Author Topic: The death of classical music  (Read 42710 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #200 on: June 08, 2007, 10:57:47 AM »
. . . interrupt a Verdi opera, and prepare to meet fury!  ;D

Ma naturalmente!  8)

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #201 on: June 09, 2007, 08:20:10 AM »
Yet more madness. I see that BBC2's The Culture Show is to highlight the £100million refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall. Those being interviewed include Ken Livingstone, Vanessa-Mae, John Rankin, Peter Mandelson and Jamie Cullum. The rot has already settled in. No doubt it won't be long now before classical music is marginalised at one of our major concert halls.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Florestan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #202 on: June 09, 2007, 08:34:00 AM »
John Rankin, Peter Mandelson and Jamie Cullum.

Who are those guys?
“Especially as far as I am concerned, romanticism is not the bloodless intellectual commitment to a program, but the expression of my most profound mind and soul.” --- Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952)

Mark

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #203 on: June 09, 2007, 10:19:03 AM »
Those being interviewed include Ken Livingstone, Vanessa-Mae, John Rankin, Peter Mandelson and Jamie Cullum.

I wish this were a joke ...

greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #204 on: June 09, 2007, 01:17:59 PM »
Who are those guys?
i've never heard of them either

greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #205 on: June 09, 2007, 01:18:34 PM »
next thing you know, they'll be interviewing the next big "classical" star, Josh Groban

greg

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #206 on: June 09, 2007, 01:20:58 PM »
i think there's more hope for classical music in Japan, probably than any other country. They just put up 3 or so Xenakis videos which were performed  in Japan, not to mention they have the Takemitsu competition where young composers' works are performed almost every year at the Tokyo Opera.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #207 on: June 09, 2007, 01:56:19 PM »
i think there's more hope for classical music in Japan, probably than any other country. They just put up 3 or so Xenakis videos which were performed  in Japan, not to mention they have the Takemitsu competition where young composers' works are performed almost every year at the Tokyo Opera.

You may well be right. China is also a burgeoning market for classical music.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline jochanaan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #208 on: June 13, 2007, 08:19:49 AM »
You may well be right. China is also a burgeoning market for classical music.
I wouldn't put too much hope in this; China is fascinated with a lot of things Western, especially if they make noise and pollute the environment.  But maybe they'll continue to infuse EuroAmerican classical music with their own traditions; now THAT might produce some great new music!  (It's been done before.  Remember Dvorak's symphony "From The New World"? :) )
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Offline Catison

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #209 on: September 13, 2007, 10:04:06 AM »
An interesting article on the subject

Newsday's critic sizes up classical music's health

BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON | Justin.davidson@newsday.com
    August 30, 2007

One evening in 1995, I sidled up to the stage door at Carnegie Hall, snuck inside and mumbled something about Newsday having sent me to review a piano recital by Alfred Brendel. It was true, but it felt like a preposterous lie. Why would anyone want to print, read or pay for my puny thoughts on Brendel, that Apollonian prince of the piano? The next day, I wrote 500 words brimming with simulated confidence; the day after that, the review appeared in the paper, and two weeks later I received a check.

A dozen years and hundreds of thousands of published words later, I am leaving Newsday, grateful for the paper's constant willingness to allow me to continue my education on its dime: to help a composer turn into a critic, and a critic into a journalist.

One musical topic I didn't tackle along the way is the popular "Everything Was Better Once" story, which I have read elsewhere in many variations, almost all of them written in a tone of elegiac glee. Where Have All the Tenors Gone? Why Is There No New Beethoven? Record Companies Are Dying! Orchestras Are Dying! Audiences for Classical Music Are Graying! They're Shrinking! They're Dying, Too!

Some of this is true: Many audience members are graying, some of them are shrinking a bit and all of them eventually will die. The same could be said of Fantasy Baseball fans and hedge-fund billionaires, but we don't obsessively fret over their demise. I've never been sure why the appetite for apocalyptic stories about classical music seems to be unquenchable. Maybe it's that in populist America, we take pleasure in the thought that democratic culture can expunge an ancient tradition associated with the aristocratic.

Yet the real musical world I have been observing is lively, adaptive and self-renewing. Even in some oppressively prestigious venues, young people on the stage and in the seats collude to keep contemporary music fresh. To give one example, different parts of the establishment are elbowing each other in the ribs to glorify the Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov, who last year enjoyed a sold-out, 21-gun multiconcert tribute at Lincoln Center, just completed a tour as composer-in-residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival, and is working on an opera for the Met. These are not symptoms of a moribund musical world, but rather, of one that thrives on fresh infusions of talent.

