A classical music blog by music critic Tim Mangan
Review: John Williams sparkles with the Pacific Symphony. Orange County Register, Feb. 7, 2014.
classical music, reviews
film music, John Williams, Pacific Symphony
February 18, 2014
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I notice the 2014 season of the Los Angeles Philharmonic begins with a concert devoted to John Williams, who’s a major supporter of the LAP. It’s a shame that other composers also closely associated with the Phil, in particular John Adams or the people whose music is part of the Green Umbrella series, can’t start meandering away — just a bit — from the bias that in order for a composition to be sophisticated, erudite and hip, it must be rather inscrutable and somber. Or sort of like the score of a movie where the scene involves a character being stalked, murdered, beaten, chased or who’s leading a life of quiet desperation and misery.
If Williams pieces tend to be overly familiar and, yes, just a wee bit — I guess the phrase would be — “middle-brow,” then the opposite extreme is true of the works of so many other modern-day composers. A mid-point between the two would be nice. However, I suspect that ultimately John Williams will be the one laughing all the way to bank, and whose pieces long outlive him, while the fame (and virtually all the works) of composers like Mr. Adams in the long run will be collecting dust on shelves.
Even though i am sure that John Adams is nowhere near starving, we must not measure quality of music or any other art by the financial success of the creators. We should also be extremely careful when making predictions about longevity of composers’ creative output. The reason for it is clearly shown in “Lexicon of Musical Invective” by Nicolas Slonimsky.
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