Author Topic: Andre Previn dead  (Read 1116 times)

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2019, 01:36:13 PM »
And yet Rattle and the orchestra were not noticeable to most people?  We don't do classical music for people well in this country. Which i think was one of Previn's interests.
Yes that's right - it was Atkinson's sketch with the orchestra not really more noticeable and involved as the orchestra in the M&W sketch.

On the broader point, not sure we don't do classical music well in the UK - but it is niche and as with all niche interests they can seem a bit hidden to the broader public. In fact I think music generally is becoming much more complex from a media perspective and it isn't so easy to pick out the popular vs the niche any more. Once upon a time most of us received our music via a few well trodden media outlets (radio plus a few tv shows and magazines) and we'd then perhaps buy the record. Now, of course, most young people have pretty well the whole music spectrum at their fingertips via streaming services.

So my 17 year old thinks nothing of drifting between listening to hard core rap/grime one moment, some old Coltrain/Davis the next and then onto some choral music. It's just the way he works, as do his friends.

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2019, 03:04:11 PM »
I would suggest that the whole discussion here is an illustration of us not doing classical music well. Previn wanted to make it popular and was excoriated for that. In part that was the genius of the sketch - we haven't moved beyond it imo.

Sebastian Toe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6384
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2019, 03:22:57 PM »
I would suggest that the whole discussion here is an illustration of us not doing classical music well. Previn wanted to make it popular and was excoriated for that. In part that was the genius of the sketch - we haven't moved beyond it imo.
Rainer Hersch has some good funny live orchestral pieces IMO.
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.'
Albert Einstein

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2019, 04:11:06 PM »
Rainer Hersch has some good funny live orchestral pieces IMO.
Luvverly luvverly Rainer is recognized by what % of the UK?

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2019, 04:39:36 PM »
I would suggest that the whole discussion here is an illustration of us not doing classical music well. Previn wanted to make it popular and was excoriated for that.
I'm not sure anyone here certainly is excoriating Previn for his desire to popularise classical music, including his decision to appear on M&W. Certainly not me - I think it was a great opportunity, a smart move on his part to agree to do it and it is a great sketch. My point is that we shouldn't define his career by that performance and that is most definitely isn't the high point of his career (although it might arguably be the high point of M&W's careers).

In part that was the genius of the sketch -
In a weird way that so many in the UK still see Previn defined by that sketch demonstrates, sadly, that he actually failed in his attempt to popularise classical music. If people see that sketch as the high point of his career then all he achieved was to make himself very well known in the UK, rather than to make classical music more accessible and well known.

Actually, in my view, Music Night was much more faithful to the vision of popularising classical music and more pioneering - the notion of a conductor and an orchestra engaging directly with an audience on prime time tv and focussing on serious classic music in a serious (albeit unstuffy manner), was revolutionary. And for that we need to thank Previn's fellow traveller on that vision, John Culshaw. And he deserves thanks too for being visionary enough to agree to ask Previn on Ammond's behalf to do M&W and to be the person who gained his approval. As custodian of Previn's Music Night contract he'd have been perfectly within his rights to say 'over my dead body - I'm protecting the image of my star and my programme, no way is he going to made to look stupid on a comedy sketch'. But he didn't.

Sadly Culshaw died earlier and younger than even Eric Morecambe.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 05:08:46 PM by ProfessorDavey »

Sebastian Toe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6384
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #80 on: March 07, 2019, 04:46:54 PM »
Luvverly luvverly Rainer is recognized by what % of the UK?
I don't know.
What is the answer?
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.'
Albert Einstein

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2019, 05:00:17 PM »
I don't know.
What is the answer?
Genuine question - Morecambe and Wise are recognised by what % of the UK population?

They were without doubt huge stars in the late 60s and 70s and people old enough to have seen them then remember them implicitly. But I don't think they have worn well - I don't see new generations of people, too young to have seen them then, coming to them fresh years later and loving them, unlike some artists.

So I suspect they have a weird cliff edge of recognition:

Over 50 - huge recognition factor
Under 40 - really low recognition factor

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2019, 05:23:15 PM »
I'm not sure anyone here certainly is excoriating Previn for his desire to popularise classical music, including his decision to appear on M&W. Certainly not me
I didn't say anyone on here had. Read what was written.

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2019, 05:25:03 PM »
Genuine question - Morecambe and Wise are recognised by what % of the UK population?

They were without doubt huge stars in the late 60s and 70s and people old enough to have seen them then remember them implicitly. But I don't think they have worn well - I don't see new generations of people, too young to have seen them then, coming to them fresh years later and loving them, unlike some artists.

