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Ben Clapton


September 28, 2006 at 1:01 AM

I've just been listening to Bond's latest album (2004 release, I know, I took a while to decide I wanted it). While there are some ok songs on there (I don't mind explosive particularly), I just cannot stand how they desecrated Barber's Adagio for strings.

This work (Taken from Barber's Second String Quartet), is the most powerful, mournful and emotional work of the twentieth century. It has been often associated with mourning after being played at funerals of two former US Presidents. It is extreemly powerful in it's own right.

I can't stand what Bond has done. It is completely unforgiveable in my opinion. As with most of their works, they have put a drum beat on. However, the drum beat is more a dance style thing, and not something that fits the piece. These players, all of whom have studied at top notch conservatories, should be ashamed of themselves for putting out this piece of music that isn't fit to be listened to by a room full of deaf people.

I definately won't be in a hurry to buy their next album.

From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 3:29 AM
no offence, but what did you expect.
From Addi L.
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 8:03 AM
Barber Adagio for Strings with drum beat! I want to listen to it.
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 10:29 AM
although you don't like the drum beat interpretation, it is a way to a broader public, which is not educated with classical music, to come in contact with classical music. When they hear the normal version on the radio, they can say: "I know that soundbite, but where is the beat?"
Just like some classical ringtones on mobiles of my collegues, who don't know anything about classical music, like Turkish March of Mozart or Pyr Gynt Suite ringtones of Grieg. They whistle the tunes and themes and like these themes, but they will never enter a concerthall and will never listen to a classical radio station.
From bill Pratt
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 1:46 PM
I don't see how putting the melody of a classical piece to a synthesizer drum beat brings "classical music" to the unwashed masses.

The melody is harldy the only thing that makes it all worthwhile.

OK sure, everyone can hum ditditditdaaaah and say "beethoven's 5th" but does that make it classical? Hardly.

Frankly I think some of the Disco interpretations of classical pieces were actually better. Like on the old Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, with "A fifth of Beethoven" and "Night on Disco Mountain" (I think hats the title).

From William Yap
Posted on September 28, 2006 at 10:56 PM
I hear you. I couldn't stand what they did to some of the classical music as well. I posted a message before about this album. Lots of the tracks sounded like a mobile phone ring tone, e.g. short phrases repeated over and over again. Lazy and distatseful arrangements. They should be ashame, all 4 of them!
From Pieter Viljoen
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 1:55 AM
I have a huge collection of rock, rap/hip hop records. I know a lot about popular music, and I have to say that stuff like Bond is horrendous. Classical musicians don't know how to do pop. They also have no idea how to do rock or rap. Everytime I hear a violinist (clasically trained) trying to make something sounding hip, it sounds so terribly plastic and depressing... like something you'd hear in a cheap mall somewhere in Pasadena.
From Gabriel Kastelle
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 4:22 AM
Hey! I have friends in Pasadena!

I often speak up here and/or elsewhere for lightening up and popularizing, and for mixing styles.

But I have many cultural sympathies and more, such that, for example, lame and insipid takes on serious West African drumming are lame and insipid, and any hand drummers who don't HIT their drums piss me off.

And some things are sacred, and Barber Adagio is one of them, and just making up dynamics and cutting it off arbitrarily for timing in a children's concert with an otherwise straight-ahead classical group I played it that way with once REALLY disturbed me, and what BOND would do with it I don't even want to imagine. Thanks, Ben, for your conviction.

From Scott 68
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 3:09 PM
get the dvd and hit the mute button
From Ben Clapton
Posted on September 29, 2006 at 3:15 PM
i sort of do that with my Nigel Kennedy DVD. Love the music, can't stand to watch him. I listen to it in another room, quite plesant.

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