Folk Day at the Proms, Royal Albert Hall, 20th July
I sometimes forget what great value the Proms are--you get a concert every night for two months at a fiver a go. I think it's just that these days so-called "classical" music is at the bottom of my pecking order of musical "genres" (I hate that word). Pop/rock, world, jazz and folk take precedence so classical doesn't get much of a look-in anymore.
In recent years the Proms have been casting their net a bit more widely genre-wise, and the (free) gig this afternoon is a case in point: a selection of songs firstly presented in their "folk" setting--courtesy of Bella Hardy and veteran Hungarian-Gypsy foursome Muzsikas--then as orchestral appropriations courtesy of Vaughan Williams, Percy Grainger, Bartok...
It all raises some interesting questions (humour me):
- should composers pass off as their own tunes which have been written and developed over a long period of time by a number of different singers?
- are their arrangements even based on the same tunes, bearing in mind the conventions of "classical" orchestral music with regard to form and harmonic and instrumental embellishment?
- do folk musicians see the virtue of songs being revived by classical composers, given that they present them in such a different way?
Oh I don't know...