The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction MOBI ↠ The

The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction MOBI ↠ The Dr Kern Holoman s very short introduction to the symphony orchestra opens a multi faceted and insightful window on one of the most mysterious institutions to have graced the modern era Admittedly the book has been written with a fairly strong North American bias but that doesn t detract from its value for European readers Many of the challenges befalling contemporary orchestras are shared the world over The book falls into ten chapters Philharmonia the history of the orchestra as an instit Dr Kern Holoman s very short introduction to the symphony orchestra opens a multi faceted and insightful window on one of the most mysterious institutions to have graced the modern era Admittedly the book has been written with a fairly strong North American bias but that doesn t detract from its value for European readers Many of the challenges befalling contemporary orchestras are shared the world over The book falls into ten chapters Philharmonia the history of the orchestra as an institution Musicians financial reward, unionization, gender and race Venue the concert hall as fixture of the classical music universe Money pay, the role of agents, star soloists and conductors, the economics of orchestra management Conductors history, role, practice Repertoire programming, trends, commissions, HIP Commentary music criticism and its demise, outreach and education Recordings broadcasting and recording, the recording industry and its collapse, new technology Peace connections between music and politics, WWII, Cold War, Palestine Israel, pacifism Civics reinventing the philharmonic ideal.Obviously, the motto theme woven into Holoman s discussion is a reflection on the future of the symphony orchestra The great symphonic boom fizzled in the 1980s under pressure of economic, demographic and cultural drivers Orchestras need to reinvent themselves to justify their large operating budgets to philanthropic and governmental grant givers It is also clear from this book that there is no silver bullet The philharmonic ideal that joins musicians, financial backers and listeners in an alliance that reflects civic pride in local talent and timeless musical heritage will have to be rediscovered and re embodied There have been few genuine success stories in recent times The Los Angeles Philharmonic under the leadership of Deborah Borda is one notable example of a successful rebirth of an orchestra According to the visionary conductor Ivan Fischer, time is running out The 100 strong, heavily institutionalized orchestra has perhaps two or three decades to live By then it will either have shrunk to a very small niche with a museum like mission of conserving heritage, or it will have reinvented itself as a hub of civic life Somehow OUP published hundreds of titles in the Very Short Introduction series without my having noticed until now You want a book like this to be short, sure, but also pleasant to read, informative, and subtly opinionated This was all of those. This should have been titled The Orchestra, chiefly in America It s not very bad, it s just unbalanced Surprisingly, United States are not the centre of the world in classical music. I had meant to read Leonard Bernstein s wonderful Childrens Concerts book as my work by a musician, but realized too late that my preferred method of playing and listening along would taketime than I had left in the year Enter this book, which I read on NYE I hadn t expected much from it other than brevity, but was pleasantly surprised when I got a smattering of different histories of the orchestra, all competently written Holoman covers the economic, artistic, cultural, musical, archi I had meant to read Leonard Bernstein s wonderful Childrens Concerts book as my work by a musician, but realized too late that my preferred method of playing and listening along would taketime than I had left in the year Enter this book, which I read on NYE I hadn t expected much from it other than brevity, but was pleasantly surprised when I got a smattering of different histories of the orchestra, all competently written Holoman covers the economic, artistic, cultural, musical, architectural and political aspects of these organizations in a really eye opening way I especially enjoyed how he uses cross border performances pre WW1 and in the Cold War to explore and combat the notion that shared arts cultures can actually lead to peace rather than mere temporary goodwill Among the various interesting things I have learnt over the last few days reading this, is very little about any actual music, disappointingly On the other hand, it is reasonably clear and easy to read, at least by the usual dire standards of art music.Chapter 1 PhilharmoniaChapter 2 MusiciansChapter 3 VenueChapter 4 MoneyChapter 5 ConductorsChapter 6 RepertoireChapter 7 CommentaryChapter 8 RecordingsChapter 9 PeaceConclusion Civics In this Very Short Introduction, D Kern Holoman considers the structure, roots, and day to day functioning of the modern philharmonic society He explores topics ranging from the life of a musician in a modern orchestra, the recent wave of new hall construction from Berlin to Birmingham, threats of bankruptcies and strikes, and the eyebrow raising salaries of conductors and general managers At the heart of the book lies a troubling pair of questions Can such a seemingly anachronistic organization long survive Does the symphony matter in contemporary culture Holoman responds to both with a resounding yes He shows that the orchestra remains a potent political and social force, a cultural diplomat par excellence It has adapted well to the digital revolution, and it continues to be seen as an essential element of civic pride In a time of upheaval in how classical music is created, heard, distributed, and evaluated, the orchestra has managed to retain its historic role as a meeting place of intellectual currents, an ongoing forum for public enlightenment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *