Program description (1):
“All Shook Up,” “Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog” and much, much more — Pacific Symphony backs an internationally renowned tribute artist who will have you believing Elvis never left! Plus, your favorite Pops conductor — Richard Kaufman — presents patriotic favorites in honor of our country’s birthday. Then, the night sky explodes with spectacular fireworks to end a spectacular evening.
Program description (2):
In our annual great American extravaganza, we invite everyone’s favorite American pop duo to the party! Daryl Hall & John Oates, members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, join the orchestra for a night of their classic hits, plus spectacular fireworks and good old-fashioned American music to celebrate our country’s 235th birthday.
And so we ask …
I am disappointed that a traditional “light pops” concert will not be offered for 04JUL11.
I didn’t vote because I don’t think the two choices are appropriate. People who go to these concerts are not “normal” concertgoers. They are there for the celebration and the fireworks mainly. And, they are not classical music fans, or even light classical music fans. So this music is probably exactly what they want to hear.
So the people who put the program together probably did the right thing.
Does that make it an “awesome” concert?
So, I could have voted “not awesome,” but I interpret that as a criticism, and I don’t think the program deserves that.
Can I vote twice? A concert like that is double not-awesome.
Sorry, instead of “Does that make it an ‘awesome’ concert?” I meant to say:
“That does not make it an “awesome” concert.”
Bert’s point of view is certainly a fair one. However, I still have to come down on the “not awesome” side. Having pop artists perform a pop concert might be awesome. But having trained classical musicians playing a pop concert is definitely not awesome… not on the 4th of July or anytime of the year. Is it horrible? No. Should it never be done? No. Still, it’s just not awesome.
Absolutely agree with you on that. Not awesome.
I agree with MM – and I was invited to go to this concert by friends who are classical fans. Then I saw the ad for Elvis – oh no! Why Elvis? Why not Aaron Copeland? Why not Gershwin? A night of Americana can still be an auditory as well as visual treat.
I agree, Rosemary. I would have preferred a concert with Rhapsody in Blue, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Copelands Fanfare for the Common Man, etc.
But…and I will appear elitist when I say this…most people don’t give a rat’s ass about that music. They are happier with Elvis.
I voted “not awesome” because I felt compelled to choose one of the options, but think, just like Bert Bigelow (hi, Bert!), that the choices were not adequate. These concerts are for FUN, for people in a celebratory mood, and how wonderful that they can party at a concert, with fireworks, Maybe not MY cup of tea, but so what? In fact, I remember attending one of Pacific Symphony’s “Beatles” concerts one summer, and it was a blast!
Right, Pat…and hi to you! I agree completely.
We were regular churchgoers when I was a kid, but when we went on Easter and Christmas there were always a lot more people than usual in attendance. The priest would ask, “Where were all of you folks the rest of the year?”
Did he then go into some sort of song and dance that he thought would please them? No, as far as I could tell, he preached his regular sermon, and the Mass went on as usual.
July 4 is an opportunity to reach listeners that you can’t reach the rest of the year. Classical music can be fun. We don’t suggest that the orchestras perform Mahler symphonies, or dispense with the fireworks. But they have no business purveying pop schlock, imo.
How about some Rossini (“William Tell” overture), great classical pieces from film scores and Looney Tunes (“Ride of the Valkyries,” anyone?), the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th even? Add a hot young soloist playing a flashy concerto and there’s your show. Throw in the Star and Stripes with fireworks at the end.
Love the Looney Tunes idea . . . CKDH, Jr., has been discovering classic Looney Tunes and, in the process, “What’s Opera, Doc?,” “Rabbit of Seville,” and “Long Haired Hare” (Leopold!!).
Just to mix things up a bit, I vote for a concert that also includes:
– The final march in the Hindemith “Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes of Carl Maria von Weber” (which, BTW, has to be the longest title of any classical music piece I know)
– Newman’s “Conquest” from “The Captain of Castille” (great music, especially if you are USC fan/alum)
– “National Emblem” by E.E. Begley
– “Americans We” by Henry Fillmore
and, of course, all the standard Gershwin, Sousa, and John Williams music the brass section’s chops can stand.
CK…Oh how you have rung my bell! I played National Emblem and Americans We when I was a trombone/baritone player a thousand years ago! Thanks for reminding me. And of course Sousa…not just Stars and Stripes…he wrote a tone of other wonderful marches…how about El Capitan?
The George Washington Bicentennial March by Sousa — one of his best, and few know it.
Tim, gonna do a search for that march right now — I may have heard it but I don’t know it by name. You can never have too many good marches.
I’ve always liked “Manhattan Beach,” but you don’t hear at as much as the usual suspects.
To add a couple of other great marches by others, allow me to offer up two more of my favorites:
– “Bravura” by CE Duble
– “Aces of the Air” by Karl King
Yes, Tim, i agree completely. Very good suggestions.
Tim, I have a question re 4th of July concerts. Why don’t symphony orchestras in this country play a piece that, to me, is the ultimate tribute by an American composer to American music? That example would be the Symphony #2 by Charles Ives. Patriotic music lovers in the good ol’ USA never seem to mind hearing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture which utilizes musical examples portraying the brave Russians fighting a battle with the French for crying out loud!
Instead, how about The Ives 2nd, where during a fun 40 minutes, we hear Ives include such American tunes as “Turkey in the Straw”,”Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”, “Bringing In the Sheaves”,”Camptown Races”, “Long, Long Ago”, “America the Beautiful”, and “Can’t get ’em up in the morning” trumpet calls. As J. Peter Burkholder puts it, Ives ambition in Symphony No. 2 was “to create a symphony in the European Romantic tradition that is suffused with the character of American melody, wedding the two traditions in a single work. (Goggled that last sentence, sorry.) If nothing else, just play that last movement!!! Now that’s an symphony that American music lovers can really learn to LOVE. (May I suggest listening to Bernstein’s recording with the NY Phil, who performed the premiere finally in 1951, although it was composed in 1901-02!)
Ives 2 is a great selection for a summer concert, but a bit long for the Fourth.
Good suggestions, Gerry. But I fear that most of the people at these concerts would not appreciate Ives as much as you and I do.
Comments above are good and mine echo them. Tim, we both grew up on the Reader’s Digest Festival of Light Classics that had loads of fun, tuneful, energetic upbeat classical selections. Any in that collection as well as traditional American orchestral-band favorites including of course Sousa would be welcome on a program such as this. The orchestrations that will likely accompany the two shows planned above will offend the integrity of the medium – forgetful, diabetic orchestral syrup.
LA Phil’s July 2, 3 and 4 concerts will include Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band, Gould’s American Salute, and three Sousa marches (with fireworks), plus other patriotic tunes, AND Hall & Oates.
But to be clear, Bert Bigelow IS going to the concert and plans to be well fed and oiled before the music starts. After all, that is truly what it is all about. Oh, AND there will be decorations! Still, I would have preferred any of the above suggestions including some classic rock and/or jazz.
Spouses can sometimes be a pain in the ass.
That’s certainly what Mrs. CKDH says.
CK Dexter Haven – do you design boats? And why doesn’t your watch reflect the posting time of your comment?
Suzanne, I actually dabbled in it a little, but preferred things with wheels and wings instead. As for the watch: that’s not a bad idea . . .
March of the Liberty Bell.