Is concert programming too monochrome?
My pre-concert talk with conductor David Hill before last Sunday's scintillating Britten Sinfonia Messiah wandered off down a diverting overgrown path. In response to one of my questions David recounted how he recently conducted a concert in Liverpool with the following programme:
Elgar - Wand of Youth Suite No. 2At first this programme, which David Hill described as "one wedding and a funeral", seems bizarre. But is it? Dwindling and ageing audiences suggest classical musical took a wrong turning somewhere down the line. Now spend a few minutes browsing the programmes for the 1896 season of Henry Wood Proms on the invaluable Proms archive. Look at the sheer variety of music in each concert and contrast it with today's austere diet of single Mahler symphonies. Is contemporary concert programming too monochrome and is that one of the reasons why classical music is failing to attract a wider audience?
Coleridge-Taylor - The Song of Hiawatha, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast
Fauré - Requiem
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