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Why the Baltic and Slavic countries not promoting their music? A Wonder.


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Author Topic: Why the Baltic and Slavic countries not promoting their music? A Wonder.  (Read 695 times)
Dundonnell
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 04:50:05 pm »

Indeed. And one can hardly complain about the treatment of Sibelius Grin Everything he wrote, including music for which he had little regard and/or was written on commission, and including different versions of the same work, has been recorded by Bis Smiley

Jolly Roger did say "the majority of our youth" Grin Of course there are a lot of young people involved in "serious" music, often as performers. That is our hope for the future....but it is bleak to reflect on the general "cultural" milieu in which they are growing up and it is perfectly proper to identify the media as villains in the piece, pandering as it does to perceived popular taste.

And, no, I do not think that politicians in the past endorsed "junk music" in an attempt to be "cool". That is a manifestation of the way politicians are now subject to "spin". In the UK the first Prime Minister to endorse such "low culture" was Tony Blair. I doubt that Margaret Thatcher had much, if any, interest in music but Edward Heath back in the early 1970s was certainly a passionate lover of classical music, playing the organ and conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras(albeit not very well Grin):


and choosing RVW's Sea Symphony amongst his eight Desert Island Discs(seven of which were "classical" choices).

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Latvian
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 06:32:39 pm »

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Hey, now Angry  Some of us young'uns have taste.  Grin

Taste which, at least in my case, was developed primarily from the listening environment at home.  That's a huge part of the problem; classical music has no foothold to speak of in popular culture any more.

Quite right, on both counts! I know many younger people who have a passionate love for "serious" music, but it's usually very much despite popular culture. Exposure at home is probably the biggest influence, but I know of many music students who found their passion through their school music program, not from their home environment. But, as funding for many school music and arts programs has waned, this avenue is closing for many as well.

I'm proud to say that I have two daughters in their 20s who are fine musicians, devoted to study, performance, and teaching of predominantly "serious" music. Of course, they grew up in an exceptionally musical household and had many opportunities outside their school programs, but the love and appreciation for music, literature, and the arts in general were an important part of their lives from infancy. Not all of us are in a position to provide this sort of artistic nurturing, but at the very least we can reach out and support others who can, and music programs that will make a difference in the lives of other young people, and by extension our sadly degraded culture as well.
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SerAmantiodiNicolao
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2013, 04:28:37 pm »

I realize I may be wading into somewhat murky territory here, but I shall wade away nonetheless.  Grin

The New Republic ran a fascinating article on this subject back in 2007, as it happens, within the context of postwar American politics:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/the-musical-mystique

I was most struck upon first reading it (a few years back, when Alex Ross linked it from his last blog) by the anecdote about George Benjamin and "the music of our time".  That has stuck with me because it's the flip side of the argument we're having - yes, classical music is no longer part of the mainstream of pop culture, but at least in part that's due to some classical musicians' insular attitudes.  (I feel that the academics of the 50's and 60's have a lot to answer for.)  If anything gives me hope, it's that a large body of composers are turning their back on such feelings and are looking for a way to genuinely connect with the contemporary listener.  Not all of them succeed, but enough do that I think we may be starting to see a way out of the wilderness.
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dhibbard
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2013, 05:32:04 pm »

Ahh.. the old ‘why don’t more people listen to classical music’ question…actually “Latvian” is right. 

The major issue is money.  There is a reluctance of the governments to fund these projects in the current economic conditions.  Even in the US, we saw Tower Records, once an icon of classical music, close their doors.   Living in Dallas affords one of listening to our State owned (actually city financed) classical music radio station (www.wrr101.com)  that every year the City Council considers shutting down because “no one listens to it.”   Back in the 1970s, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra actually shut down for several years due to lack of support and “poor attendance”…hard to believe.. (I saw  Rostropovich there in 2000  performing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto).


Actually, Estonia has probably been in the forefront (with the state financed “EMIC”) of promoting Estonian classical music (Estonia Music Productions –a state/private collaboration  to produce recordings now distributed by Naxos) and also the state supported Tubin Society which has had their budget slashed.  Neeme Jarvi  and his children have championed the cause of bringing more Estonian music to America and W Europe  even on tour with the ERSO with the Jarvi’s in Atlanta, NY, Chicago. If you can, try to attend the ERSO on tour and even the LNSO on tour (sometimes).


