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  Authorship?  red5 at 18:52 on 07 May 2006

I was just reading the news item on the site about Billy Joel's 'Piano Concerto'. Does anyone else feel that someone else re-working Joel's pieces, orchestrating them with a solo piano part and then calling it his piano concerto is stretching the truth ever so slightly? Why should Joel get any credit for the work aside from providing some material? The only reason I can see is to improve the work's commercial appeal and make executives richer! If I was to adapt some of Mozart's solo piano pieces and add an orchestral part would this be a new Mozart concerto? I think not, although it might make me quite rich, perhaps it's something to consider...

  Re: Authorship?  John Robertson at 09:07 on 08 May 2006

I do agree. It reminds me of Paul McCartney's various orchestral masterpieces. Here's a guy who has written some of the best songs of the 20th century which, who knows, may well be compared to Schubert songs in the years to come; and yet his idea of doing a piece of 'serious classical music' is to sing a bunch of tunes to someone and get them to orchestrate them nicely. So pretentious in the true meaning of the word.

  Re: Authorship?  red5 at 12:15 on 08 May 2006

And then McCartney get's his name on the list of Faber house composers alongside George Benjamin, Jonathan Harvey et. al.!

  Re: Authorship?  piargno at 12:54 on 12 May 2006

Honestly, Billy Joel was great back in his day, even though his stuff isn't anything that I go gaga over (not that I don't think he's good, I just listen to other things). But he, along with Paul McCartney and Joe Jackson (etc...) should never have wanted to "go classical" because, honestly, it's practically too late for them to know how to do so. And while some may argue that they are "popularizing" the art, I'm afraid that people listen to their music and like it for the sole purpose of not wanting to be disappointed by a familiar pop artist. Frankly, Billy Joel's solo piano pieces are atrocious, and the mere fact that his album cover was a Schirmer design bothered me. Am I alone in this??

At the same time, if they went into film scoring, I wouldn't mind so much. Tori Amos (with whom I'm in love) did a film score to Great Expectations that was wonderful, and Bjork did the music to Dancer In the Dark, which was incredibly beautiful. Although both of them, for me, really walk the line between pop and classical, and I think that's why I love them so much (have you heard Tori play the harpsichord? It's uncannily idiomatic and perfect! I suggest "Blood Roses") (have you heard Bjork's harp writing? It's beautiful mixed with her electronic sounds! I suggest "Aurora").

What other pop artists have tried to switch over? Alanis has a song for piano trio before she went sour with Under Rug Swept. It's called "Your Congratulations", and each part is simple, but the piece has such a synergy to it... so magical and beautiful. And the text... I don't even want to call them "lyrics" because this really is a classical work (that might not have been her intention). The text is great - one of my favorite lines "If I had've known my invisibility would not make a difference/I would have run around screaming proudly at the top of my voice." And even better is the way it's set.

  Re: Authorship?  red5 at 14:20 on 12 May 2006

I agree about Bjork and Dancer in the Dark, the soundtrack is fantastic, the film is too! Bjork has commented though that she could 'easily write avant-garde music' but she doesn't want to!!! Not sure I quite agree with that but hey!

The bass player from Radiohead (I forget his name) was (or may still be, Im not sure) given a huge load of funding to work with the BBC's concert orchestra and learn how to write for orchestra. Aside from a marketing gem, I'm not sure why he got it and not a more deserving, not quite so rich, composer didn't get the oppurtunity but that's life.

There's also Asian Dub Foundation's forthcoming 'opera' at English National Opera (based on the life of Fidel Castro) and the recent cringeworthy collaboration bewtween the BBC Concert Orchestra, Charles Hazelwood and the So Solid Crew - me felt dat one innit -nice!

  Re: Authorship?  piargno at 17:18 on 12 May 2006

The radiohead thing I can sort of see working quite nice. One of them made an arrangement of Paranoid Android for string quartet, which works pretty well. And then some guy made transcriptions of some of their works. They have that ear. Hopefully it'll be successful.

As far as Bjork... some of her stuff is already pretty avant garde. All of her last album (Medulla) is a perfect example. And one of her influences is Stockhausen, which makes me so happy! I have the sinking feeling that she's written some stuff already, but doesn't want to advertise it just yet. Or perhaps already is under a different name... Regardless, Bjork is a goddess.

  Re: Authorship?  red5 at 14:06 on 22 May 2006

They're at it again! Although I do admit that there's nothing wrong with Anthony Hopkins composing, us lowly - non celebrity - composers seem to be under siege. HELP! Give us a chance...! Did anyone happen to hear Hopkins' concert, was it any good?