Suppose you attended the next super bowl.  The announcer comes on and says, "We are sorry to imform you that this year's teams did not meet our expectations so instead of playing an actual game, they will be reenacting the 1969 Super Bowl between the Chiefs and the Vikings.  After all that was the greatest super bowl ever."  We might expect that classical music fans would not be offended, since at nearly every concert they attend, they listen to a reenactment of a concert 200 to 400 years old.  Maybe that is why attendance at an NFL game is about 70,000 and about 1000 at a classical music concert.

     A few weeks ago Bob Porter posted a piece that vividly portrayed his ordeal of moving to California.  Was it interesting?  Yes.  Was it entertaining?  Yes.  Was it new?  Yes.  Will it fill concert hall seats? 

There is only one was to find out.

     These are the criterion we should use in determining what music to perform.  Not, "Is it better than Beethover."  Until the attitudes of symphony directors and boards of directors change will we see classical music languish in mediocrity.

Lawrence Aurich

 

This piece was long, so is posted in two halves.  All comments are welcome, about the music or the rant.

Marcia Moderato.pdf

Marcia Moderato second half.mp3

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Replies

  • I understand what you are saying Lawrence, but I find new music being performed all the time.

     

  • Raymond,

         So you don't like my analogy.  You probably drive a '57 Chevy, eat leftovers, and watch black and white movies on your super 8 projector.  You insist on the latest technology in sound and recording equipment, but you are content with 200 year old music.  Go figure.  '57 Chevies were great cars, but I prefer ABS, GPS, and seat belts,  Of wine, women, and song,  only wine and some women (my ex excluded) age well.    Nice hair do.

    Lawrence

    Raymond Kemp said:

    Blah blah blah,

    I don't accept your analogy for one second. However old a composition may be, any new performance is just that "new".

     

    "Marcia Moderato" part II, and rant part II
         Suppose you attended the next super bowl.  The announcer comes on and says, We are sorry to imform you that this year's teams did not meet our…


  • Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    I understand what you are saying Lawrence, but I find new music being performed all the

    Rodney,

         Certainly there is new music in just about every genre except classical.  It may be different in your area of the country.  I am basing my opinion on the symphonies I have attended which are,  Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, U. of Iowa, and Breckenridge, Colo. symphonies.

    Lawrence

    "Marcia Moderato" part II, and rant part II
         Suppose you attended the next super bowl.  The announcer comes on and says, We are sorry to imform you that this year's teams did not meet our…
  • I hear new music concerning classical all the time. I live in NC.
     
    Lawrence Aurich said:



    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    I understand what you are saying Lawrence, but I find new music being performed all the

    Rodney,

         Certainly there is new music in just about every genre except classical.  It may be different in your area of the country.  I am basing my opinion on the symphonies I have attended which are,  Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, U. of Iowa, and Breckenridge, Colo. symphonies.

    Lawrence

    "Marcia Moderato" part II, and rant part II
         Suppose you attended the next super bowl.  The announcer comes on and says, We are sorry to imform you that this year's teams did not meet our…

  • I also have many opportunities to hear my music performed all the time also. 


    Lawrence Aurich said:



    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    I understand what you are saying Lawrence, but I find new music being performed all the

    Rodney,

         Certainly there is new music in just about every genre except classical.  It may be different in your area of the country.  I am basing my opinion on the symphonies I have attended which are,  Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, U. of Iowa, and Breckenridge, Colo. symphonies.

    Lawrence

    "Marcia Moderato" part II, and rant part II
         Suppose you attended the next super bowl.  The announcer comes on and says, We are sorry to imform you that this year's teams did not meet our…
  • Bob,

         I always detect a note of cynicism in your replies.  Where's the old college spirit?  You'll never know till you try.  This Beethoven thing is tempory and a way to make the jump from chamber music to full orchestra.  There is plenty of bad classical music produced today.  I speak of the atonal, ear splitting, awful "contemporary" music designed to make audiences clamor for more Beethoven.  How can you repackage and market Bach, Handel?  What we need is a new package.  Look forward to your next post.

    Lawrence

    Bob Porter said:

    Lawrence

    Well, the piece I posted, along with everything I post here will never see the light of day in a concert hall, and is not intended to.

    I don't think the sports analogy holds up. Football is intended for "the masses", so to speak. It's the gladiator type of thing. Classical music is for a select crowd. Classical music still played today is played because it is good. There is plenty of classical music that is not played because it is bad music.

