Friday, February 28, 2014
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Saturday, February 08, 2014
What is avant-garde music? ".... music which is thought by critics to be ahead of its time, i.e., containing unique or original elements, or unexplored fusions of different genres".
- Magnus Lindberg's oeuvre is quite unique. His latest pieces do not sound avant-garde, but structurally maybe they are. His objective, anti-romantic, Stravinsky-like style sets him apart in today's scene.
- Reinbert de Leeuw's recent 'Der nächtliche Wanderer' is difficult to pint-point (although comparisons to apparently remote peers, such as Cristóbal Halffter or Henri Dutilleux or even Leif Segerstam, come to mind). That could make him a new kind of avant-garde composer.
- Spectralism in music is no longer avant-garde.
- Ensembles such as ASKO|Schönberg, specialising in avant-garde music, should perhaps expand their focus to include avant-garde music of all ages.
Friday, February 07, 2014
Classical music is facing a crisis. How can orchestras and ensembles cope?
First, which are the problems?
- Less attention for classical music in general and in schools in particular - the result of government policies.
- Economic crisis, leading governments to cut subsidies.
- The internet requires new business models.
When it comes to solutions, funding is an obvious first:
- Extra performances, provided the marginal costs are limited.
- Try to attract new audiences (without alienating existing ones).
- Increase income per listener (subscriptions, donations, CD sales, memorabilia, etc.).
- New subscription services.
- Serve children.
The internet forces orchestras and ensembles to redefine what they do:
- Hang on to core values (live performance, focus on specific genres) only.
- Follow your audience, looking for internet delivery (such as The Digital Concert Hall from the Berlin Philharmonic).
- Move away from specific windows (i.e. live performance) and make music available on demand. This could range from providing CD recordings of concerts, provided immediately afterwards. Other options: (internet) radio, streaming, YouTube live, YouTube channel, digital TV channel, Medici.tv.
- Build apps (e.g. NY Philharmonic, London PO, Detroit SO).
- Broaden the repertory.
Broadening the repertory:
- For instance, don't focus on avant-garde in a traditional sense, but on avant-garde music of all ages.
- Actively sollicit new music from any composer (a la Ensemble intercontemporain), instead of ordering new pieces from specific composers.
- Orchestrations of chamber music.
- Reductions of orchestral pieces for ensemble (e.g. Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen, Elmer Schönberger, Eberhard Kloke, David Matthews, Andreas Tarkmann).
- Newsletter (email).
- Sponsoring (friends of the orchestra).
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, SoundCloud, Spotify).
- Ambassadors (celebrities, politicians, corporate leaders).
- Engage friended international established musicians.
- Concerts, full season tickets.
- Supporters (friends).
- Soloists paying the orchestra for accompaniment (2-sided business model).
- New services to develop with peer ensembles (ASKO|Schönberg, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, MusikFabri/k etc.).
- Orchestra + ensemble concerts for pieces such as Britten - War Requiem, Dutilleux - Second Symphony, Escher - Summer rites at noon, Stockhausen - Gruppen etc.
- Multi-discipline concerts across different art forms (cf. AAA-series at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra).
Concerts for children:
- Don't just let the kids come to you, but ensembles can visit schools.
- Don't underestimate children. Wouldn't it be cool to confront them with Georg Friedrich Haas - In vain?
Monday, February 03, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Friedrich Schenker's Violoncellokonzert of 1985, in a performance from 1986.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Sunday, December 11, 2011
YouTube has become a valuable source of historic recordings. There are several channels that are worthwhile checking out. If you combine them with a YouTube-to-MP3 conversion site, you can burn your own CDs, with pretty decent 128 kbps sound quality.
Here are some channels:
Here are some channels:
- http://www.youtube.com/user/WatchBlueSkies: uploads from East German LPs from the 60s through 80s, not re-isseud on CD mostly. Music by e.g. Ernst Hermann Meyer, Christfried Schmidt, Paul-Heinz Dittrich, Guenter Kochan, Siegfried Koehler, Johann Cilensek, Rudolf Wagner-Regeny, Gerhard Rosenfeld, Joerg Herchet, and many others.
- http://www.youtube.com/user/TheWelleszCompany: miscellaneous 20th and 21st century music.
- http://www.youtube.com/user/stanchinsky: same
- http://www.youtube.com/user/ch252525: same
- http://www.youtube.com/user/NewMusicXX: same
- http://www.youtube.com/user/ViewerNotes: same
For the conversion to MP3, you can use different sites, such as:
- http://www.youtube-mp3.org/: maximum length 20 minutes
- http://www.vidtomp3.com/index.php: make sure you set it to 'High Quality'
- http://www.video2mp3.net/: sometimes offers 256 kbps rates
All that's left to do, is burn to a CD using Windows Media Player, which will automatically convert MP3 to the standard CD format.