In Defense of Obscure Classical Music



Chicago Symphony bassist Michael Hovnanian poses some valuable questions about classical music concerts in light of his experience, taking into consideration the canon of great composers and how often they appear on programs.

Are there other composers, other pieces worth hearing? Would hearing them, at least once in a while, give us a better understanding, a perspective on the era, the style, on the supposed ‘genius’ of the ‘great’ composers, the ‘great’ works? I don’t presume to know the answers to any of these questions. As a performer, with zero input as to what gets programed anywhere, I feel a certain amount of frustration at the repetitiveness of programming, with the focus on the ‘greatest’ men and their ‘greatest’ creations, to the exclusion of all else, and I have an inkling this is somehow related to the growing irrelevance of so-called ‘classical’ music today.

These are not the kinds of questions that marketing people like to hear, yet Hovnanian makes a serious point, one worth considering.

Read more: The Greatest of All Time (CSO Bass Blog)


(Fortune cookies made from recycled vinyl records; photo: saxarocks)

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