Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I didn’t get home in time to see Alex’s spot on Charlie Rose last night, but I did manage to catch Marin Alsop. (And hey, look at that: I can already watch both segments online!)

Alsop’s description of one aspect of her inaugural season as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra sounds very much like my vision for The Bhakti Project! Her idea: pair each Beethoven symphony on a program with modern works, some conducted by their composers: Adams, Adés, MacMillan. Her hope: audiences who come to the Symphony for Beethoven will see how today’s “classical music” connects with “the classics,” and those who come for the new stuff will be reminded of the continued relevance (and awesomeness) of that which came before. It is all of a piece, yo.

She talked about elements of Christopher Rouse’s music that match “ the vocabulary that kids today hear:” “brutal, rock-based, and very driven.” I was reminded of sitting in The Shed at Tanglewood, hearing the TMC Orchestra play a Tchaikovsky violin concerto with Joshua Bell. At one point, I looked back to the double bassists, tall hipster looking guys to a one, and they were rocking! out! The sounds that come from an orchestra in some of the major symphonies are not unlike the sounds you hear on heavy metal records; amplification is the major difference, to my mind. S&M, anyone?

**Update: Ok, now I’ve watched Alex’s segment. More awesome stuff here, obviously; watch them both if you missed them last night. He acknowledges the blend that is happening, not just in programming, but in the compositions themselves. Pop and folk and jazz blending with Beethoven and Stravinsky and Schoenberg. What an exciting time to be a “classical musician!”

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