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NCH dumbing down

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  • 26-07-2017 6:54pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 7,440 ✭✭✭


    Maybe I have missed its slow demise, or maybe there was a step change over the last year, but looking through the Autumn schedule from the NCH today, was shocked at how it seems to have steered away from classical music, and hit the depths of the dumbed down mass market for the lowest common denominator in music. We have the Grand Canal Theatre and Helix for that.
    Its like the Lyric FM debacle repeating itself in the live music world. Has there been a change of management in the last couple of years ? Where has it all gone wrong ? Damn all to catch one's attention there from here to Christmas. Disappointing. Is there any saving it as a classical music venue now ?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,881 ✭✭✭yosser hughes


    I read a report somewhere (Sunday Times probably) of the various financial difficulties it's been having. I saw a list of the board members and was quite surprised by some of the names on it. Music promoters for example more usually associated with festivals and pop/rock concerts.
    It struck me that the emphasis was on making a buck.Nothing wrong with that I suppose but surely ther can be a way of making it work without resorting to middle of the road stuff available elsewhere as you say.
    Is the reality though, that Irish people will not support classical or opera in significant enough numbers?


  • Registered Users Posts: 247 ✭✭Sanguine Fan


    The audience for live classical music in Ireland is quite limited and only the reliable orchestral warhorses are likely to fill the NCH. It's a commercial operation so they have to get 'bums on seats', it's as simple as that.

    For the recent Boris Berezovsky recital, the balconies were closed and the stalls were by no means full. A few days before that, the massively-talented Musici Ireland ensemble managed to fill another, tiny venue (about 200 seats) for their Brahms concert.

    I'm afraid periodic trips to the UK are the best way I know of to hear a variety of excellent performers in concert.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭.......


    This post has been deleted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 86 ✭✭Claude Wilton


    The difficulty is getting audiences. As an aside, RTÉ some years back thought it was a good idea to have promenade concerts. I thought so too until I saw that it involved show tunes and movie music in a big top in Montrose. Yikes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 deathdancing88


    I wish I could attend NCH on a regular basis! Tickets are not cheap :/

    The last time I went to NCH was last year where Donovan played an acoustic set during Paddys Day season.

    Seconded on the audience.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 456 ✭✭dusty207


    The dumbing down gets better!
    Visions of Floyd is/are on in January, 6 of us louts are going.

    https://www.nch.ie/Online/Visions-of-Floyd-30Jan18

    I quite like classical music, it's the stuck up toffs that put me off going.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 deathdancing88


    dusty207 wrote: »
    I quite like classical music, it's the stuck up toffs that put me off going.

    You can't blame their elderly audience. It's their shelter from the noisy, crap pop music that we hate too.

    damn, I am getting rusty at HTML coding


  • Registered Users Posts: 456 ✭✭dusty207


    You can't blame their elderly audience. It's their shelter from the noisy, crap pop music that we hate too.

    damn, I am getting rusty at HTML coding

    Each to their own, you pays your money.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 247 ✭✭Sanguine Fan


    A concert in the NCH a few years ago featuring music by Steve Reich and Brian Eno was very well attended I recall. And the excellent Gloaming packed out the same venue last week.

    IMO, classical music fans are fed up with the cycle of Beethoven, Brahms, etc. that dominates NCH concerts. There is probably a guaranteed audience of Lyric FM listeners for this type of programming, so the venue probably makes a profit on these concerts. Meanwhile, anything slightly out of the mainstream, i.e. 'difficult' music like Hindemith, fails to attract a decent-sized audience.

    That leaves the likes of Reich, Arvo Part, etc. (and I would include The Gloaming), who transcend boundaries and bring in large audiences. Perhaps it is because their music is both different and challenging, but not so different that it appeals only to a tiny intelligentsia while repelling the rest of us.

    Personally, I hate the NCH because I inevitably end up sitting near a persistent cougher, who saves her/his eruptions for the quietest parts of the programme.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,145 ✭✭✭lolo62


    Wasn't there supposed to be a big renovation a few years ago? I think I remember talk of another medium sized concert hall and a small one to make 3 in total.

    I see why things have gone more mainstream in terms of getting bums in seats but I don't think it should mean there is now no venue to go hear the more high brow stuff.

    If the renovations had gone ahead maybe there would now be a slightly smaller venue to keep the more traditional concert hall culture going. We are a capital city after all. When I was in Prague over Christmas there were at least 3 or 4 top notch classical music concert concerts at various beautiful venues every night. Surely we should be hanging on to just one!


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