Why when the Brandenburg plays Australia should listen

February 1st, 2011

Open the ‘classical’ box you may be intrigued with what’s inside

Listen up young people and those not accustomed to attending live concerts of so called classical music.  Regular listeners constantly hear about the need to spread the classical music gospel to the ‘young and un-initiated’, but has this become something of a cliche and is everyone to busy to bother anyway – the answer should be a stern and passionate NO!

Even on the grounds of health and fitness – the buzz words of our times – we know for an absolute fact that listening to certain styles of classical music has astounding health benefits.  A minor amount of investigation on the web will bring almost unlimited information and personal testimony.

The so called Mozart Effect remains constantly intriguing.  The fascinating story of the French actor Gerard Depardieu is a marvelous example.  

And why don’t ‘we the people’ get more interactive with our orchestras in this Age of Interactivity?   Is it because ‘classical’ music is seen as stuffy and old hat?  How about then we  send our own suggestions to the country’s orchestras as to how we, the audience, would like to see and hear new features in concert evenings.  What about following a radical experiment tried in America where the audience was told that it could choose the encore by text messaging its preferences from a small list in the program. The audience deciding on the encore by text messaging?  Well, why on earth not?

We can enthusiastically pursue new ways.  Here’s where the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra  is such a shining light and pro active participant in spreading the good news about music.  The orchestra’s Artistic Director, Paul Dyer, does something breathtakingly simple, that is at the same time unbelievably uncommon.  Dyer talks to the audience!  Before and sometimes during a concert, Paul will explain certain aspects of the evening, drawing in the audience to enhance their experience of both the music and the instruments being played.

Why does it have to be written in stone that classical soloists, and conductors, almost never chat to the audience?  Of course one goes to see and hear the artists perform, that is paramount, but knowing their thoughts on the piece they are about to play or have just played would be a huge bonus.  Even a “hello” would be nice from some of the ‘giants’ of classical music!  I believe audiences everywhere would appreciate it.

So why don’t we use the upcoming season of the Brandenburg as a beacon for a new love affair between the young and the un-initiated and all that classical music has to offer. 

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has been speaking the language of extraordinary beauty on period instruments for 21 years.  The Brandenburg Orchestra says it can “speak to us in a language that will move us to tears, reveal the colours of the seasons, and make us feel alive and indulgent and spirit us to places we can only dream of”.

How do you know if you like classical music  or not if you don’t at least open the box –   MiSociety

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