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What do new young audiences want from classical music?

Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco for pre-recorded eight-track tape was commissioned for IRCAM by the Centre Georges Pompidou. It was created by Jonathan Harvey at IRCAM in 1980 by digitally manipulating the sound of the great tenor bell of Winchester Cathedral and the singing voice of Jonathan's son Dominic, who was then a chorister at the Cathedral. Jonathan embraced digital sound shaping in many of his compositions, notably in Speakings composed in 2008 which uses an electronic transformation application developed at IRCAM to make an orchestra ‘speak’. (See my 2010 interview with Jonathan in which he introduces Speakings with a detailed description of that transformation process.)    Despite using none of the instruments found in a conventional Western classical orchestra,  Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco is Jonathan Harvey's best known work. The reason for this is suggested by a Google search for Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco . The first of the 20,800 results lists the streaming op
Today We Rebel

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This article is unique among the 4554 posts uploaded to On An Overgrown Path since August 2004. Because it agrees with a Slipped Disc post. Last week Norman uploaded a Slipped Disc reader's contribution headlined ' Why I won't be going back to concerts '. The thrust of the contribution was not the reader's fear of COVID, but how for him concerts had become "just a bit too often ordinary... a bit of a ritual". Which resonates with my recent post 'Where has all the musical adventurousness gone?'  lamenting the demise of musicians who is transcend conventions and pursue their own unique musical visions. David Munrow is talking to Peter Maxwell Davies in that photo. In the early 1970s David Munrow’s Pied Piper radio programme was broadcast four times a week for five years and introduced a new audience to early music. He presented a successful TV series, and wrote scores for the BBC TV series The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elisabeth R , and

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My enthusiasm for ensemble sans frontières  Oregon is shared by Trevor Hodgett who wrote the booklet essay for the newly released 1974 . This double CD captures a live set by the band recorded in exemplary sound by Radio Bremen in March 1974. Oregon were then at the top of their game, and remained there until master multi-instrumentalist Collin Walcott was killed in an East German tour bus crash. Here is Trevor Hodgett's assessment of Oregon:  'The late 60s/early 1970s was an era when musical adventurousness and eclecticism had become almost the norm and when musicians like Miles Davis, The Beatles and The Grateful Dead were redefining popular music and blending genres in previously unimaginable ways. But Oregon, who formed in 1970, may just have been the most dizzyingly original band of them all, with a clearly irrepressible determination to transcend conventions and pursue their own unique musical vision.'    In 1974 Kraftwerk released their seminal album Autobahn , Pa
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In his review of Leopold Stokowski and the Houston Symphony's 1955 premiere of Alan Hovhaness' Mysterious Mountain the critic Hubert Roussel remarked that "The real mystery of Mysterious Mountain is that it should be so simply, sweetly, innocently lovely in an age that has tried so terribly hard to avoid those impressions in music". To that I would add it is also a mystery that music which is so accessible yet avoids all stylistic platitudes remains so neglected in 2021 when a continuing anti-Boulez backlash mediates concert programmes. Fritz Reiner conducting  Mysterious Mountain  with his Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the glories of recorded sound. Reiner was notorious for using his baton to whip orchestras - if you haven't heard his 1960 Scherezade you haven't lived - yet in the sublime opening of Mysterious Mountain his interpretation is patiently majestic. On the CD reissue , which couples the work with Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé S

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The Guardian 's recent obituary of the great Wagnerian bass-baritone Norman Bailey linked to my 2007 post  'Reginald Goodall – the holy fool', which prompts me to revisit that article. My appreciation was written while YouTube was in its infancy, and in the intervening years some invaluable Reginald Goodall resources have been uploaded. These include an excellent full-length 1984 BBC Omnibus documentary ' The Quest for Reginald Goodall ', a complete English National Opera 1973 Siegfried , and a 1954 Die Walküre Act 1 . Also on YouTube is Act 3 of Parsifal from the 1987 Prom s; this was Reginald Goodall's last public concert and David Cairns' review of it is quoted at the start of my original post and provides my headline for this article. Did Reginald Goodall really deserve the sobriquet ' Holy Nazi conductor '? Of course some of his personal views were abhorrent. But so were those of other classical folk heroes including, of course
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My 2018 post profiled the Parsee violinist Homi Kanga who joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1950 and may have been the first non-white orchestral musician in the UK. My post related how Homi Kanga left the LPO in 1960 after he complained about the dismissal of a colleague for what he viewed as political reasons. In my post I speculated that Homi Kanga's departure was triggered by a dispute between the LPO management and its Anglo-Indian violinist John Mayer .  However a new comment on my 2018 post suggests Homi Kanga's departure resulted from the dismissal of another musician. An anonymous commenter has suggested that "It was over the sacking of Chumleigh Hind that Homi left the orchestra" but provides no more information. Chumleigh Hind was a scholarship holder at the Royal Manchester College of Music  from 1945-50 and went on to play in the Hallé Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli and also performed as a soloist . But my research has uncovered no oth
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Jon Blake's novel 69ers  about the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival has an apposite epigraph:  Note to the reader : this novel originally began by quoting the first verse of The Ballad of John and Yoko . However, not wanting to kiss the ass of Sony/ATV Music Publishing nor pay them a penny for permission to use lyrics freely available all over the web, I trust to your own initiative in seeking them out for yourself.