Jenkins, Karl

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    #91
    Originally posted by smittims View Post
    he doesn't explain how so many 'difficult, dissonant' pieces have been widely performed and accepted.
    Nor consider the fact that of course choirs will enjoy/want to sing (and commission) music which is within their own capabilities, limited or extensive, to perform well. It's like books. More people buy, read and enjoy 'an easy read' than something which they have to grapple with. No need for either side to be defensive about their preferences.
    It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

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      #92
      Suffolkcoastal - I would be very interested in hearing your music. Is it available anywhere? And, what is your name?

      Best wishes, Ian

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        #93
        I only have MIDI playbacks of my music available as very little of it has been performed (that I'm aware of) if that's ok. I can PM you with the link to my facebook composer page..

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          #94
          Suffolkcoastal - please do.Thanks

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            #95
            Originally posted by french frank View Post

            Nor consider the fact that of course choirs will enjoy/want to sing (and commission) music which is within their own capabilities, limited or extensive, to perform well. It's like books. More people buy, read and enjoy 'an easy read' than something which they have to grapple with. No need for either side to be defensive about their preferences.
            It’s an interesting thing Choral singing esp at Chamber choir level. I’m a reasonably good pianist , another member of my family is a very good pianist and graduate musician . We can both sing pretty well . Two other family members sing in choral groups . I and the graduate musician think singing accurately , in tune in harmonised parts is a really difficult thing to do. I don’t think there is such a thing as a simple part work - even a bog standard hymn : let alone modern simple looking tonal works where voices divide all the time . And as for Palestrina…
            Last edited by Ein Heldenleben; 14-02-24, 18:32.

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              #96
              Originally posted by french frank View Post
              Yes, thanks for your thoughts, Ian. I thought I had misidentified you, but apparently not! Just been reading an article/interview with KJ. He does, of course, get commissions, if not (yet) from R3.To quote him:

              "I always wanted to be in music. Composing came later. I did O-level and A-level music, and then on to the University of Wales. But then clas­sical composition in those times meant producing difficult, dissonant music that would never be per­formed and never be accepted. It’s still the case to some degree and in certain areas of the classical world — it’s snobbish, I suppose. If you wrote music that reached out and touched people, it was frowned on.​
              I don’t see any point in being a composer if you don’t communicate with people. Some classical music is endorsed and cherished by critics and cultural bodies, but I’d rather be what I am, reaching people. I’m not inter­ested in writing music which is only ever performed once to a very few people, to lukewarm applause (“criti­cal acclaim” is the phrase), and never played again.​"
              Throughout history there has been this problem of what an artist wants/feels the need to produce, and what will be acceptable(financially, politically or whatever). For some, trying to reconcile that is difficult or impossible, others find a way through, some finding great success in the process. It continues to this day, and probably always will do - fashions, trends, financial/political clout.
              He has found a way to success and popular recognition on a significant scale, but that quote sounds like a chip on the shoulder or someone who still feels insecure.

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                #97
                Originally posted by oddoneout View Post


                He has found a way to success and popular recognition on a significant scale, but that quote sounds like a chip on the shoulder or someone who still feels insecure.
                Au contraire, I read that quote as someone who is perfectly comfortable with himself and what he produces. It may not please or delight everyone, but certainly brings a lot of pleasure to many.

                In Covid times I joined an online choir which "performed" a number of his pieces. KJ was integral to the Zoom rehearsals and came across as a sincere, genuine and most interesting man.

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                  #98
                  Originally posted by french frank View Post

                  Nor consider the fact that of course choirs will enjoy/want to sing (and commission) music which is within their own capabilities, limited or extensive, to perform well. It's like books. More people buy, read and enjoy 'an easy read' than something which they have to grapple with. No need for either side to be defensive about their preferences.
                  Absolutely.
                  Another factor which hasn't been mentioned I think is that of, to put it bluntly, bums on seats. It's not just a question of whether the vocal forces are willing and able to perform modern/specially commissioned, or unfamiliar or more challenging repertoire(which may or may not be "modern"), if ticket sales don't bring enough return. That's something the choir I sing with has to constantly bear in mind, particularly in recent years, and it can be frustrating, but there is only so much that can be done given geographic and demographic constraints!

