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Classical Music (monthly): `Global Warming'
The nostalgic world of classical music, in which performers often use 200-year old instruments to play 400-year old compositions, is about to undergo a revolution. Not so much look back in languor, more Bach to the future. Yes, the Great Leap Forward is about to take place, thanks to a brave new world of the internet.
A move by a collection of leading artists will see an outfit known as Global Music Network playing an increasing part in our lives from now on. GMN is a revolutionary organisation which aims to provide performances, some live, worldwide over the net. In addition, it will offer conversations with artists plus an arts news and features service on screen.
The Initiative has been blessed by a unique agreement between GMN bosses and the Musicians’ Union. Former Royal Opera chief and RPO managing director Paul Findlay is one of the network’s founders. He says of the deal: “This is a clear example of the MU working for the future of its members. Global Music Network is the first truly broadcast station of the internet, offering wide-ranging concerts from all over he world, accessible live or through our archive. It has access to BBC archive material for its subscribers as well as deleted recordings from record companies.
‘Backed up by videos of artists talking about their work and life with full background material on both composers and musicians, GMN, with support from the MU, has achieved a unique position for the future.’
MU assistant general secretary John Smith is also very upbeat. ‘Technology has advanced so much that it was inevitable for CD quality material to be downloaded from the internet. We’re pleased that a number of British orchestras stand to benefit from this new and innovative way of distributing recorded music and we hope that the project is a great success for all, not least for our members.’
Already, names of leading musicians who will form the core of GMN’s ‘family of artists’ are beginning to emerge: people such as Valery Gergiev, Peter Donohoe, David Atherton, Tasmin Little, Paul Crossley, David Wilson-Johnson, Ann Murray and Peter Maxwell Davies.
For Little it is a tremendously exciting project. ‘I like the idea because it will operate rather like a library and people will be able to explore the far reaches of the repertoire and, maybe, experiment. They will be able to sample new of different music without paying £15 for a CD they may not want to listen to again.
‘It’s possible to take whatever music you want and there will be a massive amount available. For instance, someone might particularly like the way I play the Brahms D-minor sonata but prefer the way that, say, Viktoria Mullova plays the A-major sonata. So they can have both and it can literally be custom made.
‘When I give a recital I always try to talk to the audience about the music I’m playing and this will be very much a part of GMN: it’s important that we make the network very personal. I’m also interested in expanding everyone’s knowledge of the repertoire, including my own, bring pieces back that haven’t been heard for a long time or playing new music. After all, the repertoire of today is going to become compositional history of tomorrow.’ Little has already played host to a camera crew as more than three hours of interview were recorded for the network.
‘I talked about my favourite music, my ideas about competitions, what it’s like to be a performer, and how I started to perform. It will mean that people will be able to click on to a subject and have an interview with me about certain pieces and their backgrounds. For instance, Lars Anders Tomter and I gave the London premiere of Britten’s double concerto at the Proms in July – it would be great to have online material of us discussing and rehearsing this pretty unknown piece, how we prepared it and got the measure of it.
‘Archive material, such as interviews, will be unique, mind boggling and wonderful, I would love to see and hear Ginette Neveu, for instance, talking about her ideas for a piece. I can’t think of anything more wonderful because she died before I was born. I think that GMN will develop into comparisons between different artists’ interpretation and the way they play a particular piece. There is also a fantastic potential for teaching and master classes.’ Musicians are also excited about the truly global aspect of the network, says Little. ‘We’re not just talking about something that’s geared to a UK market. It will be truly international. American businessman Mike Lubin is in charge of getting the sponsorship and finances to set it up and fine tune it. David Atherton is also in San Diego and Hong Kong. The computer wizard is in Israel and there is an office in Britain.
‘It’s a fantastic idea and I’m amazed that no one’s thought of it before. The MU has been so cooperative about it and, indeed, everyone in the industry is very excited. I think people recognise that this is very much our future we’re talking about.’
|GMN.COM EXCLUSIVE DAILY WEBCAST SCHEDULE CLASSICAL MUSIC - JUNE 2000|
Global Music Network (www.gmn.com), offers, daily, the unique opportunity to experience the finest performances by leading musicians from around the globe, webcast exclusively on GMN.com. Read More
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Classical Music (monthly): `Global Warming'
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