So I suspect they have a weird cliff edge of recognition:

Over 50 - huge recognition factor
Under 40 - really low recognition factor
Try Mike Yarwood for a drop.

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #84 on: March 07, 2019, 05:27:27 PM »
I don't know.
What is the answer?
The only way to settle this  is...

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #85 on: March 07, 2019, 05:27:54 PM »
I didn't say anyone on here had. Read what was written.
Fair enough - just clarifying.

Who is it you were referring to NS - I wasn't only 5 when the 1971 Xmas special came out so I'm too young to remember, but in the intervening years I struggling to think of anyone criticising Previn for going on M&W, nor for producing Music Night.

jeremyp

  • Admin Support
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23482
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #86 on: March 07, 2019, 07:06:43 PM »
I cannot think that anything similar would happen today.
Anything similar to what?
This post and all of JeremyP's posts words certified 100% divinely inspired* -- signed God.
*Platinum infallibility package, terms and conditions may apply

jeremyp

  • Admin Support
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23482
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #87 on: March 07, 2019, 07:08:29 PM »
Matter of opinion, but I cannot agree with you.

The sketch was a high point of M&W's career - it was not a high point of Previn's career.

Just my opinion.

I think that's a kind of snobbery. Your implication is that classical music is somehow better than great comedy.
This post and all of JeremyP's posts words certified 100% divinely inspired* -- signed God.
*Platinum infallibility package, terms and conditions may apply

jeremyp

  • Admin Support
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23482
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #88 on: March 07, 2019, 07:11:18 PM »
I would suggest that the whole discussion here is an illustration of us not doing classical music well. Previn wanted to make it popular and was excoriated for that. In part that was the genius of the sketch - we haven't moved beyond it imo.
Who excoriated Previn's attempts to make classical music available to the masses?
This post and all of JeremyP's posts words certified 100% divinely inspired* -- signed God.
*Platinum infallibility package, terms and conditions may apply

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #89 on: March 07, 2019, 07:25:16 PM »
Who excoriated Previn's attempts to make classical music available to the masses?
Here  No one. Externally his music night was challenged in my view.

Nearly Sane

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31649
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2019, 07:29:28 PM »
Fair enough - just clarifying.

Who is it you were referring to NS - I wasn't only 5 when the 1971 Xmas special came out so I'm too young to remember, but in the intervening years I struggling to think of anyone criticising Previn for going on M&W, nor for producing Music Night.
What relevance is that to  your strawman?

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #91 on: March 08, 2019, 07:54:39 AM »
Externally his music night was challenged in my view.
By whom NS - I'm not aware of anyone criticising Previn for Music Night. Albeit I was a child when Music Night was being broadcast so I may not have been aware of this criticism, but as you've made the assertion I assume you have some evidence to back it up, which I'd be interested to hear.

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #92 on: March 08, 2019, 08:03:51 AM »
I think that's a kind of snobbery. Your implication is that classical music is somehow better than great comedy.
Rubbish - my implication is that the high point of the career of a classical musician will necessarily be to do with his achievements in the field of classical music, not in the field of comedy.

Likewise the  high point of the career of a comedian or comic actor will necessarily be to do with his achievements in the field of comedy or comic acting, not in the field of classical music (or sports or pipe smoking etc, etc).

That isn't implying one field is 'better' than another - there is no snobbery.

In a manner your argument that the M&W sketch is the high point of Previn's career is an argument from popularity - that the most important thing is necessarily the most popular. Alternatively it could be an argument from ignorance - that as you don't really have vision of the rest of Previn's career and achievements with enough understanding to judge their importance you simply opt for the one thing about him you know really well. Neither are good arguments.

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #93 on: March 08, 2019, 08:43:07 AM »
What relevance is that to  your strawman?
What straw man? All I did was to ask you who excoriated Previn for trying to make classical music popular. You've clarified that you didn't mean anyone on this MB - thanks for that, but failed to tell me (nor Jeremy) who you mean.

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #94 on: March 08, 2019, 08:46:46 AM »
Try Mike Yarwood for a drop.
I'm no fan of Mike Yarwood, but to be fair to him it is almost impossible for his type of comedy to translate to future generations, as it involved impressions of people who were famous and in the news at the time.

I can see how the Monty Python parrot sketch or the M&W breakfast sketch are perfectly intelligible to a current 17 year old (regardless of whether they find them funny). But Mike Yarwood doing an impression of Eddie Waring ?!?! it is totally bewildering unless you know who Eddie Waring is.

