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29 avril 2014

Dvořák, as seen on MTV

von Philharmonie Luxemburg

B-Classic is a festival promoting classical and aiming at giving "classical music the same recognition as pop and rock music." With that in mind they've launched a campaign called The Classical Comeback, "a new music video format that combines the timeless emotion of classical music with the visual talent of a contemporary director." Dvořák is the first victim.

Confused? Yeah, us too - even though we sure know a thing or two about embarrassing videos trying to appeal to a younger audience.

These people have a vision and they sell it quite well in their short documentary, like when they argue that "the point is not so much the images, but the images allow you to be taken up by the music without realising it." But they lost us when they added that their aim is to make Dvořák the new Miley Cyrus on YouTube (at 7'25'').

B-Classic and their team use modern media to make classical music accessible to people who are not familiar with it, which is great. The thing is: we watch music videos to get an idea of an artist's universe. Does the video give you the faintest idea of what it feels like to hear Dvořák's music performed live by an orchestra? No. Does it tell you a single thing about what's behind the Symphony No.9? No. Is a professional orchestra ever going to agree to share a stage with sexy Korean twerkers? We doubt it. So although we'll never know for sure what Dvořák's stance would have been on twerk, we can confidently say that the video doesn't reflect Dvořák's vision of his music.

Moreover, Dvořák's music may have been capable of changing the atmosphere of the place it was played at, this video is hardly revolutionary. If it's just a matter of being taken up by the music, we're sure the Symphony No.9 has been used in dozens of movies before, movies that haven't made anyone's eyes melt.

In an age where Vivaldi's Four seasons is just that song you hear when you call your doctor's office or the Bierger-Center, do we really want Dvořák's symphony to be dubbed "the butt song"? As one of my colleagues would say: "I'll sure think of butts next time I hear Dvořák. But I'm not sure I'll think of Dvořák next time I see butts."

On that charming, poetic note... What do you think of the campaign? Fun? Effective? Degrading?


-- Julie