I am going to ask you to read this item very quickly and then banish it from memory, as many at Deutsche Grammophon are presently doing with a very large glass in hand.
The yellow label, benchmark for the classical record industry, yesterday inked a contract with Karl Jenkins, a former advertising jingle composer who has become phenomenally popular with pastiche choral pieces on worthy themes – world peace, motherhood, apple pie, that sort of thing.
Jenkins is a para-classical hit composer. His music is easy on the ear, disposable, forgettable, ephemeral. The news of his signing to DG was released on Classic FM, a radio network that performs the equivalent of anaesthesia by constantly exhorting its listeners to relax.
Karl Jenkins was made for Classic FM. He is anathema to the standards that DG stands for.
I could name 20 living composers who would merit a contract with DG and whose work would add lustre to the label. It might even make money.
Jenkins will certainly make money, but his undemanding music will lower the label’s credibility at the high table of serious music. Mistake, bad mistake. Now try to forget you have read this. I don’t want to wreck your weekend.
photo: Classic FM