Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Most of it is said to be historic debt. But it does not bode well for EMI, now under Warner ownership.
I think the recording companies are going to continue their downward slide; a shame.
Norman, least we all forget. Classical music (as WE understand it!) worldwide only survives due to interventionist financial policies on the part of government or by the philanthropic support of individuals and/or corporations. Take that away and we are left with Andre Rieu!
Sounds like you would Rieu the day!
But don’t some say that some of what we now regard as inviolable classical purity was the kitsch, or at least the populist music, of the day?
What did they regard as inviolable classical music back then? If we go back far enough in time, do we find this?
I am afraid the image is not historically accurate – it depicts a brass instrument. But they didn’t that’ve brass in the Stone Age. Which is why it’s called the Stone Age…
Maybe this was the very beginning of the Bronze age.
And this proves that art is a catalyst for life. First invent music instruments and later copper wires for electricity.
Anyway according to the Creationists all this existed simultaneously.
Or what looks like copper was actually bone. Bone, Thugs n Harmony in their pre-historic line-up.
Yeees. What you might call a note for music lovers (see also Spike Milligan on this in The World of the Beachcomber: “and now, a note for music lovers…”. Can’t see it out there, but I know it well)
It is also not boding well that Warner had already shelved its activities in classical music. But maybe it saw the EMI current and back-catalogue as a way to revive its former status in the field, when it had the Teldec and Erato imprints.
Unless it was mainly interested in Coldplay, Katy Perry and David Guetta.
A relief may be that if EMI had stayed under the umbrella of Universal, the back catalogues of EMI, Decca, Philips and DG might have have to go through one narrow channel. Already such large parts of the Decca en Philips back-catalogue are not available anymore.
It would be interesting to see how Warner’s developments pan out. I sense they may be more interested in the pop acts on the Parlophone imprint and they might hardly be interested in classical recordings and back catalogue.
I dunno – in my darker moments I am beginning to think that what we call ‘classical music’ simply amounts to 200 year-old pieces played on period instruments. Can the symphony orchestra make the leap into an electronic 21st century where the preferred platform for distribution is the ear bud and Internet instead of the concert hall?
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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