Classical Music Devalued

There is a TV station been running here in the UK for the last few weeks called “Classic FM TV “ which plays MTV type videos of so called classical music. The trouble is that I do not consider much of its output classical at all. Most of the videos are by scantily clad females such as Bond and The Classical Babes who play watered down versions of the proper music. Also included are such “classical” artists as Enya and Van Gellis plus the odd bit of film soundtrack. Some people argue that this type of music is a good introduction to the real stuff. I do not agree. I think that this is just dumbing down the whole thing. If people want to enjoy classical music I thing that only the real thing will do. I should be interested in other people’s views on this subject

Hmmm…I love Classical music and even enjoy the random Enya and Vangelis (that’s how his name is spelled—my guess is that you’ve only heard his name, not seen it spelled!). I also love soundtrack music. (Jerry Goldmsith and Ennio Morricone are particular favorites.)

So, on one hand, I think that any “introduction” to Classical is better than absolute ignorance, on the other hand, I think you have a point—it does sound like they are “dumbing down” Classical a bit too much.

There are shorter pieces of Classical that are very palatable to the newbie’s ears. I would hope that interspersed between the Vangelis and Enya would be a nice video with “Fanfare for the Common Man” or “Romeo and Juliet” by Prokofiev, and so on. All performed by real orchestras, not some watered-down version.

There are also many Classical performers who are young and “stylish” and would look very good performing the violin (or whatever it is they play) on an artfully designed music video. Even the ones that are not young and “stylish” could do well, with a well designed music video. A little more mainstream marketing of Classical performers would be a good thing.

I’m not sure I totally agree with you. For all intents and purposes my introduction to Bach was through the “Switched-On Bach” series and my introduction to Beethoven was through the soundtrack from “A Clockwork Orange,” in part because Wendy Carlos worked on it, too, though I’d much prefer she kept her clothes on :eek: . Other than a disturbing love of old-school analog synthesizers I’m none the worse for wear and now love and appreciate “the real thing.” Sometimes the qualities that make something extra special need a little sugar at first.

Well, I think one could make an argument that Vangelis at least is “classical” - insofar that he seems to have come from the same school of thought as Wendy Carlos and others like that. Though much of his music is a tad cheesy. Perhaps he’s the Michael Nyman of the electronic art music scene? :smiley:

I have no real problem with a TV show doing videos of Enya, but I agree it would be nifty in a way to hear more “serious” works. But instead of focusing on performers playing pieces that are a hundred or more years old, I’d love to see a renewed interest in the works of modern composers.

The days of total serialism are over, so I think it’d be ok now for the audience to unplug their ears and hear what the musicmakers of today have going.