I am hopeful… while in Vilnius, we were able to “cross the border” (what a disaster) into Belarus and attend a concert in Minsk at the State Academy of Music of Bogatyrev’s Sym No 1, Abeliovich’s Sym No 4, Podkovyrov’s Piano Concerto and Aladov’s Tanseval’naia Suite for Symphony Orchestra.   My hosts said sometimes they do sell ‘limited runs’ of CD’s of prior concerts until they sell out in the lobby of the Academy (didn’t see them).   My hosts also said that the SO of the National TV and Radio Company of Belarus also perform concerts of Belarusian composers frequently in Minsk.  Much of Belarus is disconnected from the West.. especially the internet, which is seen as a western spy thing.  The state monitors heavily any commerce on the internet and heavily taxes anything coming out of Belarus.  Belarus is the closest thing to the former USSR... 1960s ish.... reminds me of the old black and white Mission Impossible series.


Much of the Baltics and Slavic countries are  “Westernised” in music taste… I can turn on the radio in Dallas and hear the same music in Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius, Moscow, Kiev: ...Taylor Swift, the Florida-Georgia Line, Lady Gaga,   etc . etc.. the good ol’ days of Melodiya recordings (except for in Minsk) are gone forever. 


Sent from my can't-tell-you

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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2013, 05:36:01 pm »

I'm so glad I started this topic. It's a more far-reaching issue than simply why the Baltic and Slavic countries not promoting their music (I was thinking as a fan and a collector when I wrote this, I confess). I think SerAmantiodiNicolao in particular is on to something, in that yes, there was a snobbery, insular attitude among classical musicians (and listeners) that gave them the us versus them mentality (condescension comes to mind). But people like Leonard Bernstein and Luciano Pavarotti challenged that by making it fun and a curiosity (and those who followed portrayed Classical music as though it's more approachable than thought due to the popular misconception; think Michael Tilson-Thomas, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma). I don't think they were trying to make the genre hip, per se, but showing that it's still relevant to the human experience and that it transcends. Their efforts paid off, even though it remains an uphill battle (there's simply a plethora of musical types and genres worldwide). But Classical music remains as viable as ever and I don't see it dying anytime soon. It's a matter of re-invention and remaining vigilant in putting the music out there, via performances, via recordings, via discussions and sharing ideas and thoughts.

I grew up in a home where music was inseparable to my family's daily life (not Classical music though (or even Jazz), but Disco, Reggae, Soul, R&B, later Hip Hop). I got hooked onto Classical music and later Jazz due to curiosity (thanks to enterprising radio stations in NYC such as WNCN and WQXR). Bruckner's 2nd and 3rd Symphonies floored me, and so I ventured on to his other symphonies and religious works. Glazunov's 2nd then his 6th Symphonies had a grip on me in ways I did not imagine, and so I likewise explored his music further. Same with Bax, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and later the Soviets, the Scandinavians (Nielsen was among my first loves), and so forth. Music transcends and finds its audience, that's it. What we do to it is another matter.

Jolly Roger states that "we are in the midst of a dramatic decline in the quality of Western Civilization and music is not exempt." Well, I think the qualities of life, creative thinking, the art of argument and articulation, human interaction, etc. are lessening in much of the globe. You could read any articles on online newspapers and how many people argue their positions is (often) quite frightening. The era of new ideas and experimentation that would wow society (and societies) is long behind us, by and large. So, we're in a standstill right now. We must not forget that today's world is very much unpredictable (much of it due to the global economy). What comes next and what the world will yield are up in the air. But as seen time and time again, mankind is resilient and inventive, even if the glory years (as far as musical art is concerned) remain in the past.
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dhibbard
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2013, 05:29:33 pm »

Living in the Dallas TX area we are blessed to have Joseph Banowetz and  Vladimir Viardo teach/perform concerts at the Univ. of North Texas and of course show case various Russian/Soviet pieces wth the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. 