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #95 on: March 08, 2019, 02:29:27 PM »
Last night was choir night for me so it's time to share another second, third or n-th hand Andre Previn story.

As you might imagine our musical director told us that the last 7 days since we last saw him have been wall-to-wall Andre Previn stories in his professional music world, as many of the people he sees had worked with him and knew him well over many years.

Anyhow this story relates to a time when Previn had a part time teaching position (I think at Princeton) and was in discussion with a colleague the best way to get the most out of students and their personal experiences when they were younger.

Previn told him how at the age of 16 he was taught by Ernst Toch (check him out on wiki). Toch was about 60 at the time but he and Previn had similar heritage - Toch being an Austrian Jew who'd fled to the USA during the Nazi period and also ended up in California. Toch was a pretty big cheese at the time, and most notably was a major figure in Hollywood producing film music, something Previn was trying to break into at the time. So Toch would have been important and influential to Previn.

Anyhow Toch spent an hour with Previn making him play Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc without a word of comment. At the end of this marathon session Toch stood up and announced to Previn - 'I have listened to you and I have concluded that you are completely without talent'.

Now Previn and his colleague agreed this to be an appalling way to engage with a student  - how you should always be positive and encouraging, particularly to a 16 year old.

Previn's colleague returned to the story and said to Previn 'you must have been devastated to have been told you were talentless, particularly by someone like Toch. I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd been speechless - was there anything you could think of to say to him'.

'Oh yes' replied Previn 'I simply told him to fuck off!!'
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 03:53:39 PM by ProfessorDavey »

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #96 on: March 14, 2019, 03:54:04 PM »
Last night was choir night for me so it's time to share another second, third or n-th hand Andre Previn story.

As you might imagine our musical director told us that the last 7 days since we last saw him have been wall-to-wall Andre Previn stories in his professional music world, as many of the people he sees had worked with him and knew him well over many years.

Anyhow this story relates to a time when Previn had a part time teaching position (I think at Princeton) and was in discussion with a colleague the best way to get the most out of students and their personal experiences when they were younger.

Previn told him how at the age of 16 he was taught by Ernst Toch (check him out on wiki). Toch was about 60 at the time but he and Previn had similar heritage - Toch being an Austrian Jew who'd fled to the USA during the Nazi period and also ended up in California. Toch was a pretty big cheese at the time, and most notably was a major figure in Hollywood producing film music, something Previn was trying to break into at the time. So Toch would have been important and influential to Previn.

Anyhow Toch spent an hour with Previn making him play Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc without a word of comment. At the end of this marathon session Toch stood up and announced to Previn - 'I have listened to you and I have concluded that you are completely without talent'.

Now Previn and his colleague agreed this to be an appalling way to engage with a student  - how you should always be positive and encouraging, particularly to a 16 year old.

Previn's colleague returned to the story and said to Previn 'you must have been devastated to have been told you were talentless, particularly by someone like Toch. I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd been speechless - was there anything you could think of to say to him'.

'Oh yes' replied Previn 'I simply told him to fuck off!!'
OK - not entirely accurate but pretty close:

https://vimeo.com/140204929?fbclid=IwAR1lhsRihBTDksSt7ZMcdY8-0JKq9KuuOIMzQPumyg9FwaNeMn7kczrV8yA

Dicky Underpants

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3483
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #97 on: March 14, 2019, 04:19:31 PM »

Previn's colleague returned to the story and said to Previn 'you must have been devastated to have been told you were talentless, particularly by someone like Toch. I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd been speechless - was there anything you could think of to say to him'.

'Oh yes' replied Previn 'I simply told him to fuck off!!'

Nice story. It may be of significance that Toch is still best known to the world by (and perhaps only by) the spoken Geographical Fugue. (Quite clever, but only marginally better than Rap in my opinion - which rates its musical value at pretty close to zero)

ProfessorDavey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10529
Re: Andre Previn dead
« Reply #98 on: March 15, 2019, 07:39:19 AM »
Nice story. It may be of significance that Toch is still best known to the world by (and perhaps only by) the spoken Geographical Fugue. (Quite clever, but only marginally better than Rap in my opinion - which rates its musical value at pretty close to zero)
Indeed - although I gather Toch didn't think it was consequential himself.

A bit of a bizarre piece in my opinion. I'm not a fan of rap but I can see it's merits more than the Geographical Fugue, which is apparently almost the same in its original German and its English translation. I've only heard the English where Trinidad seems rather prominent and is, I gather, one of the place names that is different in the German.