01. June 2007 · Comments Off on “Those” Concerts · Categories: imported, Ramble

I’ve played a ton of Pops concerts. Some I liked, some were a total blast to play, some were complete bombs. Mancini was a joy; he knew how to write for an orchestra. Peter Nero was fun (besides, he called me a gazelle way back when I was younger and thinner). Bobby McFerrin can come back any old day. But many, which will go unnamed, were horrendously embarrassing, and trying to play Beatles’ tunes, poorly arranged, with a full symphony orchestra (and no Beatles in sight), just kind of stinks. Big time. We’d occasionally get some big singer come in and play their tunes with them, and so often the orchestration was just lame.

It seems to me, though, that we’ve all tossed Pops concerts out the window. Sort of. Really, they’ve just been re-named; they are now calling them “crossover concerts”. Heh. I think “Pops” appeals to older folks, who have a fondness for Fiedler and the like, so I suppose crossover is something new to try.

In any case, I just read this: With a few prominent exceptions, much of the orchestra and certainly the entire string section seemed completely superfluous.

SO true.


I’m tired of certain words. “Relevant” and “crossover” are at the top of my list.

Truly, a good Pop/Crossover concert is fine and dandy with me. Just don’t give me those stupid orchestrations. And be sure that the orchestra actually matters. (I’ve played for a couple or rock stars and they do the same thing; we are there to be seen, not heard, as if somehow having classical musicians on stage adds something like … hmmm … dare I say this? … class.)

Okay. Ramble over and out. Time to eat and get ready for a concert. I was thinking of going to hear the Irene Dalis Vocal Competition tonight once I found out our son wasn’t in tonight’s theatre production, but I believe SCU Orchestra calls. (Dvorak New World, among other things, and two of my students will be playing. Yay Caroline & Rebecca!)

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