The Met's general manager, Peter Gelb, has thrown some rope-bridges over the chasm between opera and the populace. The Met's season-opener on Sept. 24 will again be simulcast on a giant screen in Times Square. More performances this season will be streamed live to movie theaters around the world, providing audiences far away with an experience that is in some ways more immediate than actually being in the gigantic house.

It's true that once-major record companies have scaled back their activities, but at the same time, smaller outfits keep proliferating. I receive more CDs in the mail every week than I can tear the shrink-wrap off, let alone listen to. And independent-label downloading services offer a perpetually rising ocean of new releases, ranging from the sublime to the merely odd.

It's true that symphony orchestras modernize sluggishly, but they get around to it eventually. Even the notoriously cautious New York Philharmonic looks as though it's planning for a new era with the appointment of the relatively non-elderly Alan Gilbert, 40, as its first American-born music director since Leonard Bernstein. If the Philharmonic's audience starts to ungray again, will we even notice?

One way to judge an economy's vitality is by the number of start-ups, and by that measure, the classical-music world is roaring. Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, monitors the non-death of classical music on his blog, The Rest Is Noise (therestis noise.com). He has pointed out that four decades ago - one of those eras frequently referred to as "Golden" - there were only two regularly active new-music ensembles in New York. Today there are more than 40, ranging from purveyors of classic squeak-fart modernism to avant-garde bar bands. Much of this music is very bad, which is to be expected of any creative explosion.

Long Island could certainly capitalize on this ferment, if it chose. New York City provides a pool of inexpensive inventiveness that local presenters have tended to ignore, on the tacit theory that most Long Islanders care only about the symphonic Top 40 and that the intrepid few will make the trip into Manhattan. Ironically, Long Island's proximity to the megalopolis makes it less adventurous than more remote communities. The 20-year-old ensemble Bang-on-a-Can All-Stars, for example, has toured the world, but regularly skips the Island.

Here's a suggestion: Perhaps IMAC in Huntington could jump-start a little excitement by booking a group from the next generation of fantastically virtuosic Manhattan-based new music bands, Alarm Will Sound.

Classical music isn't dying, but the term itself means less with every passing year - not because it represents an osteoporotic tradition, but because its ever-widening embrace includes musicians who refuse to be bound by notions of appropriateness. There are no accepted standards or styles, which means that the critic lives on shifting sands. How much easier and more rhetorically satisfying it is just to pronounce last rites on the whole thing than to strike out across an unstable landscape and send back a series of un-final reports.
-Brett

karlhenning

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #210 on: September 13, 2007, 10:06:02 AM »
Great little article, Catison!

Offline Brewski

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #211 on: September 13, 2007, 12:26:07 PM »
Classical music isn't dying, but the term itself means less with every passing year - not because it represents an osteoporotic tradition, but because its ever-widening embrace includes musicians who refuse to be bound by notions of appropriateness. There are no accepted standards or styles, which means that the critic lives on shifting sands. How much easier and more rhetorically satisfying it is just to pronounce last rites on the whole thing than to strike out across an unstable landscape and send back a series of un-final reports.

That is a great article, and this is my favorite part.  I don't think classical music is "dying" in the least.  Aside from his very good point about new groups coming along with slightly different notions of what making music is, or can be, the genre is just morphing into something that's being distributed a little differently.

And I think he is absolutely on the mark when he comments on recordings.  If the large labels are drying up, they are being replaced by smaller ones, which are able to produce an excellent product more inexpensively.  As just one tiny example, take a look at the recordings offered by the Concertgebouw, now producing its own recordings after they were abandoned by Decca.  This is quite a few, considering they've just been doing it since roughly 2003.

http://sales.codaex.com/rco/catalogus_en.php

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mahlertitan

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #212 on: September 14, 2007, 07:45:21 AM »
I wouldn't put too much hope in this; China is fascinated with a lot of things Western, especially if they make noise and pollute the environment.  But maybe they'll continue to infuse EuroAmerican classical music with their own traditions; now THAT might produce some great new music!  (It's been done before.  Remember Dvorak's symphony "From The New World"? :) )

