If today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday, then maybe it’s also the yesterday we’ll long for tomorrow…
NeoClassicism and Sampling are both ways that musicians have brought the past into their music.
Sampling began in the 1970s and 1980s as hip hop musicians imported samples of earlier popular songs to their works. Maybe it was to pay homage (if not royalties) to the earlier works, or perhaps they wanted to evoke each listener’s unique emotional memories tied to the older songs.
On the other hand, NeoClassism is a style of music from the 20th century in which modern works were based on less direct references to much older music. NeoClassicism began in Europe after World War I as a return to order, balance, clarity economy and emotional restraint of the Classical era. Was this a response to the War to End All Wars, a denunciation of the lurid chromaticism of the Late Romantic period, or both?
MSCO will play two major NeoClassical works on March 8th and 9th, both from the years after World War I, Stravinsky’s Concerto in E flat for Chamber Orchestra (1938), known as “Dumbarton Oaks,” and Respighi’s second suite of Ancient Airs and Dances(1923).
Stravinsky’s work was inspired by the first movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3. Click on the video below to see how the openings of the two works compare.
Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances were based on specific lute compositions of previous composers, but the dances underneath even those works were very popular across Europe. Click on the video below to see how the music a Moorish dance troupe in the Cotswalds resembles the ground bass of the Bergamasca from Respighi’s work. BTW, the Moorish dancers were captured during the MSCO 2002 Europe Tour.
All this makes me wonder which music of today will be sampled tomorrow. Will the songs and stories of Broadway be our legacy? Will the industrial sounds of minimalists like Philip Glass represent our time, or will future generations look back at the popular dance music of our time?
What do you think?