Saturday, July 28, 2007

The end of ghettoising contemporary music?


On An Overgrown Path July 27 Pliable writes - "August 4, 3.00pm, a fine programme of excellent 20th century music at a silly time in a silly place. Elizabeth Maconchy's Music for Strings and Gerald Finzi's Clarinet Concerto (plus Elgar and Grieg) are marginalised to an afternoon concert in the Cadogan Hall, to make way for what in the Albert Hall in the evening? - yet another Shostakovich symphony."

Guardian July 28 Andrew Clements writes - "It's Nicholas Kenyon's last year as controller of the Proms, so the end of ghettoising contemporary music at London's summer music festival may finally be in sight. Over the last 10 years Kenyon has coralled more demanding new works into the hapless late-night slot, ensuring that he can serve populism in the main concerts. This week's late-night offering illustrates the problem perfectly: the programme by Susanna Malkki with the BBC Singers and the London Sinfonietta consists of a UK premiere and a London premiere; that those works are by Pierre Boulez and Sir Harrison Birtwistle, two of today's leading composers, is apparently irrelevant. As a result only a fraction of the potential audience will hear the latest version of Boulez's work-in-progress, Dérive 2, and Birtwistle's luminous choral setting of Pablo Neruda's ode: another opportunity to champion the finest music of today has been ducked."

But will the ghettoising of contemporary music really end under under Nicholas Kenyon's successor Roger Wright? Pigs may fly.

Before anyone writes, it was Andrew Clements who turned 'ghetto' into a verb, not me. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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