What will classical music turn into?

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What will classical music turn into?

Postby Dani_area_51 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:22 pm

I just try to hear what is being made right now, and with a few exceptions I can only discover composers like Finissy or Sciarrino along with the ones mentioned above, and after reading and thinking a lot about the subject I would like to know the opinion of the pianophilians, having in mind probably the most of them have more musical experience than me.

I am not saying the modern music has no quality, but why it seems that suddenly it's all about making "non-friendly" sounds to our hears...
I mean, one thing is to try to discover new sonorities and try to evolve the methods of composition, and I even understand atonalism.. but serialism? Really?... Sorry if I offend anyone but for me it's torture being obligated to hear a full performance of a piano piece by Stockhausen or Bussotti or Boulez..etc.. Just my point of view :?
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby rob » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:19 pm

No, worry not. There's plenty of music that doesn't follow in the steps of the new complexity guys.

Amongst the living Brit contingent, real favourites just randomly off the top of my head:
Oliver Knussen
Thomas Ades
Colin Matthews
David Matthews
Judith Weir

And looking for particular favourites amongst living Brits on my bookshelves:
Julian Anderson
George Benjamin
Peter Maxwell Davies
Jonathan Dove
Alexander Goehr
Robin Holloway
Nicholas Maw (just died the other year)
John McCabe
Ronald Stevenson
Mark Anthony Turnage

And that's just 5 minutes thought, and only Brits!
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Arjuna » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:16 am

Just looking and my collection of scores and recordings;
Steve Reich
Carl Vine
Peter Scultorpe
Takashi Yoshimatsu (and if your looking for something lyrical you can't do better than him)
Arvo Part
Heinrich Gorecki
Akira Nishimura (a bit avant garde, but still accessible)
Nikolai Kapustin
Malcolm Arnold

I don't get serial music either, but I wonder if you listened to it enough you would begin to hear it differently.
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Timtin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:22 pm

What will classical music turn into? An extinct species, if it doesn't move with the times.
On British television we have University Challenge, a quiz program where some of the best
educated students are involved. They are able to answer the most abstruse of questions on
literature, history, science, and medicine, and yet struggle to identify even most famous
works by the most famous composers. If all else fails, the pathetic guess 'Strauss' is
invariably trotted out. Why? Because they've been totally alienated by what they see
as a deeply unsexy subject, suitable only for boring old fuddy-duddies, and their ears
and brains seem to have been inculcated to only turn on (split inf!) to 'pop' music, for want of
a better word, i.e things with a strong beat, simple harmonies, and five minute duration.
Until composers start to try to appeal somehow to this group, classical music will always
have an uphill struggle on its hands.
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Dani_area_51 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:35 pm

Thanks for all the comments. I think this is really an important issue we should discuss about. I second Timtin thoughts entirely, and being young as I am, I must say, that the people I know that like classical music are very close to none...and when I say that is because even the one or two (!) who might enjoy it, only know like Beethoven 5th symphony or mozart symphony 40, and maybe just because they are some of themes more used on movies or tv.
About the composers some mention, I am pleased to know there are some like that, but sincerely I haven't heard almost of none of them, and so, it's like Timtin says...they are not doing enough to be known or there is a hidden path, the world is taking, without realising they're choosing to forget the unbeliavable treasures some men have left in the past and some are trying to give nowadays.
We can't discuss tastes, if you only like pop, then listen to pop, but please...no one can deny ( even if some try ) to say classical music has no value and has no place in the future.
About the modernists, what hurts me the most, besides the capacity of the composers to destroy my ears, is that some of them criticize legends ( for me ), like Beethoven or Chopin, saying that the music was good in their time but now, it's only banal and composed through known formulas. That annoys me to say the least, having in mind some of them like Xenakis for instance, used things like Math or Algebra, to compose..( want to talk about formulas??? )
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Arjuna » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:32 am

One of the most disturbing issues for me is that "classical" music is actually becoming cool, but the problem is that the only exposure people are having to classical music is through the likes of Andre Rieu, Andrea Bocelli, Susan Boyle, Bond, and the half a dozen themes frequently heard on TV and in movies.
I have had several people tell me how much they like classical music but when questioned further have had nothing more to say, which makes me think that maybe it's "cool" to like classical music but not so cool to actually listen to it.
Personally I would prefer it if classical music retained its cult level of popularity. If classical music became truly popular it would bound to be at the expense of quality - making it that much more difficult to sort out the good from the... not so good.

