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Virtue signalling does not sell concert tickets

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This article is unique among the 4554 posts uploaded to On An Overgrown Path since August 2004. Because it agrees with a Slipped Disc post. Last week Norman uploaded a Slipped Disc reader's contribution headlined ' Why I won't be going back to concerts '. The thrust of the contribution was not the reader's fear of COVID, but how for him concerts had become "just a bit too often ordinary... a bit of a ritual". Which resonates with my recent post 'Where has all the musical adventurousness gone?'  lamenting the demise of musicians who is transcend conventions and pursue their own unique musical visions. David Munrow is talking to Peter Maxwell Davies in that photo. In the early 1970s David Munrow’s Pied Piper radio programme was broadcast four times a week for five years and introduced a new audience to early music. He presented a successful TV series, and wrote scores for the BBC TV series The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elisabeth R , and

Where has all the musical adventurousness gone?

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My enthusiasm for ensemble sans frontières  Oregon is shared by Trevor Hodgett who wrote the booklet essay for the newly released 1974 . This double CD captures a live set by the band recorded in exemplary sound by Radio Bremen in March 1974. Oregon were then at the top of their game, and remained there until master multi-instrumentalist Collin Walcott was killed in an East German tour bus crash. Here is Trevor Hodgett's assessment of Oregon:  'The late 60s/early 1970s was an era when musical adventurousness and eclecticism had become almost the norm and when musicians like Miles Davis, The Beatles and The Grateful Dead were redefining popular music and blending genres in previously unimaginable ways. But Oregon, who formed in 1970, may just have been the most dizzyingly original band of them all, with a clearly irrepressible determination to transcend conventions and pursue their own unique musical vision.'    In 1974 Kraftwerk released their seminal album Autobahn , Pa

What the composer found in his orgone box

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In his review of Leopold Stokowski and the Houston Symphony's 1955 premiere of Alan Hovhaness' Mysterious Mountain the critic Hubert Roussel remarked that "The real mystery of Mysterious Mountain is that it should be so simply, sweetly, innocently lovely in an age that has tried so terribly hard to avoid those impressions in music". To that I would add it is also a mystery that music which is so accessible yet avoids all stylistic platitudes remains so neglected in 2021 when a continuing anti-Boulez backlash mediates concert programmes. Fritz Reiner conducting  Mysterious Mountain  with his Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the glories of recorded sound. Reiner was notorious for using his baton to whip orchestras - if you haven't heard his 1960 Scherezade you haven't lived - yet in the sublime opening of Mysterious Mountain his interpretation is patiently majestic. On the CD reissue , which couples the work with Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé S

As a Wagner conductor he has no equal

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The Guardian 's recent obituary of the great Wagnerian bass-baritone Norman Bailey linked to my 2007 post  'Reginald Goodall – the holy fool', which prompts me to revisit that article. My appreciation was written while YouTube was in its infancy, and in the intervening years some invaluable Reginald Goodall resources have been uploaded. These include an excellent full-length 1984 BBC Omnibus documentary ' The Quest for Reginald Goodall ', a complete English National Opera 1973 Siegfried , and a 1954 Die Walküre Act 1 . Also on YouTube is Act 3 of Parsifal from the 1987 Prom s; this was Reginald Goodall's last public concert and David Cairns' review of it is quoted at the start of my original post and provides my headline for this article. Did Reginald Goodall really deserve the sobriquet ' Holy Nazi conductor '? Of course some of his personal views were abhorrent. But so were those of other classical folk heroes including, of course

Mystery of politically incorrect London Philharmonic violinist

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My 2018 post profiled the Parsee violinist Homi Kanga who joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1950 and may have been the first non-white orchestral musician in the UK. My post related how Homi Kanga left the LPO in 1960 after he complained about the dismissal of a colleague for what he viewed as political reasons. In my post I speculated that Homi Kanga's departure was triggered by a dispute between the LPO management and its Anglo-Indian violinist John Mayer .  However a new comment on my 2018 post suggests Homi Kanga's departure resulted from the dismissal of another musician. An anonymous commenter has suggested that "It was over the sacking of Chumleigh Hind that Homi left the orchestra" but provides no more information. Chumleigh Hind was a scholarship holder at the Royal Manchester College of Music  from 1945-50 and went on to play in the Hallé Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli and also performed as a soloist . But my research has uncovered no oth

All you need is loot

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Jon Blake's novel 69ers  about the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival has an apposite epigraph:  Note to the reader : this novel originally began by quoting the first verse of The Ballad of John and Yoko . However, not wanting to kiss the ass of Sony/ATV Music Publishing nor pay them a penny for permission to use lyrics freely available all over the web, I trust to your own initiative in seeking them out for yourself.

Classical music must woke up and smell the coffee

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As pointed out here previously Norman Lebrecht's Slipped Disc receives the unequivocal support of the classical music industry in the form of advertising, exclusive news and interviews, advertorial partnerships, and complimentary concert tickets and CDs. Yesterday Norman published an article headlined 'US orchestra: Conductor wanted. No whites need apply' which was sourced from the National Review .  This conservative publication has a certain notoriety, including being one of the few media outlets to publish material written by Jeffrey Epstein's publicist Christina Galbraith . The National Review also publishes contributions by Dinesh D'Souza who has tweeted "So Rosa Parks wouldn't sit in the back of the bus--that's all she did, so what's the big fuss?" and this year ran an article bylined 'The Editors' proposing that the Equality Act "represents is a cynical attempt to use the Civil Rights Act as a Trojan horse for radi