The dramatic cancellation of last night's Philadelphia Orchestra BBC Prom due to a fire was the first Promenade Concert to be lost for twenty-six years. In 1980 the circumstances of the cancellations were far more serious and damaging, and the story is worth retelling to underline how precarious is the livelihood of our wonderful performing musicians. A financial crisis that had simmered at the BBC for several years flared up in February 1980 when a large package of economies were proposed to save £130m ($235). The proposal involved disbanding five orchestras, including the BBC Scottish , in a move aimed at saving £500,000 ($900,000) a year, or eight per cent of the BBC's music expenditure . On May 16 1980 the Musician's Union voted to strike against the BBC, and two weeks later the musicians of the BBC Symphony , and all other BBC musicians, stopped work. The dispute was not just about job losses, the musicians suspected a hidden agenda of a move away from contract o
The plagiarist is one, Eric Anderson, who posted the exact same post on the Classical Music & Opera Forums message board in early March of this year under the name, "Overturesen" (see, here), for which action I closed out his account and banned him (by IP) from ever posting on the CM&OF again (see, here).
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Figes had no part in this.
Would love to know who you do think has insights. I've only ever heard Barenboim's Reith lectures and thought they were great.
p.s thanks for the book recommendations! Will have a look for them-though it's very hard to find stuff here.
Today we are fixated with finding the solution to everything in 420 characters or less. So we have classical charts, composer's greatest hits, and books that the media acclaim for telling us all we need to know about contemporary classical music in 620 pages.
Yes, some of them are of value. But the problem is none of them will ever provide the much sought after 'open sesame'. Moreover there is a real risk that they destroy the essence of the music, its sheer diversity and profundity, in the attempt.
As in many things John Cage had it nailed when he wrote:
'If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.'
In the spirit of the above I suggest the following highly fallible list, many of which have appeared On An Overgrown Path:
* Glenn Gould: Wondrous Strange - Kevin Bazzana
* Evening in the Palace of Reason - James Gaines
* The Roaring Silence: John Cage, A Life - David Revill
* Benjamin Britten - Humphrey Carpenter
* Tainted By Experience - John Drummond
* Hildegard of Bingen - Fiona Maddocks
* Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM - Steve Lake & Paul Griffiths
* Jonathan Harvey - Arnold Whitall
* Boulez: Composer, Conductor, Enigma - Joan Peyser
But I would happily trade them all for Brilliant Classic's 155 CD Bach Edition
On the subject of sourcing books I now almost exclusively buy good quality used copies from Amazon resellers. I have had few problems even with international delivery, and the bargains that can be found are quite astonishing.
Agree with you also on the dissection/analysis bit-as well as the desire for an easy fix. Much prefer personal recommendations to these lists.
Glenn Gould: still haven't read the Otto Friedrich book my sister has but thanks for the recommendation anyway.
The Andrew Porter volumes of criticism are also superb.