September 28, 2006 at 1:01 AMI'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.
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).
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.
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