Adès slams "fungal" Wagner, "waste of space" Brahms

29 August 2012, 09:58 | Updated: 4 November 2014, 15:59

Wagner and Brahms come under fire from Thomas Adès in a new book, with the British composer taking them to task.

British composer Thomas Adès has made his opinion on certain composers of the classical establishment known in a new book of interviews to be published. According to Adès, the music of Wagner is "fungal", and Brahms' Symphony No. 4 is a "waste of space."

Even Mahler doesn't escape. According to Adès, he's occasionally brilliant but prone to excessive "self-loathing." The proclamations come as Adès is about to have his opera The Tempest premiere at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Adès also suggests that much composition is partly a process of theft: "I don’t care if it’s Bruckner or something I’ve just found in the trash,” he told His forthcoming book of interviews, Full Of Noises, promises several similar controversial opinions when it's published in October.

Aside from the premiere of The Tempest, the composer is also working on his third opera, The Exterminating Angel.