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(Standpoint)   Something something / It's the end of the symphony orchestra as we know it / Something something / LEONARD BERNSTEIN   (standpointmag.co.uk) divider line 43
    More: Sad, Leonard Bernstein, thirtysomething, chamber music, Dutch government, young artists, symphonies, blue-collar workers, East End  
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3295 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 30 Jun 2011 at 9:42 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-06-30 06:37:23 PM  
lindsayerika.files.wordpress.com

Greatest ... PBS ... ever.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2011-06-30 07:21:45 PM  
Modernism introduced a complexity to the concert diet that was beyond the reach of the "ordinary" listener and often painful to the ear.

As a wise man once said, "I don't get art."
 
2011-06-30 07:46:03 PM  
In 1,000 years, Sir Mix-A-Lot will be considered classical music
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2011-06-30 07:52:10 PM  
will be considered classical music

There is more than one path to remembrance. Popular music from centuries ago is classified as "folk" ("traditional") or "classical" depending on how complicated or lower class it was.
 
2011-06-30 07:52:36 PM  
TFA is right on about Dudamel, though. Guy is pretty fun to watch and the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a really nice venue.
 
2011-06-30 08:01:56 PM  
Lame.

The experience of playing with other musicians is rivaled by no other, except that of playing with a LOT of musicians.

Unfortunately it seems we're going the opposite direction - we're just playing with ourselves.

But good, eliminate arts funding so young musicians 20 years from now have nobody to teach them theory, technique, or harmony. Oh wait, already happening now.
 
2011-06-30 08:06:17 PM  
It must be remembered that ticket prices were not out of the reach of the middle class. Nor was there any way to hear great music except in person. The problem is that other forms of art, movies, recording industry, digital and more have made the artist available to all very cheaply. Talent went from the traditional venues to the popular venues.

Despite many peoples complaints, movie soundtracks have now replaced the symphonies of the past.
 
2011-06-30 09:00:27 PM  
Orchestras used to play new music. That's what they existed for. But over the last century they became musical museums. Even though tons of great music has been written, a lot of the major symphony orchestras and others won't touch it. Opera is really really bad with this. Also the selection of operas you might here has gotten stupidly narrow. Granted it doesn't help when singers whine about learning new operas and are divided by what repertory they sing. But you don't see many orchestras covering a very wide span of things. There are some people starting to fight against that, like Alan Gilbert with the New York Philharmonic, but such people are very few and far between.
 
2011-06-30 09:02:23 PM  

bighasbeen: TFA is right on about Dudamel, though. Guy is pretty fun to watch and the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a really nice venue.


I saw a video years ago of Simon Rattle flailing around the podium while conducting Shostakovich's 5th. I'm surprised he didn't take anyone's eye out with his baton.
 
2011-06-30 09:18:19 PM  

Darth_Lukecash:

Despite many peoples complaints, movie soundtracks have now replaced the symphonies of the past.


So much this.
 
2011-06-30 09:36:16 PM  
I saw the Baltimore symphony orchestra play Verdi's Requiem. It was insane. I had chills.

I'm seeing them again this weekend for an outdoor 4th of July concert under the fireworks. They play the 1812 overture in sync to fireworks and cannons. It's awesome.

Also, do you know how much money the conductor and the musicians make?

Six figures. As they should.
 
2011-06-30 09:55:29 PM  
Lang Lang is awesome when he doesn't get sick and cancel the night before your midseason gala.
 
2011-06-30 09:55:47 PM  
I graduated with a music degree in '97 from a decent music school, and there is no feeling like being in a major ensemble with many other people and having a near-perfect performance.

I pity that less people might have that chance in the future.
 
2011-06-30 10:10:43 PM  
I'm glad the NC Symphony is committed to keeping itself solvent. The members took pay cuts and they cut back on their performance schedule. Several organizations have held fundraisers for them also. We're lucky that there is such a strong interest in and support of music in our area.

