Monday, February 22, 2016

Figaro Gets a Divorce

While looking in Washington Post for some interesting reads about what's new in Classical Music World, I couldn't really understand why I had to scroll down from so many huge Kesha, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber articles to find a one paragraph (!) review of a Marathon Evening of Prokofiev Piano Concertos- which in my opinion is pretty intense but I won't be surprised if a lot more people will find it easier to relate to Kanye's Life of Pablo than to Prokofiev.
The similar thing happened when I was looking at NY Times during breakfast couple days ago and found a small paragraph on classical music after three pages of Taylor Swift. Right below the crosswords- there was a classical concert review, which again leads me to the point that of course news paper will write what sells. I am sure that Taylor Swift news sell better than string quartet performance in Brooklyn and it's probably because a significant part of general audience can relate themselves to her songs better that to a particular classical music composition.
Later in Telegraph however I found this interesting read about a modern opera composed by Elena Langer which is a sequel to The Marriage of Figaro. This brought me to the thought that in Classical Music- we always look back, always. We look back to Baroque Period for the most mastered counterpoint, we look back to Classical Period for a best sense of order, form and structure, we look back to Romantic Period for character pieces, to Impressionist for colors, to the music of XX century for new vision and ideas. Exactly the same way the composers of the past have been looking even deeper into past to write their reflections and answers to the music that has been written before. So many masterpieces have been taken out from or been influenced by Bach or Beethoven and you can actually hear the connection that makes you wonder what exactly did Brahms or Busoni were looking for in Bach. Such curiosity makes me want to go back to Bach- to listen and to look for connections. It's all mutually connected; composers, pieces, periods.
What makes the contemporary music stand out, which is also a fascinating thing about contemporary music is that it stopped sounding like anything before. It's all new, new music, new ideas, new approach and I as a musician I think this is wonderful, but as a casual listener I know that from time to time I would crave to hear something more safe- a slightly modified version of something that already has been sitting in my mind, something I could personally connect to. People are all so crazy about connecting dots and bringing things back from the past. That's why we have all those sequels and covers and remakes in music, theater, movie industries that will not only never fall out of fashion but will even become more popular when re-written or re-filmed with a fresh view of a modern world.
I really liked the idea behind writing a continuation of The Marriage of Figaro which I hope will elicit some curiosity from listeners and they will want to go and check out the original opera. Also I think it won't hurt if something similar takes place in modern composition practice. Article

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