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  • On An Overgrown Path: How many black conductors at the BBC Proms?
    might have been on the podium at the Proms if his wife later ex wife but still close friend Marilyn Horne were performing A shame one has to think in such a way but still I could find no mention of him conducting there and hardly any mention at all His Wikipedia entry is a stub with no notes or external references and otherwise I noted in passing one recording accompanying the Gershwin Concerto in F and mentions as Horne s husband 11 30 am Pliable said Philip thanks for pointing that out Henry Lewis did actually get a mention recently but it was buried in the Everett Lee post Henry Lewis became the first black conductor of a metropolitan orchestra one with an annual budget of 100 000 or more when he was named to the New Jersey State Symphony Orchestra In fact I did check his name against the Proms database for this post without a result but really should have included him in the text apologies Henry Lewis obituary here http www nytimes com 1996 01 29 nyregion henry lewis conductor who broke racial barriers of us orchestrasis dead at 63 html 11 53 am R J said Henry Lewis s recording of Meyerbeer s Le Prophète with his wife Marilyn Horne in the cast also Renata Scotto James McCracken and Jules Bastin so it was quite a starry line up appeared in 1977 and is still available on CD I ve not heard it Previous comments on this website have referred to another notable black conductor Dean Dixon A fair amount of hitherto unsuspected and commendable recorded material is emerging from Australian broadcasting archives these days so we might yet find that Dixon s 1964 67 tenure with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will be commemorated on a deserving CD reissue or two 12 14 pm Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 Symphonic musicians against specialisation Bach the specialists would never allow that How many black conductors at the BBC Proms Orchestras unable to play a Mozart symphony Specialisation is damaging classical music From Carmen Jones to Arvo Part and beyond Is classical music too

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2011/07/how-many-black-conductors-at-bbc-proms.html?showComment=1311934059582 (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music has a new audience but nobody noticed
    technology allowed newspaper content to be made available free online just as classical music is being streamed free online This precipitated a massive shift from print to online content Publishers have belatedly countered this by offering content for monthly online subscriptions that generate far less revenue than traditional printed papers Spotify and Apple Music are the classical equivalents But despite this newspapers are hemorrhaging cash Take the case of the Guardian the news media equivalent in status and quality of the Berlin Philharmonic or London Symphony Orchestra In its current financial year the Guardian will have burnt through almost 80 million in cash and as a result is being forced to cut its costs including staff by 20 And classical music please note success online does not compensate for failure elsewhere The Guardian is the world s second most popular English language news website This is an impressive achievement that has failed to solve the newspaper s financial woes because unless you are Google or Facebook it is very difficult to monetise Internet traffic Disruptive technology surplus capacity and faltering demand are facts of life in classical music Yet the response of the London Symphony Orchestra to which Simon Rattle is moving from the Berlin Philharmonic is simply to press for increased capacity in the form of an expensive new concert hall just yards from a perfectly serviceable alternative opened in 1982 Classical music is far from dead and if it is smart it will not be playing to empty halls in the future But it must adapt its business to appeal to the new self curating heterogeneous audience and those changes must be far more fundamental than allowing applause between movements boosting Facebook likes and building yet more concert halls At the root of the problem is the inequality between classical music s superstars and the rest The top 1 not only enjoy eye watering incomes but they are afforded a status by a sycophantic media that belittles the huge number of fine musicians working in the many other ensembles away from major metropolitan centres The result is that grassroot professional music making has become no more than a training ground for tomorrow s superstars an invidious process that simply raises financial expectations throughout a fiscally challenged industry Celebrity classical music is a dinosaur that is feeding off the carcass of the moribund traditional audience The spotlight needs to be shifted both in finance and status to the rump of non celebrity professional and amateur musicians and ensembles who are better positioned to weather the coming financial storm Flattening the supply pyramid will also bring the diversity that classical music needs to meet the demands of the new heterogeneous audience Classical music may not be dead but in its present form it is a car crash looking for a place to happen New hands are needed on the wheel to prevent endless rounds of 20 cuts mounting operating deficits and closures of grassroots ensembles Header photo from Blog Vegas

