Monday, March 14, 2016
Thoughts on the death of another great musician
Recently I made a resolution not to write a knee-jerk tribute every time a great musician died. Of course the passing of a towering talent must be appropriately marked. But classical music lives in the age of the next big thing, and in our 24/7 connected world the half-life of those next big things is getting shorter and shorter. Yes, let's pay our respects, but we must avoid the untimely death of a great musician becoming nothing more than today's big thing, to be replaced by whatever new big thing breaks tomorrow. We need to remember Peter Maxwell Davies and the others that we have lost recently. But we need to remember them in perpetuity. That means rising to the difficult challenge of keeping their music alive and introducing it to new audiences long after the animated echo chamber of social media has stopped resounding to tweets of 'RIP Max'.
Header illustration is my 1985 LP of Max's Third Symphony with the much-missed Edward Downes conducting the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra on the defunct BBC Atrium label. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.