I agree, i doubt that a lot of Chinese will become serious classical music fans... they are more tempted by American culture :'( than anything else.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #213 on: September 17, 2007, 08:09:35 AM »
Small postscript. Maybe it's just in the UK, that classical music is being sidelined. Yesterday (September 16th) was the 30th Anniversary of the death of Maria Callas. I belong to a yahoo group called Operashare and over the last couple of days, members have been uploading German and French radio and tv programmes commemorating this event. I have seen nothing on British radio and tv, though there have been celebrations of the lives of Elvis Presley and Marc Bolan, who both also died 30 years ago this year. I am sure that even 10 years ago this would not have been the case.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Sarastro

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #214 on: February 02, 2008, 07:05:33 PM »
Doesn't the lack of interest of classical music by the younger generation boil down to the lack of education? I mean education in the schools, starting with the first grade music class? No more music class in the school your children attend? Do something about it! In our school music classes were scheduled to be cancelled for lack of funds, but football and other sports was kept on the curriculum. Even though this is a strictly rural, agricultural area, you should have heard the outrcy by parents at the schoolboard meetings, and music education was back on the schedule.

I completely agree with this statement, the basic musical education is the first step. And then, after gaining experience, a person becomes more fluent in music and engages more and more in it. But there is always one little "but" - all this depends on how our Life would look at the point, if you are to love classical music, you will. If not, then all efforts are futile. At least, I think so.
What I can say about myself, that in childhood my mother forced me to listen to LP's with Tchaikovsky, brought me to the theater ballet (I can remember that dull "Sleeping Beauty", after I said I would never come to theater again), to some operas...but without any results. And she gave up, though sometimes saying what was being played on Radio. And I was listening to ABBA, then to Britney Spears 8), Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas ::) (I find them funny now, too)...and on some lovely day a divine bolt had struck into my mind - it switched. And I am happy I lived in Russia, discovered the Internet for myself and found some friends who sent me CD's with opera from Moscow, Kiyv and even from Siberia. With my low budget and poor Internet access I couldn't buy expensive CD's in stores (no, I bought some, we had an adequate number of CD's being sold. But for my city they cost too much. People can't simply afford them!). But our Philharmonics is the third in importance all over Russian Federation, so conservatory is. The Theater of Opera and Ballet suggested good things, I enjoyed them.
Now here I can download recordings in lossless format from the Internet, some Russian collectors are happy to present rare recordings on websites and share. It is a good opportunity for a listener (and poor students) - to find out what he likes and then purchase it. Or add to a wish-list. Or just leave a copy. Especially with classics, which I barely saw in stores, seems that LA music vendors negotiated that. When I grow up and get a good job, I would start a real collection.


If it wasn't for the internet, i wouldn't be listening to classical music at all. I think it's safe to say classical music is completely absent from the general consciousness and exposure it completely dependent on luck and type of community you've come in contact with during your lifetime.

Marvellous!
Though sometimes communities are good, sometimes they are outrageous. When I was a naive boy knowing nothing about opera and trying to say something, angry old ladies from my first opera forum quoted me and replied with poisonous comments. Even now I cope with them. But as far as I could assure myself, this is widely spread over all forums. :-X Just pass through it!


You probably have a point; many of the younger people I know who are interested in classical music came upon it by accident.  This was true in my case; as a child, I "discovered" classical music by rummaging through my mother's small collection of LPs, where I found records of music by Bach and Mussorgsky that provided endless fascination.  If not for this, I wonder if I would have ended up in the desolate world of simplistic pop.

And I'm sad about the number of willing youngsters, who would probably like classical music, but have no access to it. Sitting in Siberian villages they even cannot download music from the Internet, and stores do not support selling classical music CD's.:(


Just as the language of Shakespeare proves a certain barrier to many students, so does the language of classical music.

Music is international, while the language of Shakespeare is not. Recently I took a play by him in library, remembering how I enjoyed it...in Russian translation by Marshak. I know that translations differ from the origin pretty much, especially in poetry, so wanted to read it on my own. It was tough. From that time I understood I have to improve my English with all my best. Even reading translations to a modern language is not an easy thing. So I have to postpone in and try again later.
I can't say the same about music...opera - may be...sometimes...when a libretto is a masterpiece. But symphonies? Solo concerts? No...there should be a connection between the interpreter and your soul, what doesn't require any verbal means.
But as long as I cannot afford myself enjoying established English literature, I read some of Russian one. And, of course, in school I read all the classics: Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Lermontov, Goncharov, Gorky, Kuprin, Ostrovsky, Turgenev, Chekhov and both Tolstoy's, and some others. I guess I was among those few who honestly read the "War and Peace" ;D but it's really good and some Tolstoy's ideas I took for myself. But it's a long-reading, so the popularity falls. Pity. Here in USA I discovered Bulgakov, though some of his works I had already read in Russia, though didn't appreciate too much.


