Tom Service, in praise of musical stress: "If reducing stress was the primary driver of musical expression over the centuries, musical culture would not have developed very far or become as meaningful as it is. The levels of emotional intensity and intellectual stimulation produced by everything from Monteverdi to Mozart, Beethoven to Bruckner, Stockhausen to Xenakis, all create a kind of transcendence that comes from going to places of expressive extremity — and sometimes darkness and desperation — that would otherwise be dangerous to confront directly. In other words, it’s music that puts you through a stressful experience.... The music that matters the most to us – well, to me at any rate – makes me stressed, in a deep sense, because it confronts and disturbs our emotional equilibrium. It offers consolation, too, but that’s only one dimension of musical possibility."