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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: August 8, 2008 Archive

Live vs. Recorded Music

Posted at 12:43 PM on August 8, 2008 by Gillian Martin

I remember hearing a linguist talk once about how changing technology leads to the creation of new phrases for old ideas. "Black and white television," for example--for years there was only "television"; only with the introduction of color television did a new phrase become necessary to describe the pre-existing concept.

"Live music" is one of those phrases. As someone who thinks about classical music all day, I often try to get my head around the fact that for most of human history, music only existed in the moment when someone was actually making it.

In this column, conductor David Robinson waxes philosophical about "live music" and why it's so important.

A New Yorker in Fergus Falls

Posted at 2:25 PM on August 8, 2008 by Gillian Martin

I was looking at the violinist Midori's website this afternoon, and in the "Guest Column" section came across an entry written by a board member of her Partners in Performance (PiP) program.

It tells about Midori's concerts in Fergus Falls and Dawson last fall. It was interesting to me to read a New Yorker's-eye-view of Minnesota. (He liked it.)

By the way, Midori will be performing in Bemidji as part of the 2009-2010 PiP program.

To Be Continued. . . .

Posted at 5:05 PM on August 8, 2008 by Rex Levang (1 Comments)

This all may have started a few years back, when the composer Colin Matthews wrote a new ending to Holst's suite "The Planets," called "Pluto, the Renewer."

(Holst wasn't able to write a Pluto piece himself, Pluto having not yet been discovered in the 1910s.)

Richard Rodney Bennett has written more than one piece inspired by Debussy's piece for solo flute called Syrinx. He calls them "After Syrinx"--and that's how they're sometimes performed: first Debussy, and then, after "Syrinx" . . . "After Syrinx."

If you were listening to Michael Barone's New Releases earlier this year, you heard him talk about "Tchaikovsky 6.1": a presentation of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony, with an added movement at the end, by contemporary composer Peter Boyer, in which Boyer reworks some of Tchaikovsky's themes, for a new finale in his own style.

And the conductor of the Tchaikovsky/Boyer is apparently looking to create other such pieces. It's a clever idea. It could give a certain novel twist to concert programs of traditional fare, and provide an obvious opening for contemporary composers to get their work in front of the public.

So there seems to be a bit of a trend here.

Do you have any nominees? Symphonies that call out for sequels? Endings that leave you dangling? Pieces you just don't want to end?

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