TITLE: LORD BYRON
COMPOSER: VIRGIL THOMSON
LABEL: KOCH INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS
THE BOTTOM LINE: Thomson's cheery, uncomplicated score is at odds with the poet's flamboyant life and works.
Virgil Thomson was a first-rate music critic, able author, brilliant dinner- party conversationalist and world-class gadfly, but he wasn't much of a composer -- which is, alas, primarily how he thought of himself. Turning his back on nearly every major compositional technique of the 20th century, with the notable exception of pastiche, Thomson wrote archly naive, perversely | wholesome music -- tonal, uncomplicated and almost completely unmemorable.
Thomson's creative reputation today rests primarily on...