘New Philistines’

Pausing to allow the waves of sound of the last movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony to ebb away, I return to the delights of my glass of Californian Chardonnay and reflect on the way Dimitri Mitropoulos’s interpretation of the symphony steers the vital course between long-term structure, sudden transitions, irony, and contrapuntal balance. The wine slowly numbs the tension of the day in a mixture of fragrant fruit and firm alcohol. Or something like that. I did listen to Mahler and I did have a glass or three of Chardonnay. As for the appropriate description, well, Mitropoulos really does conduct the best performance I have heard: for once the slow final movement avoids too much sentimentality while retaining its expressive intensity. But what is life as a ‘new aesthete’ actually like? I am told I ought to know: hence my opening attempt to give a taste of it.

Subscribe for just £45 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3


Andrew Bowie, ‘Confessions of a 'New Aeshete': A Response to the 'New Philistines'’, NLR I/225: £3

If you want to create a new NLR account please register here

’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’

New NLR website coming soon—click here for a preview.