Author Topic: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music  (Read 25554 times)

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2021, 08:01:35 AM »
Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Andrea Bocelli in concert at Boston Garden. It was clearly a sold-out crowd in a venue with a capacity of 20,000. I'm sure the vast majority of attendees were not serious classical music listeners, but the ovations for the genuine classical works were just as loud as those for the more mainstream pieces. Classical "crossover" artists are often criticized for not sticking to the "authentic" repertoire, but their value in introducing new listeners to classical music is immeasurable.

I think a good way to transition someone from that sort of crossover is Canteloube's songs, particularly the Davrath recordings.  I can't imagine anyone not being enchanted by, for example, Bailero.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-iI8tMHrD_c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-iI8tMHrD_c</a>

Online SimonNZ

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2021, 08:52:57 AM »
Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Andrea Bocelli in concert at Boston Garden. It was clearly a sold-out crowd in a venue with a capacity of 20,000. I'm sure the vast majority of attendees were not serious classical music listeners, but the ovations for the genuine classical works were just as loud as those for the more mainstream pieces. Classical "crossover" artists are often criticized for not sticking to the "authentic" repertoire, but their value in introducing new listeners to classical music is immeasurable.

I don't share your faith in that. Pretty much nobody I talk to online or irl who loves classical says they got in via crossover stuff. And all the people I know who like crossover seem happy to have found their level.they

Online SimonNZ

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2021, 09:06:11 AM »
I think a good way to transition someone from that sort of crossover is Canteloube's songs, particularly the Davrath recordings.  I can't imagine anyone not being enchanted by, for example, Bailero.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-iI8tMHrD_c" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-iI8tMHrD_c</a>

Ironically it was the Devrath recording of that work I played to a friend of mine who likes pop-opera crossover.

He didn't get it. I mean not at all. He's welcome to like what he likes of course, but I felt a little saddened by that.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2021, 05:02:12 PM »
Ironically it was the Devrath recording of that work I played to a friend of mine who likes pop-opera crossover.

He didn't get it. I mean not at all. He's welcome to like what he likes of course, but I felt a little saddened by that.

 :'( :'( :'(

It's also been sung by some pop singers, and there have been many more operatic treatments (e.g. von Stade, Moffo, etc).

Online SimonNZ

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2021, 06:59:25 PM »
I don't think that's the problem. I think it's more that these oversweetened chocolate box collections misrepresent the wider repertoire, and trying to hear some greatest hit in its context and in its unsweetened form is like then being told to eat your greens.

He also had a duet from Monteverdi' Poppea on something which he particularly liked and I tried to gently build on that with a collection of Monteverdi duets with Kirkby and Tubbs, but that too was a nonstarter.

He lost interest after that and I knew better than to keep trying, even gently.



« Last Edit: December 12, 2021, 07:19:40 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Introducing New Listeners to Classical Music
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2021, 12:09:27 AM »
A young collegue at my work heard me playing the classical radio station a few weeks back and next time we had to work together asked that it be left playing for the whole of our ten hour shift so he could get a sense of it.

Luckily for him the station changed some years back to playing only individual movements rather than whole works, so its more useful as a sampler and if there is something he might actively dislike it will be replaced in short order.

He had questions for me all through the night and it was unexpected just how little context he had fot the most basic assumptions about classical music performance I would previously thought were acquired through osmosis or films and tv even if you've never heard a whole symphony.

At one point he recognized a tune from an advertisement, I said it was Vivaldi, and much of our conversation was centered on Vivaldi. He was surprised to learn he died going on three hundred years ago and people were writing music back then. He said "So you haven't been to a Vivaldi concert, then". I said I'd been to many, and he honestly didn't understand how that was possible and I had to explain publishing and that most concerts are without the composer and using only the sheet music as their guide. At another point he looked up Vivaldi on Spotify and asked if these were Vivaldi's own recordings, and I had to explain that he died before recorded sound and how and when that technology happened. I showed him a portrait and again he was genuinely baffled that someone should look and dress so strangely.

I don't offer these anecdotes here to mock him, but to express my own surprise that its now possible to reach the age of twenty five with absolute zero context. I was given at least a sketchy outline at school. He tells me it was never mentioned.

Love this post, even if it's a bit maddening. But it's a familiar experience: I come from an astronomer's family and it was eye opening to realize how little schools teach / folks remember about the fundamentals of the universe. "So the Sun is a... star?" is a question I hear from both kids and well-educated adults.

I think it's more that these oversweetened chocolate box collections misrepresent the wider repertoire, and trying to hear some greatest hit in its context and in its unsweetened form is like then being told to eat your greens.

Touché.

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My main advice was to treat it like getting into any other genre of music: don't treat it like homework - if you find something you like play more of that.

Exactly how I ended up on GMG :)

In any case, I have no idea if he ever listened to any more classical music after this, but it was illuminating to understand the knowledge barriers people might face even if they do experience chance exposure to classical music and like what they hear.

This. Also reminds me of a funny quote from composer/conductor Petr Kotík, commenting on his short explanatory speech before a rather avantgarde performance: "Sometimes it helps to clarify a few things first."