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2016/02/classical-music-has-new-audience-but.html?showComment=1455114302739 (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Why I will be returning my Gergiev tickets
    seemed unlikely that Gergiev would disappoint within his own specialism However at the end of two consecutive concerts on Sunday 21st September featuring Symphonies 1 3 followed by the Fourth Piano Concerto and Symphony No 2 I walked despondently away from the cheering crowds with chronic aural fatigue It is difficult not to recall Sir Thomas Beecham s famous quote The English may not like music but they absolutely love the noise it makes Critical opinion was again acutely divided Edward Seckerson in the Independent suggested that these performances told us more about Valery Gergiev than about Rachmaninov There was brilliance energy dynamism but the overriding impression was of skim reading these scores Referring to the Second Symphony I like him yearned for nocturnal half lights His most telling comment was I longed for a real piano not mezzo piano or mezzo forte But Gergiev was always impatient for the next climax and his nervy body language ensured that they arrived too soon The finale had shot its bolt before the tumultuous coda Alexei Volodin s brittle performance of the Fourth Piano Concerto did nothing to generate a much desired oasis between the symphonies merely stoking the neurasthenic hysteria Shrieking trumpets blaring lower brass coagulated string sound and overwhelmed winds remember Svetlanov s USSR Symphony Orchestra in its worst excesses It s ALL TOO LOUD and I fear that the LSO s wonderful tonal sophistication is being corrupted One week later Mitsuko Uchida s performance of Beethoven s Fourth Piano Concerto with Sir Colin was as truly lovely joyous exquisitely nuanced and profoundly intelligent as the LSO s support Here we were back in the real world A few day s later at the RFH the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Ivan Fischer was demonstrating its world class credentials in Schoenberg and Mahler with a sophistication and culture totally unrecognisable in Gergiev s work It is pointless expressing these views on the LSO website any more not that opinions are censored they certainly are not but Gergiev mania stalks the land and negative critics are trashed as idiots and killjoys And Richard Morrison Let s remember he has written an excellent book on the LSO He accuses Gergiev of a deep vein of cynicism and considers him a masterly operator in the super rich circles of St Petersburg and Moscow Like other commentators he casts doubt on Gergiev s motives for the infamous Ossetian Concert and states that his relationship with Putin is mutually self serving Gergiev he says is up to his neck in politics and suggests that Gergiev is tainted by aligning himself with a Russian leader whose methods many people consider morally dubious and thus jeopardising his position with supportive but neutral British audiences Gergiev is entitled to his political views but not if they taint the reputation of the LSO and I am horrified that Kathryn McDowell the orchestra s managing director issued a statement supporting that Ossetian concert There has been much to admire in Gergiev

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/10/i-shall-be-returning-my-gergiev-tickets.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Why audience growth at any cost is the wrong strategy
    exception nobody in the music industry is challenging the prevailing audience growth at any cost strategy The danger presented by the over supply of classical music is well illustrated by the ongoing saga of Simon Rattle s new London concert hall As was widely reported Rattle prefaced his appointment as designate music director of the London Symphony Orchestra with a demand for a new London concert hall At no point did he explain what was to happen to the three existing major concert venues Festival Hall Royal Albert Hall and Barbican nor did he dwell on the fact that another concert hall would increase capacity in an already over supplied market by 33 In June the Architects Journal reported that the present site of the Museum of London is the preferred location for the new Rattle LSO concert hall This highlights the cavalier disregard for oversupply because the distance between the London Museum site and the existing Barbican Hall is precisely one quarter of a mile At this point I will simply note what is in the public domain that the chairman of Askonas Holt which manages Simon Rattle is Michael Cassidy who is also chairman of the City of London property investment board and has previously held positions including chairman of the Museum of London 2005 2013 chairman Barbican Arts Centre 2000 2003 and is also a past planning chairman of the Corporation of London In addition he is a non executive director of the Swiss investment bank UBS which sponsors the London Symphony Orchestra I also note that Mr Cassidy has practised law in the City of London for 40 years Coughing mobile phones intrusive applause and other distractions are the result of a wrong headed audience growth at any cost strategy All markets are cyclical and that for classical music both live and recorded is no exception Those who preach that classical music must change or die are right But the problem is that they are advocating the wrong kind of change Only when it is accepted that classical music is in the downturn phase of a demand cycle and only when the core problem of over supply excessive costs and self interest are tackled will things change for the better Header graphic comes from Lauren Radford s architecture blog Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Wednesday September 23 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels askonas holt Barbican bbc proms china classical music london symphony orchestra Michael Cassidy Museum of London simon rattle UBS Volkswagen 2 comments Graeme said Why not just invest some more in the Fairfield Hall Croydon It has a better acoustic than any large hall in central London and is poorly utilised 4 20 pm Pliable said Graeme thanks for that and I totally agree I have enjoyed sone