/bookkeeper for a violinmaker
 
2011-06-30 10:15:46 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Orchestras used to play new music. That's what they existed for. But over the last century they became musical museums. Even though tons of great music has been written, a lot of the major symphony orchestras and others won't touch it. Opera is really really bad with this. Also the selection of operas you might here has gotten stupidly narrow. Granted it doesn't help when singers whine about learning new operas and are divided by what repertory they sing. But you don't see many orchestras covering a very wide span of things. There are some people starting to fight against that, like Alan Gilbert with the New York Philharmonic, but such people are very few and far between.


So right about the musical museums. For people like me who don't attend many events, Thank God for PBS.
I came across the pbs special a "Sondheim birthday concert". Holly crap. what great music and singing (except for the excessive vibrato with some singers)
 
2011-06-30 10:20:57 PM  

trekkiecougar: I'm glad the NC Symphony is committed to keeping itself solvent. The members took pay cuts and they cut back on their performance schedule. Several organizations have held fundraisers for them also. We're lucky that there is such a strong interest in and support of music in our area.

/bookkeeper for a violinmaker


I didn't think there were any other trek geek classical music fans in the area. Glad I'm not alone down here!
 
2011-06-30 10:24:23 PM  
Orchestras died in the 50s with the advent of easy (magnetic) recording and improved wireless technology.
 
2011-06-30 10:27:44 PM  
That's right Flanders - I am talkin' about YOU!
 
2011-06-30 10:44:05 PM  

Charlie Freak: Lame.

The experience of playing with other musicians is rivaled by no other, except that of playing with a LOT of musicians.

Unfortunately it seems we're going the opposite direction - we're just playing with ourselves.

But good, eliminate arts funding so young musicians 20 years from now have nobody to teach them theory, technique, or harmony. Oh wait, already happening now.


If there's any emphasis on teamwork in public schools it's strictly for sports programs. There is no chance we will hear of it being squandered on something that can be appreciated outside of mass-media offerings and participated in for the lifetime of the student.
 
2011-06-30 10:46:32 PM  
Orchestras in general: lots of reasons they're in trouble.

Philadelphia's in specific: seems to be management screwing up (money losing label) and then making a play to kill the pension and players union.

http://artsdispatch.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-can-we-interpret-philadelphia.html ? m=1
 
2011-06-30 10:46:52 PM  
zarberg: I graduated with a music degree in '97 from a decent music school, and there is no feeling like being in a major ensemble with many other people and having a near-perfect performance.

I pity that less people might have that chance in the future.


so much this. i have a music degree as well and have been playing in orchestras since i was 11, and it is truly the most amazing experience. i have a studio of about 20 students, and i hope some of them go on to play in college and beyond.
 
2011-06-30 10:49:06 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: It must be remembered that ticket prices were not out of the reach of the middle class. Nor was there any way to hear great music except in person. ....


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I was fortunate enough to see the LSO at the Barbican Centre last January. Ticket prices for the Tchaikovsky 1st and the Shostakovich Violin Concerto (some number) were roughly £15. With the exchange rate what it was, it came to about $22. It was brilliant--and for the first time in my life I understood the difference between a good symphony orchestra and a GREAT one.

I wanted to see the LA Phil at Disney Hall a couple of months ago (I'm a sucker for the Overture to the Hebrides). The CHEAP seats, nosebleed, all the way in the back of the highest balcony or up behind the box of french fries were $56/pp plus a drive into LA.

Ain't gonna happen.

Despite many peoples complaints, movie soundtracks have now replaced the symphonies of the past.

Unless, of course, the LA Phil were performing the Lord of the Rings Symphony by Howard Shore or some of the phenomenal music written for film over the last twenty years.

I love symphony orchestras. I grew up with them (yeah, get off my lawn), but the days of accessibility are behind us, I'm afraid. Thank heavens the LSO is one of the premiere film orchestras of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. That's probably what's keeping them solvent. That and the UK loves the arts.
 
