Foaming at the mouth at the BBC Proms

In a desperate attempt to drum up some controversy-led media coverage for a distinctly lackluster Proms season, BBC presenter Suzy Klein has served up some tasty soundbites defending the concert featuring a chamber orchestra with conductor and vocal soloists performing arrangements of Ibiza dance anthems. But she misses the point that what people are objecting to is not Ibiza dance anthems at the Proms, but dumbed down versions of Ibiza anthems played by a dumbed down chamber orchestra in a dumbed down concert as part of a dumbed down Radio 3's increasingly frantic attempt to stop its plunging audience figures*. If, as Ms Klein claims, the concert was true to the spirit of the Proms - as practised in the William Glock era in particular - the late night event would feature Boulez's Domaines followed by Amnesia resident DJ Marco Carola spinning a techno set from turntables while foam** was pumped into the Albert Hall arena. The only thing that the Heritage Orchestra playing arrangements of Ibiza dance anthems does is to, yet again, make the BBC Proms look like a lonely elderly dowager who drops her drawers in public to attract attention.

* Total listening hours is the litmus test for a radio station, The latest RAJAR audience data (Q1 2015) shows that total listening hours for BBC Radio 3 dropped by an astonishing 9.7% compared with the same quarter in 2014.
** Header photo shows an Amnesia foam party on Ibiza. Needless to say it is not my work: it comes via the Balearic blog. 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.


Unknown said…
I'm not sure if you've mentioned this here in the past, but there's definitely a similar trend State-side:
Pliable said…
Thanks Caleb, no doubt in the forthcoming BBC charter and license fee review its director general Tony Hall will trumpet dumbing down as one of its successful exports.

Recent popular posts

Classical music's biggest problem is that no one cares

Whatever happened to the long tail of composers?

The purpose of puffery and closed-mindedness

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Philippa Schuyler - genius or genetic experiment?

A tale of two new audiences

Wagner, Mahler and Shostakovich all sound like film music

Storm clouds gather over Aldeburgh

While classical music debates nothing changes

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius