Martin Bresnick, a composer celebrated not only for his deeply lively music but for his empowering effect on several generations of Yale composition students, published a remarkable piece on the New York Times website the other day, recalling his visit to Prague in 1970. (It's part of a series called The Score, currently being curated by Daniel Felsenfeld.) The central incident in this artfully narrated tale is a strange encounter with the avant-garde master Luigi Nono, who, before an audience of appalled Czechs (many of whom had participated in the Prague Spring uprising of 1968), subjected Bresnick's music to a withering Marxist critique. Nono then proceeded to play his own voice-and-tape piece Non consumiamo Marx, in which sounds of the 1968 Paris revolt are heard, and Bresnick was the only member of the audience who stayed to the end. There is layer upon layer of irony in the story. Bresnick's point is not to expose Nono as a rigid ideologue; rather, we are witnessing a tortuously complicated scene of music and politics in collision, and neither the Italian modernist leader nor the hippie-ish young American has the answer. What composer did, in the end, succeed in sending an unmistakable message of political resistance? I won't give away the ending.