Brahms: (For The Independent, New Year 1995)

December 24th 1994

(various people were asked what they would like to blow up and remove from existence)

I would like to blow up the entire works of Brahms. I remember that I found it quite endearing when I learned that Britten, apparently, used to spend one day a year playing Brahms at the piano just to remind himself what a bad composer Brahms was. The absence of Brahms would create huge programming opportunities for the BBC who seem to have him as Composer of the Week whenever it's the turn of a 19th century composer. It would also rid the world of a phenomenon which John White used to call "that development noise," which can be heard both in and out of the development sections of the symphonies, a study of which has sent too many composers down a blind alley.

Gavin Bryars