Darcy James Argue has an excellent post about an all-Varèse concert. Among other pieces, he likes the Manhattan School of Music performance of the percusion piece Ionisation, making an interesting generational comment:
Having grown up surrounded by hiphop, industrial, and electronica, these kids find nothing unusual in the idea of a piece which is all about sirens, noise and thunderous percussion.
It's hard to call the music of Varèse "normal," but here's hoping...
Also, in preparation for my February composer of the month, I bought two CDs at Amoeba today of Pierre Boulez conducting Varèse. And no, Boulez is not the composer du mois although I am reading The Cage/Boulez Correspondence.