Classical music has often been associated with the past and traditions. James Conlon speaks about the importance of renewing this tradition and giving back modernity to ancient creations.
According to James Conlon, classical music performance is in constant relation with the past, but has to be situated in the present. Consequently, interpreters have to get rid of the routine or the blind repetition, which constitute the bad side of tradition, but use what was passed orally or in written forms in order to bring innovation to pieces which were written centuries before. The player can sometimes give the sense that the piece was just created when he succeeds in innovating and creating a sense of immediacy.
In this series of programmes, James Conlon explores various aspects of playing classical music: is this about beauty or is it about truth? Is it about technique or is it about spirit? Is it about tradition or innovation? Is it more like Plato or is it more like Aristotle? Is it more like Apollo or is it more like Dionysus? And finally, are you going to be the music or are you gonna play the music? Filmed during the 12th edition of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas, these 6 programmes discuss those aspects with the finalists of the competition, and include footages of their performances on stage during the semifinals.
Portrait of the great Austrian conductor
Ten Years Ago They Were Stars, Now They Are Competitors
BBC Television Studios, 1959-1960