Posted at 11:03 AM on July 25, 2008
by Gillian Martin
I've heard it said that the audience for classical music isn't aging; it's that music lovers tend to come to classical music later in life. (So the audience isn't dying out, the argument goes, it's continually replenished.) A recent spate of classical pieces by or about '60s rockers has me thinking about this phenomenon.
Next week, on what would have been Jerry Garcia's 66th birthday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premier of Lee Johnson's "Dead Symphony #6," inspired by Grateful Dead songs; the following night, they'll play Led Zeppelin. Says one source, "The BSO, in my opinion, can rock."
Click here for last week's New Classical Tracks, featuring a piano concerto by Jon Lord of Deep Purple.
We should be used to technological wonders by now, but it's still pretty amazing that I'm sitting here at my desk, listening to the Bayreuth Festival live over the Internet. (Calling Jon Gordon of Future Tense!)
Of course, this is at the same time that I'm fielding emails, blogging, etc., and this was not exactly the reverent mood in which Wagner intended Parsifal to be heard--but I guess Bayreuth is keeping up with the times. As near as my college German could make out, the staging involves references to the Nazi period, Marlene Dietrich, and the festival itself. And the festival website includes a link to a German Wagner Wiki, and a comic strip commenting wryly on the whole Wagnerian phenomenon.
I don't know if it's sold out--more info here--but this Sunday you can see a Bayreuth performance of Die Meistersinger over the Net. At 49 Euro a "ticket," it's more expensive than, say, a Met HD ticket, but cheaper than Bayreuth itself. Not too mention a shorter waiting list.