Alex of The Minor Fall The Major Lift invites me to answer Martin Kettle's recent piece in The Guardian, which proposes (I think) that composers stopped writing great music decades ago, but that if they return to form they'd be the new rock 'n' roll. I can't disagree with Kettle's bias against the scarier forms of postwar modernism, although I would try to bring more nuance to the discussion. I obviously hate his dismissal of contemporary music. I kind of like the rock 'n' roll formulation, and almost believe it. Here, to respond constructively, are some works from the last twenty-five years that have a masterpiecey aura for me, with links to old reviews and/or CDs. Alex names Nixon in China — one of the most richly melodic operas of recent times, one of the few flat-out great American operas, as deep a meditation on the psychology of power as any composer has created. See also Adams' Harmonielehre, Harmonium, Naive and Sentimental Music. Messiaen's St. Francis. Lutoslawski's Third Symphony. Takemitsu's Twill by Twilight. Golijov's St. Mark Passion. Adès' Asyla. Gubaidulina's Offertorium. Feldman's Piano and String Quartet. Lou Harrison's Rhymes With Silver. Ligeti's Violin Concerto. Pärt's Litany. Reich's Desert Music. Glass' Violin Concerto. Michael Gordon's Decasia, Phil Kline's Zippo Songs. For the komplexity kids, Kurtag's Stele, Magnus Lindberg's Kraft, Carter's Clarinet Concerto. Take that, Martin Kettle! Composers already rock!