Tsaraslondon, I know it's quite irrelevant to your original post, but since the discussion went that way...

paulb

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #215 on: February 02, 2008, 08:05:39 PM »
My background is worshipper of great rock guitarists. Only the best would do. For some reason i missed out on YES. Though my friend kept telling me of the greatness of the band, somehow I missed YES for the most part. Now i like the group.
There may others here that came froma   R&R background.
I always had a  great love for great music. had to be good, nothing too commercial, pop.
I was destined to reach these favorite composers, it was only a  matter of time
I was led astray quite often, but eventually fought my way through the thickets and swamps of the mountainous names in classical to have my dreams come true.
Anyone can do it too, provided there is a  sense of long range committment.
There will be disappointments along the way. Suffering as we know is a  part of life, but the eventual  rewards are well worth the struggles and sufferings.
I beseech the  CM Newbies, hang in there, one day you too will enter the promise land.
 :)

Offline max

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #216 on: February 03, 2008, 12:44:57 AM »
Well! if classical music is dead at least it supplied itself with enough requiems...and THAT'S CLASS!!

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #217 on: February 06, 2008, 01:23:38 PM »
Small postscript. Maybe it's just in the UK, that classical music is being sidelined. Yesterday (September 16th) was the 30th Anniversary of the death of Maria Callas. I belong to a yahoo group called Operashare and over the last couple of days, members have been uploading German and French radio and tv programmes commemorating this event. I have seen nothing on British radio and tv, though there have been celebrations of the lives of Elvis Presley and Marc Bolan, who both also died 30 years ago this year. I am sure that even 10 years ago this would not have been the case.
I must say I agree with this. Even the Proms organizers don't seem to have a clue who has an important anniversary in any given year.
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With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #218 on: February 08, 2008, 07:12:03 AM »
Small postscript. Maybe it's just in the UK, that classical music is being sidelined. Yesterday (September 16th) was the 30th Anniversary of the death of Maria Callas. I belong to a yahoo group called Operashare and over the last couple of days, members have been uploading German and French radio and tv programmes commemorating this event. I have seen nothing on British radio and tv, though there have been celebrations of the lives of Elvis Presley and Marc Bolan, who both also died 30 years ago this year. I am sure that even 10 years ago this would not have been the case.

  I don't know how to respond to your post Tsaraslondon only to say that as a fellow Englishman and opera fan I am ashamed to read that our media have paid no tribute to Ms. Callas....shamefull! 

 I am also amazed at how poorly we are educating our youth here in the UK when it comes to Classical music. I have met youngsters 16-20 year olds who have never heard of J.S. Bach believe it or not, yes we are certainly not educating our youth well enough that's for sure.

  marvin
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 08:29:47 AM by marvinbrown »

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: The death of classical music
« Reply #219 on: February 08, 2008, 07:43:23 AM »
Music is international, while the language of Shakespeare is not. Recently I took a play by him in library, remembering how I enjoyed it...in Russian translation by Marshak. I know that translations differ from the origin pretty much, especially in poetry, so wanted to read it on my own. It was tough. From that time I understood I have to improve my English with all my best. Even reading translations to a modern language is not an easy thing. So I have to postpone in and try again later.

Shakespeare's language is modern English (vs. the old English of Beowulf or the middle English of Chaucer), but it is modern English from some 400 years ago. While much of Shakespeare is simple and straightforward, his vocabulary, syntax, and metaphors can be among the most complex of any English author. You can see the differences in these two snippets from Macbeth:

MACBETH. How now? what news?
LADY MACBETH He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?
MACBETH Hath he ask'd for me?
LADY MACBETH Know you not he has?
MACBETH We will proceed no further in this business.


MACBETH Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.


Shakespeare's inimitable language, offers the greatest rewards for those who stay with it, but it unquestionably presents difficulties even for native speakers and readers. It helps considerably to see the plays staged.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."