The latest mash-up for classical and pop

Posted on: July 17, 2013

In Sunday’s (7/13) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed writes, “The venerable German record label Deutsche Grammophon has just signed Schiller. No, not Friedrich Schiller, the poet and playwright whose ‘Ode to Joy’ is the text for the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (which has been recorded on DG by Karajan, Bernstein and many other major maestros). We’re talking the platinum-selling German electronica band Schiller, which is named after said Friedrich. Classical music mavens online are outraged. Bloggers, ever busy bees, buzz. But perhaps some of that platinum will underwrite expensive major projects from Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel, both of whom are DG artists. Letting pop pay the classical piper is a time-honored tradition. We can thank pop sales for helping Columbia to record Stravinsky conducting his nearly complete works in the 1960s. Nonesuch Records has operated admirably on this principle for years.… Nothing is more commonplace than the entwining of classical and pop these days.… At the Brooklyn Festival initiated by the Los Angeles Philharmonic earlier this year, young composers asserted that the world has indeed changed. They are comfortable in both musical worlds and don’t like the separate categories.” (See “Fast Forward” in the Summer issue of Symphony for a look at today’s classical recording industry.)

Posted July 17, 2013