Monday, August 25, 2008

The Day Classical Music Died ... At least English Classical Music

Thoughtful. Contentious. Well worth the read.

It's a piece by Stephan Pollard which holds that
"Classical music took a wrong turn in the period after the death of Vaughan Williams. "

And the cause
"The ruination of music as part of mainstream culture came largely because of subsidy. Composers stopped writing for their public and wrote instead for the small clique that was responsible for commissioning pieces."

I'm not sure I buy that ..The varied doom and fortune of contemporary classical music speaks against it. Consider the musics produced under other models, or lack thereof, to support classical composers elsewhere.

Further along it seems the real complaint here is that English composers nowadays are, well, English enough..
"The leading young English composer is Thomas Adès, whose opera Powder Her Face won rave reviews in 1995 and has since been repeatedly performed around the world. He has been commissioned by the likes of the Royal Opera House and the Berlin Philharmonic and has produced pieces that have won instant audience acclaim.

Adès may be English but, unlike Vaughan Williams, there is almost nothing in his music to show that. Vaughan Williams may no longer be the last to write serious music for general audiences but, as a recognisably English composer, he was indeed the last of his kind"

Deets here.

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