Banowetz has showcased over the years several of Rubinstein's works http://music.unt.edu/faculty-and-staff/detail/4    including a massive microfilm project of his complete piano works at the UNT Library, and I've enjoyed going to see him showcase another 'premier' performance with the 'student' UNT orchestra.

Vladimir is a resident professor at UNT http://music.unt.edu/faculty-and-staff/detail/112 and his piano performances are just amazing... see his bio.

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Malito
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2013, 06:36:03 pm »

I agree with all of these comments and have wondered for many years why more recordings of little known music are not available.  I, too, was in Riga (three years ago) and was pleased to talk to people at the Conservatory who gave me some CDs (CDRs) of music I had not had before.  On this site I have been able to copy some incredible music and I am thrilled to be able to hear things I never dreamed I would.  Yes, music and culture are on the decline all around the world and that sad situation is not going to improve.  I am grateful for having heard so much music I never dreamed I would through this site and the kindness of several people who who have sent me things to download like Dundonnell and others.  You have given me so much pleasure in my (rather boring) retirement years.  I thank everyone who posts music here (I wish I knew how and that I had some thing not already here) for making all this wonderful music available to me and others who love and appreciate fine music.  Malito Smiley
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2013, 11:11:42 pm »

IMHO lack of popularity of contemporary classical music is partially due to prevailing avantgarde trend.
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chill319
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2013, 05:31:48 am »

When the Estonian conductor Anu Tali guested with the local orchestra recently, her program included the symphonic poem "Dawn" by Heino Eller (1887-1970).
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2018, 01:17:27 am »

Compact Disc from Montenegro:
http://www.muzickicentar.com/en/izdanja/
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christopher
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2018, 07:10:47 pm »

Compact Disc from Montenegro:
http://www.muzickicentar.com/en/izdanja/

I think this is in the wrong thread...
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2018, 09:42:54 pm »

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I think this is in the wrong thread...

Why so?  Montenegro is most certainly a Slavic country.
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calyptorhynchus
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2018, 10:07:40 pm »

The question presupposes that Anglo-Saxon and other European nationalities* are promoting their recent classical music.

I don't think they are, I have a list as long as my arm of English and British music from 1600 too the present that is worthy of being recorded but hasn't been. Record labels concentrate on re/issuing infinite rerecordings of the same 'safe' works (often not very well performed).

But the situation with other European music is similar, look how poorly Milhaud is recorded for example, many recordings of his earlier works, many of his later works not recorded at all. Holmboe is mostly recorded (though a composer of his statue demands multiple versions of the symphonies, for example, rather than just one), but there are notable works not recorded.

The US, with its prevailing 'free-market' culture is perhaps the worse case of the lot. David Diamond's works for example are almost half unrecorded, an inexcusable omission.

*Sure to raise the ire of Brexiters LOL
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christopher
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2018, 01:04:01 am »

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I think this is in the wrong thread...

Why so?  Montenegro is most certainly a Slavic country.

Absolutely it is.  I just meant from the point of view that there is a country thread on this forum, so I would encourage him to open a Montenegro thread in that section, and then all info about this and any other Montenegrin composers can be put there, and easily found.  Here, it might get buried.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2018, 01:11:33 am »

The question presupposes that Anglo-Saxon and other European nationalities* are promoting their recent classical music.

I don't think they are, I have a list as long as my arm of English and British music from 1600 too the present that is worthy of being recorded but hasn't been. Record labels concentrate on re/issuing infinite rerecordings of the same 'safe' works (often not very well performed).

But the situation with other European music is similar, look how poorly Milhaud is recorded for example, many recordings of his earlier works, many of his later works not recorded at all. Holmboe is mostly recorded (though a composer of his statue demands multiple versions of the symphonies, for example, rather than just one), but there are notable works not recorded.

The US, with its prevailing 'free-market' culture is perhaps the worse case of the lot. David Diamond's works for example are almost half unrecorded, an inexcusable omission.

*Sure to raise the ire of Brexiters LOL

"English and British"??

The English are British. England is part of the United Kingdom. So too (at present at least) are Scotland and Wales.

HOWEVER.......see the thread I have just started about the David Diamond Symphony No.6 Smiley Smiley
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