2011-06-30 11:02:48 PM  

galactus5000: That's right Flanders - I am talkin' about YOU!


LOL
 
2011-06-30 11:12:23 PM  

greenlady1: zarberg: I graduated with a music degree in '97 from a decent music school, and there is no feeling like being in a major ensemble with many other people and having a near-perfect performance.

I pity that less people might have that chance in the future.

so much this. i have a music degree as well and have been playing in orchestras since i was 11, and it is truly the most amazing experience. i have a studio of about 20 students, and i hope some of them go on to play in college and beyond.


If you tell me you like D&D I'll cry a little because you're already married.
 
2011-06-30 11:16:40 PM  
Boston Symphony Orchestra tickets are $30-$110 for most events.

Worth it.
 
2011-06-30 11:31:02 PM  

Sarcastica75: galactus5000: That's right Flanders - I am talkin' about YOU!

LOL


Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week, and don't forget to tip your waitstaff.
 
2011-06-30 11:54:07 PM  
Saw it coming
img.maniadb.com
 
2011-06-30 11:58:12 PM  
The feeling of playing through the Firebird and having the whole orchestra rip through the finale and being greeted by a standing ovation on the other side is beyond words.
Support the arts. Its the only way that feeling will be there for future generations.


The joy I have playing with my school's symphony is easily within the top three most powerful emotions I have felt in my life. I have no regrets for the major I chose.
 
2011-07-01 12:06:18 AM  

Charlie Freak: Lame.

The experience of playing with other musicians is rivaled by no other, except that of playing with a LOT of musicians.

Unfortunately it seems we're going the opposite direction - we're just playing with ourselves.

But good, eliminate arts funding so young musicians 20 years from now have nobody to teach them theory, technique, or harmony. Oh wait, already happening now.


This completely ignores how readily available this information is. Congratulations.
 
2011-07-01 12:09:04 AM  

zarberg: greenlady1: zarberg: I graduated with a music degree in '97 from a decent music school, and there is no feeling like being in a major ensemble with many other people and having a near-perfect performance.

I pity that less people might have that chance in the future.

so much this. i have a music degree as well and have been playing in orchestras since i was 11, and it is truly the most amazing experience. i have a studio of about 20 students, and i hope some of them go on to play in college and beyond.

If you tell me you like D&D I'll cry a little because you're already married.


While I do love making grown men cry, I'll spare you this time. Never did get into D&D.
 
2011-07-01 12:15:21 AM  
Another problem is if you want to make it as a composer you basically have to study it. Back in the day you had to convince some composer to teach you, which might just mean you hung around and yapped, but they'd introduce you to people, namely the people who commissioned stuff, and if they liked you, well they'd pay for some of your stuff.
 
2011-07-01 12:36:50 AM  
WhyteRaven74: which might just mean you hung around and yapped, but they'd introduce you to people, namely the people who commissioned stuff, and if they liked you, well they'd pay for some of your stuff.


Well, that sounds familiar.
 
mjg
2011-07-01 01:50:16 AM  
Jazz is dead.

Yep, I said it.

I worked with a live music venue in NYC. When they opened they thought that the 'heady' music was going to be jazz. People did not come. The venue then looked to other options, notably contemporary classical music. It was, and is, a success.

There was a point where Lincoln Center and Carnege Hall got pissed at the club for 'head hunting' classical acts to a smaller venue, but then they realized it was of benefit to them to have the group do more than one event in NYC (both in revenue and marketing).

Look, this is all economics and taste driven. There is a new generation of people who want good music. It turns out that it is modern and traditional classical music. Put it in a venue that does not look like a church or theater, add alcohol and a social environment and POOF, you have an audience.

One name as an example - Steve Reich.

/nuff said.
 
2011-07-01 01:56:31 AM  
Erich Kunzel would be rolling over in his grave.
 
