Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Classical music in the summer

There are only a few things I don't like about Montreal. One of them is the dearth of classical music in the summer.

In winter, spring, and fall, there are many classical music concerts on the island of Montreal. In the summer, many Montreal ensembles and musicians play at summer festivals. These festivals take place in various places that are anything up to a two hours' drive from Montreal.

For classical music fans like me, who don't have cars, these festivals are impossible to get to (unless you know someone who is going to one of these festivals who does have a car.) Or maybe these festivals are for well-off people who are lucky enough to have cottages in Lanaudiere or the Eastern Townships.

I have been to concerts in the summer in Montreal which feature types of music other than classical. But you'd think that for such a world-class city, they'd be able to have at least some classical music in the summer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

That crazy modern music...

A line from Wah Keung Chan's Montreal Gazette music review of a Renee Fleming concert: "...the Mehldau songs were plagued by the sameness of most 20th-and 21st-century compositions -lacking rhyme, rhythm, melody, and ultimately reason." Seriously? Most 20th and 21st century classical music lacks rhythm, melody, and reason?
I guess many 20th/21st century composers wanted to turn away from melody. But many "modern" pieces do have melodies, maybe just not ones that every music reviewer enjoys or recognizes. And certainly, most 20th/21st century music has rhythm! And I'll bet that if music lacked reason, it wouldn't be composed.
And I don't think most recent music sounds the same, not at all.

Of course, this is the same reviewer who thought "crescendo" meant "climax."