One thing to consider also is that we tend to hear more about the more radical or progressive composers than we do about conservative composers because it is those composers who have tended to set the trends for future generations, but they are almost always a minority.
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Dani_area_51 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:12 pm

I also agree with Arjuna. Altough it makes me sad, that so few like classical music, I believe that is also one of the things that make classical music so good. The restrict group that likes also has his critics, and if the group turned out bigger, maybe the music couldn't resist the critics.
But I'd like to say, when I first started this thread, altough I like the comments and the issue of few people liking classical music is also important, that is not really the question I was asking.
It's really more related to us, the actual listeners of classical music, if we will hear Mozart forever ( wich I hope so ) but also we could hope for good new composers, or with the exception of a few good composers from the early 20th century, we have ended the creation of conservative composers, and will only appear composers trying to write things like the "hardest piano piece ever".
I really think, that's one of the issues I was worried about. Although I know it is not essential, the emotion present in so much of classical music, is fading away in modern compositions. Is that the price we have to pay just to discover new styles of classical music, removing everything that makes me listen to it??
I really really wanted someone to explain to me, how can I enjoy this piece, or what makes it brilliant.. ( yes , I know it may not be just random rambling and bashing in the keys, but still ) .... : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJqQk3mgpYY&feature=related :?:
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Timtin » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:18 pm

I read the previous three messages with interest. There are a couple of things I'd like to add which
have always puzzled me.
Firstly, when someone says they like Beethoven's Symphony No.5 Op67, what is it that stops them
from exploring Op1 - 66, and 68 - 137? A former colleague of mine said he loved Dvorak's
New World Symphony. When I suggested that he might then also like to sample the delights of
some of Dvorak's other great works, his face just went completely blank.
Secondly, record shops, CD websites, etc. classify music into rock, pop, country and western, techno,
house, classical, and so on, as though classical has only the same value as each of the rest. Am I the
only person on the planet who thinks this? If you saw a list such as iron, aluminium, zinc, copper, and
gold, which appeared to give equal status to all, wouldn't you straight away be puzzled?
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby rob » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Dani_area_51 wrote:...with the exception of a few good composers from the early 20th century, we have ended the creation of conservative composers, and will only appear composers trying to write things like the "hardest piano piece ever"...


This is of course nonsense. There are plenty of great modern composers taking music in directions other that the 'new complexity' you seem to imagine is so prevalent. I intensely dislike the term 'conservative' in any case (what does it mean?) and would prefer that we talk about composers building on the heritage of the past - we might use the term 'mainstream' I suppose, and ALL the British composers I mentioned above are just that - and all alive except the wonderful Nick Maw.

Don't dismiss music you haven't heard - no assumptions please. Operate on the basis of knowledge, not ignorance. You clearly haven't been listening to the right modern composers. I think Arjuna (who makes many sensible comments) mentioned headline grabbing composers - it's controversy that grabs headlines and so such people are neither typical of the mainstream nor likely to be the composers you might like.

If you don't like something then don't return to it, but keep exploring, and take the suggestions of those of us involved in the creation and performance of contemporary music. There is much to love in the best music currently being created.
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Re: What will classical music turn into?

Postby Dani_area_51 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:55 pm

So pleased to hear that, Rob. I do not expect to be totally right, of course, and being that way, I'm very glad you say there is very good music being made, in what people call "classical music", since that is debatable too, because there is really just one period of music called "classical". But anyway, when I mean conservative, you're right, that's a bad term, I was talking about the mainstream as you said.
And maybe, I've been really listening to the wrong composers, but that what comes up the most, when I make my searches on new composers of nowadays..
About, the sentence I wrote (...with the exception of a few good composers from the early 20th century, we have ended the creation of conservative composers, and will only appear composers trying to write things like the "hardest piano piece ever"... ) I am sorry if I was not clear, but I was not making things up, I was really quoting one composition, that is non sense to me, and it came to my mind what I've read. Let me just quote this from wikipedia: " The pianist Easley Blackwood commissioned Martino's sonata Pianississimo, explicitly requesting that it be one of the most difficult pieces ever written. The resulting work is indeed of epic difficulty, but has been recorded several times. "
It could have been made very hard, yes, but also listenable. That's just my point.
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