2011-07-01 04:19:55 AM  
WhyteRaven74: But you don't see many orchestras covering a very wide span of things. There are some people starting to fight against that, like Alan Gilbert with the New York Philharmonic, but such people are very few and far between.

As I have to point out for about the 8,473rd time, America does not = the world. In London, Birtwistle operas sell out at Covent Garden; in Berlin, Simon Rattle plays a lot of music written in the last 50 years; Reimann's great opera Lear is getting two productions next year.

I could go on for a whole page here. No, that stuff isn't as popular as a Haydn symphony > Mozart concerto > Beethoven symphony concert, but so what? The audience is there and it's catered to in Europe.

Mucus Mule: I came across the pbs special a "Sondheim birthday concert". Holly crap. what great music and singing (except for the excessive vibrato with some singers)

What does Sondheim's music have to do with classical music?

wont_eat_bugs: I wanted to see the LA Phil at Disney Hall a couple of months ago (I'm a sucker for the Overture to the Hebrides). The CHEAP seats, nosebleed, all the way in the back of the highest balcony or up behind the box of french fries were $56/pp plus a drive into LA.

Ain't gonna happen.


You're doing it wrong. The seats at the top, facing the stage, have great sound and I've never paid more than $40 for them. I often pay $15 because they sell the bench seats that anything that uses a choir otherwise occupies starting two weeks before the concert. Of course, students and seniors get discounts too.

I love symphony orchestras. I grew up with them (yeah, get off my lawn), but the days of accessibility are behind us, I'm afraid.

Yes, for the people like you that can't be arsed to spend 5 minutes reading an orchestra's website to find out about discounts and so forth.

This is why the LSO survives, not by playing crap like the Lord of the Rings Symphony:

The LSO draws on an enviable roster of soloists and conductors, including Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, LSO President Sir Colin Davis, and Principal Guest Conductors Daniel Harding and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Howard Shore is a fine film composer, but his opera The Fly was a total disaster here because he's not an opera composer. Neither is Damon Albarn, Rupert Wainwright, Nico Muhly or any of the pop musicians who are regularly trotted out as saviors.

That and the UK loves the arts.

Your ignorance is depressing. The UK doesn't "love the arts" unless it's got Simon Cowell's stamp of approval on it. There's that mind-numbing class-envy bullshiat everywhere that "the arts" are for toffs, that "common people" aren't welcome, even though places like the ROH and ENO stuff their websites with things like "New to opera? Click here to learn more!" at the expense of making it a trial to actually find out what's playing next week. UK orchestras, opera companies, theatre companies and visual arts organizations are notoriously underfunded by the government; the three opera houses in Berlin alone get 1/3 more subsidy than all British opera companies *combined*.

Then there's people like you biatching about prices even though places like ENO are literally giving tickets away or steeply discounting even standard rep just to get bums in the seats.

mjg: Jazz is dead.

Shhhh....don't tell Wynton Marsalis, he still thinks that by cloning the first great Miles quintet, wearing a suit and a tie and playing in concert halls that jazz is alive. Jazz has been dead as a commercial enterprise since the end of WWII when the big bands died out. The general public doesn't give a damn about 20 minute Coltrane solos.

Look, this is all economics and taste driven. There is a new generation of people who want good music. It turns out that it is modern and traditional classical music. Put it in a venue that does not look like a church or theater, add alcohol and a social environment and POOF, you have an audience.

In other words: pretend it's not classical music and hope the rubes are duped. The whole "OMG! classical in a rock club" hype is risible. It's for a tiny section of the repertoire, solo and trios and quartets mostly. When they start doing The Dream of Gerontius or the Gurrelieder or a Mahler symphony in a rock club in TriBeca, *then* I'll be impressed.

There's already booze and a social environment at classical concerts, just not when the music starts. I don't know about you, but if someone is having a loud conversation or is swirling the ice cubes in their vodka tonic while a ppp passage is playing, that person deserves a punch in the throat, not a license to do it.

