Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh, the Hypocrisy!

I have noted before my deep admiration for Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer.

Last fall, I attended a performance of his The Princess of the Stars up in Haliburton Forest. I had intended to review it, but cottage life...

The work takes place on a lake at dawn, and is a myth of Schafer's fashioning that unfolds before us, viewers who in some sense are also part of the action.

I enjoyed it immensely, despite the time of the performance and the chill in the morning air. It is unfortunate that I happened to sit next to people who did not enjoy it at all, and voiced their objections rather loudly afterwards, using opining with the age-old slander that Schafer's music is not music at all.

No matter. The point of this post is to point you towards a concert on the CBC's Concerts on Demand site which celebrates the 75th birthday of Canada's greatest living composer.

Yes, I am aware of what I just said about the CBC, but it's radio and TV we're looking to change, right? Let's just remember that offering concerts on demand isn't a substitute for broadcasting and promoting classical music and the arts in the blunter media of TV and radio.

And here's something else, just for the sheer pleasure - R. Murray Schafer's own program notes to his compositions (warning, opens to a pdf)! They are a delight to read, and well worth browsing before, during, and after the concert. Schafer is not only a great musician, he's a wonderful writer, as opinionated and vibrant in his words as in his compositions.


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