Writings about Music
On Being Asked To Listen To The Berlin Philharmonic
It puzzled me being asked to listen to the Berlin Philharmonic as if this was the most relevant form of classical music today. From a native New Yorker living in Los Angeles, the Berlin Philharmonic seems, respectfully, a vestige of past Europe, with the Meruvina better reflecting our time and place, including medium, syntax, form, and expression.
Sometimes I feel as if orchestras and the music they represent are as engrained and misguided as fossil fuels. Of course, its essential to include the past with positive things like orchestras and museums, but not at the cost of excluding or marginalizing evolutionary developments in the arts. It seems like a world gone wrong when conductors and first chair players are paid millions together with ticket prices most cannot afford.
This writing is dedicated to the memory of Bob Longhi, whose birthday, March 19, is today. Bob's favorite composition of mine, among those he actually heard, was Dark Yellow, inspired by an entrancing Giorgio de Chirico canvas encountered one glorious summer at the MET in Manhattan.
- Michael Robinson, March 2020, Los Angeles
© 2020 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer (musicologist).