Sunday, 7 October 2012

Classic 100 Music of France - Day One

Well the first day of the countdown is finished and it's been quite a day. Seventeen pieces down, three operas, one choral work and the rest orchestral or instrumental. Berlioz has the early lead with Ravel and Franck close behind but obviously very early days for that.

Several discoveries for me, including I must confess Franck's Symphonic Variations which were very good. The best one though was a little Concertino for Flute by Cecile Chaminade. I said I hadn't been very thorough looking for women on the list and I totally missed Cecile, very glad she's now been brought to my attention.

What I find interesting, or disturbing, about these countdowns are people's reactions. For one thing I think it quite strange how often the presenters have to point out the pieces were voted for by listeners and it's not them picking the stuff. And I appreciate the passion people feel for their favourites and the disappointment when something they like doesn't get higher - my only vote to make it so far is Berlioz's Roman Carnival at 86, to me it's a definite higher listing. But there are some people out there who turn their comments on other listeners by voicing utter disgust that certain pieces have made it.

Last year it was particularly bad, with some implying that the main audience was clearly uneducated and/or utterly without taste or refinement because they didn't vote for more obscure composers. Music that is difficult to get into, while it has its place, is always going to struggle in popular countdowns. I just wish everyone could love the music and appreciate that they won't agree with it all and accept that their tastes may not be mainstream but that doesn't mean the mainstream is wrong.

Anyway, that is my rant. Beyond that the Classic 100 is great fun so far and I fully expect more discoveries and enjoyment along the way.

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