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Welshsox
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Joined: Dec 13 2006 - 7:27pm
What if you never heard a recording

Someone mentioned in a thread that when most of the great classical music was composed the only way to hear it was to go see an orchestra.

This got me thinking as to how would we view music if we only ever heard a peice say once in our lifetime's, how would anyone decide what was popular ?

Does this mean that the reason certain peices like say Beethoven's 5th were deliberately written as that times pop music, was it made to be approachable and therefore commercial to fill concert halls ?

Alan

Jan Vigne
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Re: What if you never heard a recording

How much do you know about how composer's worked in, say, Mozart's time?

How much about Stravinsky's time and place?

Shakespeare's plays were not written for the elites of his time and they certainly weren't written just to be read and studied in an English Lit class. They were writen so they could be performed and, at that time, the audience was largely what was called the rabble who stood in an open pit while eating their lunch.

Elk
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Re: What if you never heard a recording


Quote:
Does this mean that the reason certain peices like say Beethoven's 5th were deliberately written as that times pop music, was it made to be approachable and therefore commercial to fill concert halls ?


Most classical music, especially opera, was written to please a then contemporary audience. A bad review could kill a composer's fortunes. A good review, or patronage by someone important, could pretty much guarantee commercial success.

There are some composers that wrote only for themselves or who refused to change their work based on commercial whims, but these are relatively uncommon.

The passage of time tends to filter out the good from the bad. However, there have been major mistakes by the listening public. For example, Bach was dismissed as old-fashioned and essentially forgotten for 100 years or so after his death. Then there was a Bach resurgence in the middle of the 19th century.

It's fascinating to contemplate making a qualitative judgment of a symphony based on a single hearing. It's hard enough to judge a single performance of a well-known work.

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