    I'm sure there are folks that watch tapes of old games. That's because they were good games. Many are not.

    Sitting through 3 hours of guys bashing into each other can be entertaining for a lot of people. Sitting through 3 hours of any classical music, new or old no matter how good, would be worse than death for many of those same people.

    I like your music. I find it interesting that you complain about listening to old music when you pieces are written  "in the style of" such and such a composer.

    By the way, attendance is on the decline for many sports teams. That's partly because their teams suck. I think attendance is on the decline in concert halls partly because of marketing failures.

  • Rodney,

         If you are composing music for full orchestra I would very much like to hear it in any of the symphony halls I have mentioned.  About 10 years ago I attended a concert in Breckenriege Colo. and heard a piano concerto with orchestra by a still unknown composer.  It was the only new piece in a 2 hour concert.  It was a fusion of Gershwin and Ravel, beautiful, but I don't expect it to ever hear it again or find it on the local classical music station.  You have to know I am right on this issue.

     Lawrence

    Rodney Carlyle Money said:


    I also have many opportunities to hear my music performed all the time also. 


    Lawrence Aurich said:



    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    I understand what you are saying Lawrence, but I find new music being performed all the

    Rodney,

         Certainly there is new music in just about every genre except classical.  It may be different in your area of the country.  I am basing my opinion on the symphonies I have attended which are,  Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, U. of Iowa, and Breckenridge, Colo. symphonies.

    Lawrence

  • Raymond,

        Since I have composed only chamber music for the last 15 years, I am trying to get a handle on larger scores.   Beethoven is a step up, but not yet a full score.  After this symphony is finished I'll probably so something more 20th century, but nothing atonal or experimental.   My favorite composers of the 20th century are Gershwin, Copland, Ravel, mostly composers I have played on piano.  Thanks for listening.

    Lawrence

    Raymond Kemp said:

    Lawrence,

    Instead of the general blah blah about when a piece of music was written (you'll have to do better than that reply for any serious discussion), how about telling us what your influences were when working towards the recording you've presented here. Then, I may even give some feedback on it and no! not just about the terrible performance LOL.

    Kind Regards

    Ray

  • Lawrence,

    You are one hell of a bad debater.

  • Bob,

         Don't get me started on "Star Wars."  As writers we have one prime objective which is , never bore.  We walk a fine line between endless repetition and wandering aimlessly.  ( I tend to repeat, you tend to wander.)  Star wars is repetition ad nauseum.  If John Williams was honest he would admit that he never intended "Star Wars" to be stand alone symphonic music.  It is background music for a kid's movie.  So you're saying that symphonies should do what Arthor Fiedler did with the Boston Pops, repackage top 40 hits and pass them off as classical music.  I'm sorry but "Up Up Away in my Beautiful Balloon", or the theme to "Star Wars" is not classical music. 

         Most American newspapers deserve to go out of business because they have failed to publish the latest news.   By the same token symphonies deserve the same fate if they refuse to publish the latest new music.

         Your insightful comments have brought to mind several more points I need to make in rant 3 or the son of the sequal to rant 2.  This horse ain't dead yet.

    Lawrence                               

    Bob Porter said:

    I think one way to repackage classical music is for musical organizations to stop taking themselves so seriously. The model for concerts is over a hundred years old and doesn't hold up any more. How can you interest a new, young generation in Beethoven when the best way we have to hear him is in a big gaudy room where you have to sit still and quiet with the lights down low. Perfect for taking a nap.  Once and a while someone does something different. Something that shows some imagination. But it doesn't last because it isn't traditional.

    A few years ago, the Colorado Symphony put on a Halloween concert. The theme was Star Wars. The orchestra dressed up in some cool costumes. The director was Yoda handing off the baton on occasion to his assistant Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader made an appearance. There was Star Wars music and other appropriate scary stuff.  It was brilliant.

    It's not that the music is tired, it's that the presentation is tired. If you want to educate a new wider audience, you can't just throw the music out there. Have Beethoven come out and briefly talk about what the heck he was trying to do. Have a translation going on like they do in operas. Get the musicians to loosen up. Some are incredibly stuck up. If you want to be user friendly, be friendly to the user.

    But the classical music world seems to be stuck on tradition and itself. The newspaper has been a tradition for a few hundred years. It may not be around much longer.

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