The Art-Music Forum
January 18, 2018, 05:50:04 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Here you may discover hundreds of little-known composers, hear thousands of long-forgotten compositions, contribute your own rare (non-copyright) recordings, and discuss all the Arts in an erudite and decorous atmosphere full of freedom and delight. To participate, simply log in or register.
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

"The Worst Piece Of Classical Music Ever Written"


Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: "The Worst Piece Of Classical Music Ever Written"  (Read 10971 times)
Neil McGowan
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 69
Offline Offline

Posts: 1248



View Profile
« on: July 28, 2012, 03:06:20 pm »

Daily Telegraph correspondent, and archetypal Young Fogey, Damian Thompson has a piece today featuring - amongst other things, including the cliches of Irish female politicians - his recommendation for The Worst Piece of Classical Music Ever Written".

Sensing Mr Thompson's antipathy to experiment, would it be, perhaps, some atonal miasma?  An aleatoric outpouring? Or some minimalist claptrap?

No, it's none of these - but in fact a woefully tonal lump of drivel called THE PEACEMAKERS, by our old friend Karl Jenkins - a man who shares a surname and reputation with "opera singer" Katherine Jenkins.

If you can't be bothered to trawl through the piece then here:

 

is a link to a short documentary film about Jenkins's piece in all its woeful wretchedness.
Report Spam   Logged

Social Buttons

ahinton
Level 6
******

Times thanked: 25
Offline Offline

Posts: 846


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 08:58:51 pm »

Daily Telegraph correspondent, and archetypal Young Fogey, Damian Thompson has a piece today featuring - amongst other things, including the cliches of Irish female politicians - his recommendation for The Worst Piece of Classical Music Ever Written".

Sensing Mr Thompson's antipathy to experiment, would it be, perhaps, some atonal miasma?  An aleatoric outpouring? Or some minimalist claptrap?

No, it's none of these - but in fact a woefully tonal lump of drivel called THE PEACEMAKERS, by our old friend Karl Jenkins - a man who shares a surname and reputation with "opera singer" Katherine Jenkins.

If you can't be bothered to trawl through the piece then here is a link to a short documentary film about Jenkins's piece in all its woeful wretchedness.
I have to admit (well, no, I don't actually have to, of course but, since little harm would seem to emerge from doing so, I will anyway) that I've occasionally (in the worst of my idlest moments) wondered whether these two Jenkinses were kin in any way other than merely by coincidental surname. That said (and back to the topic itself), although I've not trawled (and indeed cannot be bothered to trawl) through all the responses to this piece of puff, such of them as I did skim-read seemed mostly to be about the remainder of the "article" rather than about the part of it that purports to devote itself to "The Worst Piece of Classical Music Ever Written". As to that, I can comment only that I hope that no one thinks, having read in the thread topic contribution list "The Worst Piece of Classical Music Ever Written by ahinton" that I've already written it (said piece, that is, not the "article" under a Damianic pseudonym)...

Incidentally, your "link to a short documentary film about Jenkins's piece in all its woeful wretchedness" does not seem to work - perhaps fortuitously; anyway, as the old adage runs, "blessed are the pisstakers, for they shall be called the..." - er - um - sorry, I seem (as Marc-André Hamelin once said of Philip Glass), to have run out of a lack of ideas...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 04:08:49 pm by ahinton » Report Spam   Logged
Neil McGowan
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 69
Offline Offline

Posts: 1248



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 09:59:58 pm »

Thank you, Mr Hinton - I've fixed the broken link you mentioned Wink

The piece is quasi-Elgarian in both writing and title - clearly intended to make you think of THE MUSICMAKERS.

Why "peace" should be illustrated with such tub-thumping Cirque and Pomponstance evades my credence.
Report Spam   Logged
Caostotale
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 93


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 06:52:58 am »

Why "peace" should be illustrated with such tub-thumping Cirque and Pomponstance evades my credence.

My goodness, this music......

