08/02/2007 12:49 PM
Classical Music Mix-Up
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Borrowing musical motifs from classical compositions is becoming
increasingly trendy for current composers. Just ask Alicia Keys
whose album 'Songs in A minor' begins with Beethoven's Moonlight
Sonata. But does classical music have a place in the hands of 21st
century pop composers?
Bass player Alex James from Britpop band Blur thinks so. He is hosting
Classic FM's three-part series When Classic Meets Pop, beginning
Classically inspired songs such as The Farm's 'Altogether Now', Barry
Manilow's 'Could It Be Magic', and Eric Carmen's 'All By Myself' will feature
as Alex discusses how classical music has influenced pop.
"Why would I want to listen to Hard-fi piffling around when there is
Rossini?" says Alex. "Bring me French horns, Bring me a choir. And some
cannons, maybe for the end."
Referencing, and in a sense honouring, past artists within modern works is a noted element in the evolution
of an art form but just how far can modern composers go before 'borrowing' from past works becomes merely
a modern form of plagiarism? How far is too far?
Young composer Gabriel Prokofiev, the great grandson of the great Sergei
Prokofiev, may have the solution.
His new piece 'Concerto For Turntables and Orchestra' features DJ Yoda as
the soloist, supported by the 40-piece Heritage Orchestra - half the size of an
average full 80-piece orchestra. Yoda takes samples from the
orchestral instruments during the piece, keeping the overall sound organic,
unified and integrated.
Whilst some rhythmic and pitch guidelines are given on the