Classical Music, the Next Wave — We recently noted that the Manchester Camerata has enjoyed some three-fold increase in ticket sales, the result of imaginative programming, as well as exploring contemporary, cross-over, and fusion sounds. There is more of this in the air—a recent youth concert here featured Holst’s The Planets, with the addition of interstitial movements by Brazil’s Ronaldo Cadeu. This was cast as “A Hitchhiker’s Guide” to The Planets, and was well received. While there were some who preferred a more traditional approach, there were many new ears (and some not-so-new) who took great delight in the synthesis of sounds and styles spanning the century (performed at the 100th anniversary of the work).
Besides the concert hall, this is showing up on the record shelf. For but one example, the Altius Quartet has provided a delightful blend of classical and contemporary, in their album “Dress Code”, a recent release by Navono. In this recording, Haydn’s C Major Quartet (Op. 74, No. 1) is juxtaposed with tasteful arrangements of works from various genre: jazz (Dave Brubeck) and ragtime (William Bolcom), as well as more contemporary/popular pieces (Stand By Me, Stairway to Heaven). At this point, such concerts and recordings are not to be considered one-off experiments, but rather part of the broad wave of exploration, as classical music seeks to find its voice in the 21st Century.
Streaming Classical Music Shows — On the more traditional side, this week the radio/‘Net program The Music Treasury is airing a presentation on Zubin Mehta. Besides being an extremely significant orchestral and operatic conductor, Mehta is deeply involved with musical education, finding and developing talent around the world. You can hear that show from its host station at Stanford University Sunday, 25 June, from 19:00 to 21:00 (PDT): http://kzsulive.stanford.edu