LAST weekend in Brisbane, a rare moment of reflection took place after Queensland Symphony Orchestra performed Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. When the work came to its haunting conclusion, the audience responded with silence.
David Robertson, new chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony, is relaxed about inter-movement clapping.
Picture: James Croucher
Source: The Australian
There’s a tiny boil of anger heating up just just beneath the surface in the classical music world, a boil just begging to be lanced. Witness, as exhibit A, the partly hysterical responses to my most recent post about classical music.
Visiting a popular concert hall for the first time some years ago, I was lucky to have a fairly genial host whom I’ll call Luddy. He guided me patiently through the obtuse and unfriendly ticketing procedure at the “Will Call” window where I felt rather like I was visiting a sort of bland theatrical version of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Contemporary classical music is devoid of melody and appeal, all noise and no fun. At least, that’s the cliche. But this is music that is very much at the heart of our modern world
A scene from English National Opera's 2009 production of György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian
In a world of instant musical gratification, where tunes from any genre or artist are available at the click of a mouse, can classical music remain relevant to the digital generation?
There is no doubt that live-in-HD versions of Metropolitan Opera performances have been a signal success, both at the box office of the international theaters in which they are shown, and in the opinion of many operagoers.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, said he could not bear dining to an accompaniment of “idiotic pop” and left without eating. The walk-out is his latest stand in a campaign to have piped “muzak” banned from restaurants, hotels and shops.
The Observer’s classical music critic looks back on a good year for Mahler, opera at the movies and legends of the past on YouTube.