I know this is going to shock some people but the whole "the orchestra plays in all-black (so you don't get distracted by the 3rd trumpet's loud Hawaiian shirt and fat legs because he's wearing shorts) sit still (as much as possible), stay quiet (hey, we all have to cough, that's cool, but yapping about your farking job or girlfriend while the music plays is a no go), don't applaud until the piece is over" thing isn't a a way to oppress people, it's meant to focus on the only thing that matters: the music coming from the orchestra.

One name as an example - Steve Reich

Who mainly hasn't written for classical ensembles, but for his own groups. What does Drumming or Riley's In C or any of that have to do with the lineage from Haydn > Birtwistle?
 
mjg
2011-07-01 04:38:48 AM  
Henry Holland

I actually appreciate your take, just in the style of responding.

In terms of my comments: Check out 'Treme' on HBO. Wow, they are pushing a view on jazz that is not real. But, still a good story.

In terms of real music, being played day-to-day, there is a surge of classical music. It's good. It's viable and doing what went on in the late 60s. And it works.

Henry Holland, tell me that it is not. Seriously.
 
2011-07-01 07:36:56 AM  
Actually, I think it would be cool to have a classical music venue! While the traditional way has its merits, being able to drink and dance and move about would bring a level of relaxed freedom.

Howard Shore may not be able to write opera, LOTR appeales to the masses, and actually gets people motivated to go to the show. The Star Wars theme is probably the most recognized piece of music since Beethoven's fifth.
And Jazz isn't dead, just not popular. It's music for musicians.
 
2011-07-01 07:46:58 AM  

CaptainWes: In 1,000 years, Sir Mix-A-Lot will be considered classical music


"You can't just sit here in the dark listening to classical music."
"I could if you hadn't turned on the lights and shut off the stereo."

/"We thought you only cared about cans of anchovies and stuffy old songs about the buttocks."
 
2011-07-01 03:44:17 PM  
The first symphony orchestra I saw was the Philadelphia Orchestra. Eugene Ormandy was the conductor and Van Cliburn was the soloist. Amazing concert. Even though I'm a New Yorker it would be a shame to see them go under.
 
2011-07-01 05:04:20 PM  
mjg: I actually appreciate your take, just in the style of responding.

Oh well.

In terms of real music, being played day-to-day, there is a surge of classical music. It's good. It's viable and doing what went on in the late 60s. And it works.

What on earth does all that mean? Of course classical music never went away except in the eyes of the mass media and pop culture, there's always good composers doing interesting things, those are hardly controversial statements. "What went on in the late 60's", does that mean 5 hours of some dude on acid playing 2 notes for 20 minutes, then another 2 notes for 40 minutes on a reed organ or using the In C motifs matrix on the cover of the CBS recording to do a version with marimbas and reeds lasting 2 hours? Been there, done that, don't want.

It's like that fraud Gabriel Prokofiev, trading on his grandfather's name and making up crap about being "the new classical music" when all he does is take boring diatonic harmonies and "melodies" that would embarrass a first year composition student at Julliard and put a beat underneath them. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. He wants the cachet (and probably the commission money) that classical music brings, but doing it with New Age music. It's no different than Riley and Glass, they wanted the prestige and money without having to actually write the kind of music that brought that prestige and money.

So, those events you worked, were they made up of stuff like this or this or this or this? [sound starts upon clicking] Somehow I doubt it.

My point was simple: if you think that Matt Haimovitz doing solo cello pieces in dive bars or stuff like that is the future of classical music or a way to build a new audience, I don't buy that at all. As I said before, it removes anything requiring more than, what, an octet? from consideration so that's the 99% of the symphonic and concerto literature that's unplayable, just for a start.

