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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Reputations and Reviews

Reputations are interesting things even a newby listener (like me) to classical music knows that Johan Sebastian Bach is regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest composers of all time. But it's interesting to note that after his death he went out of favour and was "rehabilitated" a century later by Felix Mendelsohn.

Vivaldi, he of the four season's, fame was out of favour even longer although you wouldn't know it by the number of new releases of Vivaldi music.

It does make you wonder what else is out there. For instance Radio 3 played a violin sonata by Jean-Fery Rebel this morning which was very pleasant but he is someone I've never heard of. So I guess instead of buying the same old same old we ought look beyond the "core repetoire" and given you can listen to excerpts on line its easier to do than it ever has been.

Reviews are equally interesting in Classical Music they tend to ignore the music and concentrate on the sound recording quality and the performance. Just because you like X's recording of Beethoven you may not like there Shostakovich if you don't happen to like Shostakovich! Classic FM wrote a rave review of Nicola Bennedeti's new album Italia, in which she traces her Italian roots (I find that amusing!) by looking at baroque music like Vivaldi (but laudably including Tartini, Veracini), whereas Andy Gill in the Independent was critical of the "crass cover shot of a Vespa" and gave it 3 stars (I ought to add I'm struggling to see how it is crass!!).

Whose right? Dunno but it makes you wonder if people are listening to the same piece or are judging by reputation.

My own attempt to move beyond Vivaldi saw me by some albums by Tartini, Locatelli and Corelli from hyperion.


oldcrow61 said...

Yep, it does make one wonder. Would make an interesting debate.

Tricia said...

I think we become conditioned by th traditional composers because that are..... traditional. Seems it pays to break free... ;)