No, not that Milton. I am giving up on the music of Milton Babbitt.
I've lived with Babbitt's music for years and it is still aesthetically alien to me. The problem is certainly not with the music's complexity. Elliott Carter's music is no less complex, yet I find it as rewarding as the music of Bach and Beethoven. Rather, my problem with Babbitt's music is that I still perceive it as aesthetically flippant. In performances, Babbitt's temporal organiziation of musical elements (pitches, durations, dynamics) results in successions of 'sound-events' which, to me, remain indistinguishable from randomness. This randomness has a certain playful quality to it because the sounds themselves are not grating and the textures are often quite delicate. But this only adds to my impression that behind the notes there is an aloof intellect completely detached from the psychological realities of music listening.
The fact that Babbitt's compositions are based on rigorous formal designs is irrelevant to my predicament. As a listener I don't get an aesthetic hard-on from knowing, say, that a certain motif is a transposed retrograde inversion of the second hexachord of the tone row. From a mathematical point of view, the formal symmetries in any musical score are trivial and of no aesthetic significance in themselves. Such formal details matter only to the extent to which realizations of the score (i.e., concert performances or recordings) reward the time and attention of experienced listeners. Which is why I think the time has come for me to cut my losses, so to speak, and say goodbye to Milton Babbitt's music.