Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Cocktail Chatter

Marketing Brahms With Cleavage
"You could say that classical music has sex on the brain, which, as D H Lawrence said, is a very bad place to have it. Bad or not, it makes for something jarringly out of tune with current notions of sexiness. How on earth can you combine the sublimated, secret yearnings of Brahms's chamber music with the up-front sexiness of, say, Bond? The short answer is, you can't. They belong to different worlds. It would be like adding lip gloss to the Mona Lisa."
The Telegraph (UK) 04/21/05

Hear! Hear!

Since music is a language with some meaning at least for the immense majority of mankind, although only a tiny minority of people are capable of formulating a meaning in it, and since it is the only language with the contradictory attributes of being at once intelligible and untranslatable, the musical creator is a being comparable to the gods, and music itself the supreme mystery of the science of man, a mystery that all the various disciplines come up against and which holds the key to their progress. Claude Levi-Strauss

Now…What’s the moral again?

What's the moral here? Indie pop is art music. It's not designed for a large audience. Increasingly, you won't hear it on the radio. One radio station that plays has to be supported by its listeners. Indie pop is part of a Pittsburgh festival of visual art. Not that this is anything new to people who know pop. Rock bands were doing non-popular art music as far back as the late '60s, if you count the Velvet Underground. But people in classical music often don't seem to know this. They talk as if all pop was simple-minded junk for teens. While in fact pop has developed its own art music. This is a huge threat to classical music. Do we understand this? We talk about attracting a younger audience. But this younger audience already has art music of its own. Why do they need us? 4.25

…Yeah, and we know where that got him!

Music of all the arts has the most influence on the passions and the legislator should give it the greatest encouragement. Bonaparte

Barenboim’s successor

“…Beyond being a superior conductor, a fine musician and a strong leader who's respected by the orchestra, he or she should be thoroughly familiar with how American orchestras function in a changing social and economic landscape. And the next music director should be willing to help the organization stump for funds, a role Barenboim has declined to play but one that has become essential.’" Chicago Tribune 02/27/05-

But, that was shortly before Muti left La Scala. Within days after his resignation there, he was quoted as being propositioned by CSO, which must have shifted their priorities almost overnight, and brought on this comment:

“However, the reputation for aloofness and arrogance that dogged Muti at La Scala is the last thing the CSO needs in a new music director. Running a major opera house like La Scala is much more complex than presiding over any orchestra, no matter how eminent, and La Scala is notorious for its Byzantine political intrigue. The campaign that drove Muti from his post could be painting him with a tainted brush. But the CSO already has a music director with impeccable artistic credentials and a reputation for disliking the socializing and outreach work the orchestra so clearly needs and wants. Another aloof, European-based maestro would be a foolish choice, one that runs counter to everything the CSO says it is looking for in a new music director.

Whether that new landscape calls for high-speed travel is open to debate, however. Striking while the iron is hot has its allures, but the CSO could be in danger of getting seriously burned.” Wynne DeLacoma Classical Music Critic

he most perfect expression of human behavior is a string quartet. Jeffrey Tate

A musicologist is a man who can read music but cannot hear it. Beecham

The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes. Beecham

The idea of marketing a musical composition like a tub of lard or a barrel of beer is to me as sad as it is ridiculous. Claude Debussy

Canned music is like audible wallpaper. Alistair Cooke

Extraordinary how potent cheap music is. Noel Coward


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