I have just had the displeasure of attending an (otherwise pleasant) orchestra performance which contained the 28 minutes of cacophony known as “Apotheosis of this Earth” by Karel Husa. This composition is meant to express the composers displeasure with the terrible way in which man was / is treating the planet earth. It included a number of unusual devices such as instruments playing quarter stepped notes to be deliberately out of tune with others instruments, and sections of the score which direct to play some unspecified notes for a certain amount of time. These devices seemed to be most often realized at high pitches and high volumes which frequently became physically painful to listen to. It did not help matters that it was being performed in a relatively small “recital hall” space and not a large concert hall which may have been better able to handle the intense sound levels. While I do appreciate the technical skill involved in composing 28 minutes of music while completely avoiding anything resembling conventional musical melodies and maintaining a continuously difficult listening experience for the audience for the entire time, as a member of the audience I found it to be a (not surprisingly) somewhat unpleasant experience. Before the music began I had high hopes for something interesting as they brought out 2 marimbas, 2 glockenspiel, 2 xylophones, 2 gongs, tom toms and a set of concert bells, but alas that was before I knew they would be used for evil instead of for good. I could see how this piece would make a very interesting soundtrack for a movie of some kind, maybe an avant-garde art film, or even creatively used for a space science fiction, but it was not well suited as a concert piece. One kind of cool thing I enjoyed was when sections of the orchestra would speak the words “this beautiful earth” in quiet breathy voices during lulls in the noise, but that might have also been due to the momentary pause in the loud cacophonous discord. The conductor stated that this was a piece you would not often hear in a concert, alas he apparently did understand why that was.