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/09/why-audience-growth-at-all-costs-is.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: What price classical music's celebrity culture?
    funding it needs to be far more transparent as to how that money is spent Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Tuesday October 13 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels andrew clements arts council england gustavo dudamel london symphony orchestra Rolex valery gergiev 6 comments Pliable said More hard information on the balance or imbalance in the distribution of funding within classical music is provided by Drew McManus orchestra compensation reports http www adaptistration com the orchestra compensation reports 1 55 pm Pliable said While on this thread I find it disappointing that the London Symphony Orchestra still has British American Tobacco as a corporate sponsor In the UK tobacco companies are allowed to sponsor cultural and sporting events on the condition that they use their company name rather than a brand of cigarettes So the LSO is within the letter of the law But it does not help foster an ethically responsible image for classical music http www overgrownpath com 2011 12 classical musics ethically compromised html http lso co uk support us thank you 2 49 pm Graeme said This is a hard one The conjunction of ethics and music Should I deplore the music of Duke Ellington in the 1920s because he developed it at the Cotton Club funded by thugs and bootleggers Should I deplore the music of Earl Hines and his band in Chicago because he was employed by Al Capone Without the gangsters bootleggers etc what we know as classic jazz might just have withered on the vine no recordings no airtime Obviously we are living in different times If you are outside the mainstream you can use youtube facebook and internet radio to gain exposure in a way that would have been impossible in the 1920s and 30s But orchestral uses of web media are odd and clumsy the streaming the control they want to keep why not put the music out there and gamble that the public might want to hear it live in a real acoustic 12 02 am Pliable said Graeme I agree with your comment But it only applies to my thoughts on the LSO and BAT which were an aside rather than part of the main thrust of the post The main thrust was non judgemental This debate is not about whether celebrity conductors are paid too much it is about transparency If fees that represented a material part of an orchestra s outgoings were disclosed everyone could come to their own conclusions on important questions such as whether classical music s limited funding is distributed unequally 11 09 am Graeme said I just ventured into the LSO accounts for 2014 filed at the Charity Commission and as a qualified accountant I find them rather opaque in a way that the accounts of Facebook

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/what-price-classical-musics-celebrity.html?showComment=1444740944785 (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: A real artist cannot accept the world the way it is
    in 1950 he received the Stalin Prize for his Heroic Ballade for piano with orchestra Closing the Marseille concert was the Nocturne by Edouard Bagdassarian Born in Yerevan a year after Arno Babadjanian Bagdassarian studied in Moscow and had considerable success with both his concert and film scores His compositions are influenced by Armenian folk music and Naxos has recorded several of them Edouard Bagdassarian s Nocturne is performed in this untitled video As a fictitious Wagner tells us in Jean Claude Carrière s libretto for Jonathan Harvey s opera Wagner Dream A real artist cannot accept the world the way it is That s impossible Both the centenary of the Armenian Genocide and the music of the composers who lived in the shadow of the Genocide must not be forgotten in a world that now values clickbait more than history The concert remembering the Armenian Genocide in Eglise Notre Dame du Mont on Sept 20 2015 was a free concert Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Thursday October 15 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Abbas Kiarostami armenia armenian genocide Arno Babajanian Edouard Bagdassarian Jean Claude Carrière Jean Florent Gabriel jonathan harvey komitas vardapet Marie France Arakelian marseille 4 comments billoo said Pli have you listened to any Lusine Zakaryan 12 14 pm Pliable said Billo yes indeed There is such a rich musical heritage from Armenia Another disc worth giving a heads up to is the Armenian Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian s recital of Komitas songs on Nonesuch http www nonesuch com albums gomidas songs 12 29 pm Pliable said ECM have made some fine recordings of the Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian s music But their recent release of jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan noodling over Armenian hymns in a transparent rework of past Garbarek Hilliard successes once again shows the label to be on autopilot 4 32 pm billoo said Thanks Bob Will definitely look out for it Have only heard her sing Gorecki in a haunting BBC documentary on Auschwitz 8 23 am Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 There are no quick wins Contemporary Greek music loses its baggage Do musicians play music or does music play musici Why opera tickets are perceived as expensive The madness of crowds Do you believe in magic When the hype is justified When the hype hits the fan The name of the game is Sir Simon says Where has all the idealism gone Suicide is painless A real artist cannot accept the world the way it i What price classical music s celebrity culture Making settled things strange Don t say you were

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/a-real-artist-cannot-accept-world-way.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Making settled things strange
    will be removed at the request of copyright owner s No review samples used in this post Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Monday October 12 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels grateful dead J Peter Schwalm Mickey Hart richard wagner No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 There are no quick wins Contemporary Greek music loses its baggage Do musicians play music or does music play musici Why opera tickets are perceived as expensive The madness of crowds Do you believe in magic When the hype is justified When the hype hits the fan The name of the game is Sir Simon says Where has all the idealism gone Suicide is painless A real artist cannot accept the world the way it i What price classical music s celebrity culture Making settled things strange Don t say you were not warned What is a celebrity Analogue man Does Facebook really have to be this dire A musician supreme Many dangers hedge around the unfortunate composer How not to stand out In praise of the unspectacular Why Western music September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/making-settled-things-strange.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: There are no quick wins
    me Snackable ragas snackable Schoenberg now there s a concept If this is what s needed then it s over Let the art form die Am I being a cramky old whatever or is this getting to be beyond the pale 10 35 pm Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 There are no quick wins Contemporary Greek music loses its baggage Do musicians play music or does music play musici Why opera tickets are perceived as expensive The madness of crowds Do you believe in magic When the hype is justified When the hype hits the fan The name of the game is Sir Simon says Where has all the idealism gone Suicide is painless A real artist cannot accept the world the way it i What price classical music s celebrity culture Making settled things strange Don t say you were not warned What is a celebrity Analogue man Does Facebook really have to be this dire A musician supreme Many dangers hedge around the unfortunate composer How not to stand out In praise of the unspectacular Why Western music September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/there-are-no-quick-wins.html (2016-02-11)
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