I've never seen one --not a single one-- study that shows that those kinds of things translate in to ticket sales of regular subscription concerts at traditional venues, which is why the NY Phil and so on do it. Pierre Boulez tried all this stuff in the early 70's when he was music director of the NY Philharmonic. He had them take all the seats out of AFH and put bean bags and couches in so people could lounge around; he went to lofts and basements Downtown playing modern chamber music and all that. It. didn't. work.

Anything that distracts from full attention on the music being played is a negative, not something to be encouraged. It doesn't matter at a hardcore death metal show if people talk during the music because the music drowns that out if you're more than 2 feet away from the person talking, but during a piano recital of Schubert, Liszt and Debussy it sure as hell does matter. See also: the noise a busy bar/bartenders make.

Darth_Lukecash: Actually, I think it would be cool to have a classical music venue! While the traditional way has its merits, being able to drink and dance and move about would bring a level of relaxed freedom.

*sigh* I've had this version of hell happen to me.

King Crimson, 2002, House of Blues. KC played a blinder, just an incredible show. However, these three dickheads about 5 feet from me near the soundboard had their backs to the stage the entire night, chatting about their jobs and other trivial bullshiat. So the music quiets to a whisper and guess what? The Dickheads *still* kept talking. A wave of "Shhhhh" from everyone around them did no good, we people actually there for the music weren't going to interrupt their good time under any circumstances, oh no. It totally ruined the mood and it was nice to see Robert Fripp mention those losers on his online diary the next day as "mood killers".

The audience's right to have a night of "relaxed freedom" ends when it impinges on other people's ability to fully listen to the music, to not worry about being knocked over by some drunk asshole who decides to bust out his dance moves.

*That's* what your venue would be like, the whole evening. In any case, I'd love to see some hipster douchebag try to dance to Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces.

LOTR appeales to the masses

So does Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Michael Jackson is the most popular musician that ever lived if you go by sales. What's your point?

and actually gets people motivated to go to the show

So, does it motivate them to go to a Szymanowski > Prokofiev > Sibelius evening or a lieder recital or a string quartet performing the six Bartok quartets, that's the only thing that matters. I say: No, it only motivates them to go when there's film music being played.

The Star Wars theme is probably the most recognized piece of music since Beethoven's fifth.

Gustav Holst would be happy to know that his music has had such an impact.
 
2011-07-01 09:37:07 PM  

zarberg: I graduated with a music degree in '97 from a decent music school, and there is no feeling like being in a major ensemble with many other people and having a near-perfect performance.

I pity that less people might have that chance want to in the future.


I would lament the loss of audiences. I love appreciating classical music but I don't know anybody else who does. So I go to concerts alone as my boyfriend is mostly deaf and would just fall asleep and snore anyway.

I'm lucky enough to be exactly halfway between the Hollywood Bowl and all the great venues in Santa Barbara, and the Hollywood Bowl classical Tuesday and Thursday nights make my summer, every summer. And we still have two all-classical stations, KUSC and KDB. I'm a proud member of KUSC.

/going to the Mozart program 7/19
//Hollywood Bowl rules
 
2011-07-01 11:47:16 PM  
For a break from the discussion here's Lenny conducting the finale to Mahler #2. My favorite symphony by my favorite composer (I had the privilege of performing this in college). Simply sublime and Lenny looks like he's in heaven. Link (new window)
 
2011-07-02 08:25:19 AM  

Colin Coward: For a break from the discussion here's Lenny conducting the finale to Mahler #2. My favorite symphony by my favorite composer (I had the privilege of performing this in college). Simply sublime and Lenny looks like he's in heaven. Link (new window)


www.newyorker.com
I've always assumed, or thought it was assumed, that Lenny considered himself to be the reincarnation of Mahler to some degree. His lectures on Mahler always seemed passionate and I think he took him to be his model for the composer/conductor. I know some people prefer the precision that Karajan gives to pieces, but I'd rather have my sloppy emotional performances from Lenny anyday.
 
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