Hearsay: Wednesday, May 04, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Rock-maninoff

HearSay likes watching fans of one particular style of music confront — and partially enjoy — a different, alien brand of tuneage; like when a metalhead is served up some reggae and not only doesn’t shudder but begins “dancing,” or when a brotha-man is given some metal and starts throwing devil horns to the mercurial beat. One of the greatest instances of cross-pollination, though, is when relatively young, relatively hip folk come face to face with real classical music. They marvel at both the sound of the instrument being played (violin, cello, flute, whatever) and the fleet yet sensitive fingers of the player. Even though classical music has been hemorrhaging audiences for decades, the Classical Music Machine doesn’t celebrate the genre’s best attributes, including the music’s ability to convey visual and emotional imagery almost as powerfully as any abstract-expressionist painter. No, the Machine stresses to composers and musicians the importance of portraying a vibe that “the kids” can dig — you know, like “coolness.” (For female musicians, this usually means wearing skimpy clothing.) The result typically isn’t the massive musical muscle that floors the neophytes but a disastrous half-classical, half-pop monstrosity that not only makes the world-class musicians delivering it look bad but makes “the kids” and neophytes alike long for good old-fashioned pop. Classical and rap isn’t that inconceivable. I can hear The Beat radio spot now: “Awww, yeah! Fort Worff Symphony Orchestra! Monday! Bass Performance Hall! The crew is gonna be breakin’ off phat hits from The Geto Boys! ‘Fiddy’ Cent! Shostakovich! And 2 Live ‘Mother Fuh-beep-in’’ Crew! Guest conductor — hip-hop legend Scarface! Here’s orchestra main man ‘Mad’ Miguel Harth-Bedoya: ‘Yo, I been axing Scarface to bring a little Shostizzy up in this bitch forevah, yo.’” But, I guess artists gotta eat, and when not emulating Ned Rorem or Itzhak Perlman, workaday composers and conductors have to bend over before the masses. The FWSO is no exception. In addition to Tchaikovsky’s annoying “1812 Overture,” the orchestra’s 15th Annual Concerts in the Garden (June 3-July 4) will find “the crew” performing songs from Glenn Miller and, yes, the Beatles. Tickets are $14 advance, $17 at the gate. Some fantastic musicianship will be on display, but if you’re a neophyte, don’t think for a second that what you’re hearing is real classical music.

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