While this sort of broad-stroked and brain-deadening dystopian capitalist realism is certainly awful and demoralizing, I still think I became more agitated and venomous after being sent another video, wherein composer Mark Applebaum treats a bourgeois audience to a whole stinking heap of irritating psuedo-avant-garde grandstanding:

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_applebaum_the_mad_scientist_of_music.html

Everything about this guy screams "attention-starved brat" as he struts around in his contemporary Erik Satie outfit, making ironic quips about his abject narcissism while claiming credit on the same sort of ephemeral and nihilistic ideas that Cage executed over 50 years ago.

To keep the thread relevant, I nominate that the worst piece of music is Applebaum's work for three conductors (see the video), but almost any of the ones he displays could apply.
Report Spam   Logged
Christo
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 22
Offline Offline

Posts: 340


... an opening of those magic casements ...


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 09:20:55 am »

I hate to be negative about music other people clearly love, and why should one be bothered by Bad Music when there's so much great music around and so much I still have to learn and to acknowledge? Let me make one exception though.  Wink

Four years ago, I was exposed - serving coffee and wine as a volunteer - to a performance of The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace by Karl Jenkins. I found it abysmal, the worst and most rambling composition I ever heard. Most intriguing was the audience, some five hundred of them, who had a wine party afterwards. The air was full of praise and admiration for two hours on. A very instructive experience.  Grin
Report Spam   Logged

… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
ahinton
Level 6
******

Times thanked: 25
Offline Offline

Posts: 846


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 09:56:51 am »

At the risk of straying off topic to the extent of neither nominating a candidate nor discussing anyone else's suggested ones, I recall having a few lessons years ago with a composer (who died earlier this year) who, as well as attending Messiaen's composition classes, had received some lessons from Milhaud (who's recently been mentioned elsewhere on this forum). Milhaud told him that one of the necessary attributes of a fine composer is the ability to write bad music really well; when he relayed this nugget to me, he added, rather wanly, "but don't take that as an excuse"...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 04:09:59 pm by ahinton » Report Spam   Logged
jimfin
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 18
Offline Offline

Posts: 449



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 10:13:39 am »

I was saddened at the lack of Maxwell Davies (the Master of the Queen's Music, for feque's sake) at the Jubilee and Olympics, but thank goodness we were spared this McGonagallian tripe as well! One is almost grateful for Elton John and Paul MacCartny.
Report Spam   Logged
Neil McGowan
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 69
Offline Offline

Posts: 1248



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 10:40:16 am »

I'm not sure that PMD's purview as MQM extends to writing music for the Olympics, Jim Wink  However Carol Ann Duffy found herself motivated to write something - although she didn't win much praise for it.
Report Spam   Logged
Christo
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 22
Offline Offline

Posts: 340


... an opening of those magic casements ...


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 10:56:58 am »

I'm not sure that PMD's purview as MQM extends to writing music for the Olympics, Jim Wink  However Carol Ann Duffy found herself motivated to write something - although she didn't win much praise for it.

 Cheesy Isn't 'We want more cycle lanes' a great poëtical find then?  Grin
Report Spam   Logged

… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
Caostotale
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 93


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 05:06:01 pm »

I hate to be negative about music other people clearly love, and why should one be bothered by Bad Music when there's so much great music around and so much I still have to learn and to acknowledge?

Don't get me wrong. I spend the majority of my time poring through scores and recordings of music I like Cheesy

Part of what disheartened me about the Applebaum thing was that the video came to me through a person who knows next to nothing about classical music and was curious to know if all recent work was as ridiculously dadaist as the pieces Applebaum displayed. I reassured him that not everybody was nearly that much of a quack and linked him a few recent pieces to check out (including Norgard's 10th quartet, which I think I linked in here as well).