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                    #99
                    Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post

                    Au contraire, I read that quote as someone who is perfectly comfortable with himself and what he produces.
                    He can afford to be comfortable with himself, and at least he's honest in saying he can't see the point in [I paraphrase] composing music that doesn't fit his view of what a composer should try to produce.

                    Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post
                    It may not please or delight everyone, but certainly brings a lot of pleasure to many.
                    Exactly. As do the novels of Barbara Cartland. Horses for courses. Probably just my masochistic tendencies that make me want to struggle a bit.
                    It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

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                      Originally posted by french frank View Post

                      He can afford to be comfortable with himself, and at least he's honest in saying he can't see the point in [I paraphrase] composing music that doesn't fit his view of what a composer should try to produce.



                      Exactly. As do the novels of Barbara Cartland. Horses for courses. Probably just my masochistic tendencies that make me want to struggle a bit.
                      Fair enough, FF, but I can assure you that I have no desire to read the novels of Barbara Cartland

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                        Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post

                        Fair enough, FF, but I can assure you that I have no desire to read the novels of Barbara Cartland
                        Far be it from my mind the thought thereof! I think our tastes and preferences are like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Disparate bits all stuck together to form the individual. At one extreme there are those who want everything to be 'dissonant and difficult' at the other those who want nothing but mind candy. Most people, I suppose are just balanced ...
                        It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

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                          Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post

                          Fair enough, FF, but I can assure you that I have no desire to read the novels of Barbara Cartland
                          I am now intrigued as to whether there is a significant contemporary readership for Dame Barbara's oeuvre....

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                            Originally posted by Maclintick View Post

                            I am now intrigued as to whether there is a significant contemporary readership for Dame Barbara's oeuvre....
                            Don't know how 'significant' the readership is but Barbara Cartland Ebooks ltd​ is still churning them out. The point I was making was that BC has/had an appreciative audience, as has KJ. But I don't think her numerous radio appearances ever included one on the Third Programme/Radio 3
                            It isn't given us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post

                              Fair enough, FF, but I can assure you that I have no desire to read the novels of Barbara Cartland
                              My first job was in the local library, and one of the services they provided was boxes of books on loan to care homes and the like. Barbara Cartland would take up plenty of space, the equivalent for the male readers being cowboy novels - but not nearly as much space needed as the number of male readers was much lower. The likes of EM Delafield and Catherine Cookson was the next step up from BC with sci-fi the cowboy upgrade.
                              It was an interesting and sometimes quite amusing part of the job, and certainly better than shelving or trying to sort out the hundreds of Patels who all apparently lived in the same few houses and had all the Fortran and Cobol manuals on effectively permanent loan.

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                                Originally posted by Old Grumpy View Post

                                Au contraire, I read that quote as someone who is perfectly comfortable with himself and what he produces. It may not please or delight everyone, but certainly brings a lot of pleasure to many.

                                In Covid times I joined an online choir which "performed" a number of his pieces. KJ was integral to the Zoom rehearsals and came across as a sincere, genuine and most interesting man.
                                I've heard similar comments from friends and acquaintances (Radio 3 'regulars') about Andre Rieu. A compilation of clips from various concerts happened to be showing on the TV in the care home, and I was struck by both the involvement and the range of ages of the audiences at the various concerts and the happiness on the faces of those in the residents' lounge, some of whom I'd never seen sing before. Given the state of the the UK and the world in general, I would venture to suggest that we should be grateful to any composers or performers who spread a little happiness (great title for a song, that).

                                Regarding Karl Jenkins, Sarah Walker has reported a favourable reaction from many listeners to the Benedictus from The Armed Man. I don't know whether these listeners were all pre-existing admirers of KJ's works, but I suppose it's possible that some may have discovered them thanks to CotW. Whether or not he was 'entitled' to have his compositions featured in a week of programmes is open to discussion, but it may be worth pointing out that some months ago the chosen subject was a film composer (Rachel Portman?) whose stature is, at least to judge from what I heard, not on a par with that of Karl Jenkins, and it so happens that apparently next Sunday is going to be Cinema Day On Radio 3, to tie in with the Oscars. Another straw in the wind indicating a shift in the 'feel' of Radio 3?

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