On An Overgrown Path
On An Overgrown Path is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, On An Overgrown Path is a qualified source of soclassiq, like Meeting in Music or My Classical Notes and many others. The oldest article indexed by soclassiq is dated 2012-01-02. Since then, a total of 1770 articles have been written and published by On An Overgrown Path.
On An Overgrown Path blog activity
With 6 articles published in the last 90 days, On An Overgrown Path is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that On An Overgrown Path is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
This editorial activity is slowing down compared to the previous period.
The last article in On An Overgrown Path, "Why is classical music selling itself short?", is dated 2020-11-23. By 2019, this source had published 117 articles (74 since the beginning of 2020). Over the past 12 months, On An Overgrown Path has published an average of 7 articles per month.
On An Overgrown Path in the last 36 months
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The latest articles from On An Overgrown Path
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Data from the Office for National Statistics shows shows that the number of cases of depression among adults in Britain has doubled over the last twelve months. This means one in five people are exhibiting depressive symptoms compared with one in ten before the pandemic. Obviously an effective vaccine is needed. But, equally obviously, therapies are needed to counteract this alarming and overlooked increase in depression. In recent years authoritative neurological research has identified that classical music is medicine for the brain. Yet the classical music community is singularly failing to exploit these therapeutic powers, instead choosing to compete in the entertainment market. Why is classical music selling itself short in this way? In a booklet interview for the recording by the Boulanger Trio of the piano trio Canto Perpetuo by Peteris Vasks the composer proposes that: "...people go to the concert hall because they are looking for […]
In his latest Spectator press release - sorry review - for John Wilson conducting the reincarnated Sinfonia of London, Richard Bratby credits the original Sinfonia with recording movie soundtracks from The Snowman to Vertigo. But he omits to mention that the Sinfonia of London and the Allegri String Quartet under Sir John Barbirolli made what is, arguably, the greatest classical recording committed to tape- Elgar's Introduction & Allegro for strings and Serenade for Strings in E minor, and Vaughan William's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis & Fantasia on Greensleeves. Just another case of the if it ain't Mirga, Wilson, CBSO, Kanneh-Mason, or film music , don't spin it syndrome. New Overgrown Path posts are available via RSS/email by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
Amazon is currently adding much needed spicy humour to English music. However did Norman Lebrecht miss this? New Overgrown Path posts are available via RSS/email by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).
Classical music has the unfortunate habit of flogging memes to death. There is no better example than the current click bait-impelled storm over the Last Night of the Proms. This latest brouhaha not only discredits those on both sides of the faux debate, but also, and more seriously, it devalues the very music that is, or more accurately was, the raison d'être of the Promenade Concerts. So, turning to another much-flogged meme, claims that yet another undiscovered masterpiece by a woman composer has been uncovered may, understandably, induce a degree of ennui. But it would be wrong if that ennui means the new recording of Ethel Smyth's The Prison is overlooked. Today, it is difficult to find any coverage of Dame Ethel's music that does not major on her backstory of suffragette, imprisoned activist and lesbian: for instance Erica Jeal's thoughtful Guardian four star review of The Prison inevitably has […]
Beethoven is fortunate. His anniversary falls in December this year: which means, hopefully, it can be celebrated when a degree of normality has returned. Ravi Shankar is less fortunate. The centenary of his birth fell on April 7th, when the world had more important things to worry about. Which meant the anniversary passed almost unnoticed; with the major celebration at London's South Bank Centre postponed until April 2021. But it is important that Ravi Shankar's centenary is not lost to lockdown. Not only because he was a master of the sitar, but also because he was a great humanitarian who broke down the barriers dividing music of different cultures. One example is his collaboration with Philip Glass. In 1965 the neophyte American composer was studying in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and he was hired to notate the film score for Chappaqua composed by Ravi Shankar. In 1989 the […]
A review of Eric Wilson's book Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away? starts by asking "You don't want to look, but you somehow can't seem to turn away. What is it about human nature that makes us want to feast our eyes on the strange, upsetting, or downright macabre?" It is this same disturbing impulse that causes me to glance occassionally at Slipped Disc, and during a recent rubbernecking session I noticed Norman Lebrecht's character assasination of Franz Schmidt. This was headlined 'Why bother us with Schmidt?" and pointed at his equally vituperative review of a new recording of Schmidt's Fourth Symphony in The Critic. It has long been my view that Franz Schmidt is one of those composers that audiences need permission to like, and five years ago I wrote in praise of his Fourth Symphony. My post quoted Gavin Plumley's persuasive advocacy of Schmidt's music […]
Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity yet this diversity is non-dual. And of all the multiplicity of individual things that exist, none can be confined in a limited concept. Staying free from the trap of any attempt to say 'it's like this', or 'like that', it becomes clear that all manifested forms are aspects of the infinite formless, and, indivisible from it, are self-perfected. Seeing that everything is self-perfected from the very beginning, the disease of striving for any achievement is surrendered, and just remaining in the natural state as it is, the presence of non-dual contemplation continuously spontaneously arises Those Six Vajra Verses summarise the Dzogchen teachings of Tibetan Buddhism*, and the diverse Buddharūpa is the work of exiled Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso. Doubtless all this touchy-feely stuff means many readers will have departed for tastier click bait; but if I have caught any before they leave, I […]
No reference is made to the Lebewohl (Farewell) theme in the final movement of Mahler's Ninth Symphony by composer/producer Steve Roach in the notes for his new album A Soul Ascends. But both works take the listener on a similar transcendental journey, albeit in very different ways. Mahler deploys a symphony orchestra in all its sonic glory for his masterpiece, while a century later Steve Roach crafts his music from synthesizers and sequencers. A Soul Ascends is important because it reaches the giddy creative heights of Steve's other ambient masterwork Structures from Silence. But it is even more important because it is new classical music for these troubled times. Steve crafted the album over seven solitary days of inventive white heat at his remote desert Timehouse Studio in Arizona while the world was entering lockdown. The title and a brief dedication defer to a farewell theme. But this is not […]
One of the many problems of being a great spiritual leader is that people are scared of telling you when you get it wrong. As in the case with the Dalai Lama's first album 'Inner World', which is released to mark his His Holiness' 85th birthday. The new super-cool Dalai Lama made his Glastonbury debut in 2015, and his latest venture into rock stardom combines Buddhist teachings with chill-out music*. Typical of the inability of Tibetan Buddhist camp followers to call a dog a dog is the review by the authoritative Tricycle online Buddhist magazine which buries mild reservations underneath the usual respectful platitudes: such as "His Holiness’s wisdom and compassion through this recording can bring inner transformation". This time the Independent gets it right in a 2 star review which judges that "...there is little to distinguish the shapeless instrumentation from any you’d find in a luxury spa". […]
Over the years I have played a modest role in promoting the causes of musicians of colour and women musicians, and I believe the UK should remain in the EU. However today I am less sure where I stand on these issues: because I have been alienated by the single issue fanatics on both sides of all three debates. The latest example is a petition to drop Rule, Britannia from the Last Night of the Proms as "it is offensive in today's society". Chi-chi Nwanoku is a prominent signatory of the petition, explaining her reason for signing as "This offensive song is no longer relevant of our times. It's presence serves to hold us back". Chi-chi Nwanoku is founder of Europe's first majority-BME classical ensemble the Chineke! Orchestra and has done much invaluable work advocating the cause of musicians of colour. Now regular readers will know I am not exactly […]