What bothered me most about that video was how it reminded me of the recent polarization of the classical market, at least in the States. I feel like, back about 50-70 years ago, it was actually more possible for people to be exposed to music that combined tradition and innovation. Whenever I go to the used record store, I see countless LPs that promoted works by Bartok, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Prokofiev, etc... These days, I feel like musicians and listeners are being ferried into much tighter market categories and that the tendencies are more polarized towards either arch-conservatism or nihilistic avant-gardism. This wouldn't be as big a deal, but I feel like both territories are completely subordinating the genre to market forces and will ultimately kill it off. What irritates me most is how a monstrous pile of composers, pieces, and entire countries worth of artists seem to get lost in the middle of those two poles. In a way, maybe that's part of the reason we're in this new forum, trying to salvage the greater part of the last century's musical output.
Report Spam   Logged
Latvian
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 28
Offline Offline

Posts: 481



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 10:24:43 pm »

Quote
What bothered me most about that video was how it reminded me of the recent polarization of the classical market, at least in the States. I feel like, back about 50-70 years ago, it was actually more possible for people to be exposed to music that combined tradition and innovation. Whenever I go to the used record store, I see countless LPs that promoted works by Bartok, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Prokofiev, etc... These days, I feel like musicians and listeners are being ferried into much tighter market categories and that the tendencies are more polarized towards either arch-conservatism or nihilistic avant-gardism. This wouldn't be as big a deal, but I feel like both territories are completely subordinating the genre to market forces and will ultimately kill it off. What irritates me most is how a monstrous pile of composers, pieces, and entire countries worth of artists seem to get lost in the middle of those two poles. In a way, maybe that's part of the reason we're in this new forum, trying to salvage the greater part of the last century's musical output.

I think you've captured the essence of our dilemma. We're at the mercy of market forces that are seeking to polarize the listening market for their own ends in search of a quick buck. Those in a position of power in the mainstream music industry who are even remotely interested in searching out our "unsungs" are few and far between. Classical music has diminished to such a tiny niche of this market that little but the tried and true is attempted. Thankfully, we have Dutton, Chandos, and others on the fringes to help us out. I believe this is just another reflection of the increasing polarization of our society as a whole.

Sadly, I buy very, very few CDs anymore, because the vast majority of the music that truly interests, intrigues, and stimulates me is only available in non-commercial channels such as web streaming from European radio stations, our forum, swapping with like-minded collectors, etc.
Report Spam   Logged
Latvian
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 28
Offline Offline

Posts: 481



View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2012, 10:28:03 pm »

Anyway, I never got around to nominating a work for "worst piece ever written" in my previous post. While there are numerous worthy (or unworthy) candidates, off the top of my head I'd have to go with either Roy Harris' 13th Symphony or Richard Nanes' "Nocturnes of the Celestial Seas." Tedious, banal, uninspired, and juvenile are a few adjectives that come to mind.
Report Spam   Logged
Gauk
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 51
Offline Offline

Posts: 1074



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 11:20:47 pm »

This provokes a question: supposing you tried to compose the worst piece of music ever written? Could it actually be done? If, say, you took some manuscript paper and put down notes at random for 30 pages, can it you arrive at something worse than anything else? I suspect that (a) if you deliberately tried to compose something abysmal you would only succeed in creating a piece of conceptual art which might actually be regarded relatively favourably; and (b) the worst piece of music has to be something that was intended seriously.

George Tolhurst's Oratorio Ruth, anyone?
Report Spam   Logged
Neil McGowan
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 69
Offline Offline

Posts: 1248



View Profile
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 06:43:32 pm »

If, say, you took some manuscript paper and put down notes at random for 30 pages

I fear that will never do. Mere random squiggles are not enough. Writing the Worst Piece Of Music In The World would require persistence, application, and a determined approach!  Wink  Something that was merely unplayable would not be sufficient Smiley  There are, after all, many pieces like that!
Report Spam   Logged
christopher
Level 5
*****

Times thanked: 60
Offline Offline

Posts: 578


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 02:12:53 am »

Einaudi...!
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
traffic-masters
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines