mardi 31 juillet 2012

Is Pop Music "simple"

Much to my regret, my kids are not really into classical music. My daughter prefers pop although she would probably acknowledge the value of the classics and my son does not care.

However, whenever I am asked by them how I feel towards samples of music which they make me go through, my reaction is often that pop music lacks ambition. My analysis (or as my kids would say my prejudices) seems vindicated by a Spanish study.

But maybe this is normal. Its success comes from being immediately accessible: One tune, one key, ... It  is just not for me but as a business, it works.

mardi 24 juillet 2012

Lebrecht has done it again

This is always a surprise but strong and serious musicians do not hung up the phone when UK journalist Norman Lebrecht calls them. He regularly interviews the likes of Gergiev, Dudamel, Barenboim, J Baker, ... and has regular presence and BBC and at the Daily Telegraph.

Yet, whenever one knows about a certain topic, there is little to doubt that Lebrecht very rarely cross checks his facts and always goes for the easy provocative, but ultimately false comment.

Last year, he made negative comments on the Swiss Romande Orchestra (and sneering ones on the Geneva musical life and Switzerland as a whole). My answer was published on an editorial at Concertonet.

He has repeated the same thing on commenting on the sudden departure of the OSR's GM.

Just one example: on this entry, the OSR is described as moribound. How can he say this, nothing in his columns suggest that he has heard them in the last 10 years. The OSR fills its hall with more than 95% capacity. It has several recording contracts. M Janowski is finishing an acclaimed Bruckner cycle, N Jäarvi has recored music by Chabrier and Swiss composer J Raff. P Rophé has recorded contemporary works by W Blank. The OSR has toured in Russia, Italy and Germany ..?

How many orchestras can claim to do this ? If the OSR is moribund, then the list of dead should then be very long.

But Lebrecht knows better ... and everyone who is serious about the state of classical music has no dounts about his laughable prejudiced comments. One could have thought that he would be ashamed and would become more serious ... yet, he keeps crossing the lines of serious journalism again and again.

So, next time, you see a report signed by N Lebrecht. Just remember this must be as serious as the latest reports on movie stars on tabloids and has nothing to do with classical music.