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My 30 sec thoughts on the first half of Prom 25

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Peter Gregson Peter Gregson | 21:14 UK Time, Monday, 3 August 2009


A few words about the Michael Jarrell piece that I have just heard in the first half of Prom 25. It would be interesting to compare the performance in the Royal Albert Hall to the recording for Radio 3. Listen to my thoughts:



  • Comment number 1.

    I feel quite strongly that to call Michael Jarrell's piece 'music' is to mislabel it. It had little harmony or any of the other attributes that appeal to the brain and stir an emotional response. I can't see the appeal except to people who get satisfaction out of disentangling the threads or who like the individual short phrases.
    In my view, composers who persist in writing this sort of piece are ignoring one of the key skills of their art: appealing to human emotion. It's like a novelist scattering words over each page, with almost no structure and no storyline, and calling the result a novel.
    I think that putting such pieces into a Prom puts the majority of people off modern music and may also put them off going to Proms in the future.
    Hopefully the lukewarm, barely polite applause at the end (in contrast to the reception given to the other pieces) will have given the BBC food for thought about the place for these discordant modern pieces in mainstream Proms.


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