A Classical Orchestra Does Not Classical Music Make

Let’s say you’re itching to go out to dinner. (Don’t worry about the money, it’s on me. Besides, you never invested in those failing mortgage companies. So, I guess you’re doing pretty well. Wait! Screw that. You’re paying!) So, like I said, you’re itching to go out to dinner and you want to try that cute little French fusion place on the corner of Main Street and Six-Pack Boulevard. It’s name, in huge neon lights, is Chez Empiricusoise. Below its name, it says, “French Fusion Family Ristorante.” (Remember, it’s “fusion,” after all.) You happily step inside, where you’re taken to your table. Looking over the lengthy menu, you become even more excited. “This is exactly what I wanted. Ooh, look! Coq au vin with pineapple!” The waiter, with a smile, takes your order and brings over some bread and water to whet your appetite. After a good twenty minutes, the waiter returns with your food...a large, uncut pineapple sans coq au vin. Bewildered, besmirched and a little pissed, you begrudgingly take your knife and begin cutting through the tough rind of the pineapple. It’s certainly not what you expected, but it tastes kinda good, anyway.

Columbian musicians mix up a classical gas

A mocking “ha, ha,” to the editor. Still, though, the concert sounds kind of appealing.

Mixing high and low, folk and fine art sounds appealing -- bring the energy and empathy of pop culture to the depth and formal beauty of classicism.

Dangerous thing to insinuate: “the energy and empathy of pop culture” and “the depth and formal beauty of classicism” are mutually exclusive. Still! Fusion fun!

And Vallenato Sinfonica, the union of popular vallenato act Jorge Celedón and Jimmy Zambrano with a classical ensemble, presented Friday night at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, sounded like a particularly intriguing version of this mix.

So, how’d it go? This Columbian/Classical fusion concert thingy? (skipping to the end)

It wasn't classical, but it was plenty moving.

But, but, but...you and your editor tricked me into thinking it was this fusiony concert, when it was actually Columbian music with some instruments that one might find in a classical music ensemble. It wasn’t even a pops-like concert, just Columbian music. How was this ever mixed up in the first place?


Also, this oddity:

Roll over Apollo, there's a hoedown at the symphony!

Setting aside the fact that this wasn’t a symphonic concert, where in the world does this expression come from? Columbia?

I tried my best to find this expression via Google, Jstor, Socrates and even PubMed. I don’t think it exists. Any help? Sure, I know of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” but “roll over Apollo?” Is our author—knowing that Apollo, among other things, was the god of music—insinuating that the Columbian music was, I don’t know, not music Apollo would like? That it’s inferior to the symphony? That this music will not fix the economy? Any guesses, dear Detritusites?


Gustav said...

Well, it does seem to have featured an orchestra made up of members from two south Florida ensembles. The fusion seems to have been (as is the case with most pops concerts) a pop group (with little to no classical experience) playing with a traditional classical ensemble. And neither knows anything about the other's music (presumably). That's not so much fusion as it is sticking a duck and beaver in a bag and hoping a platypus comes out in the end.

As for "roll over Apollo" -- who knows? I suppose since Apollo is a part of classical mythology, he represents classical music. And he's saying classical music was supplanted by the pop/folk side of the concert. I don't read it as much of a value judgment (especially in context) as I do the author wanting to clear any confusion about whether there had been any real synthesis of classical and folk traditions.

Sator Arepo said...

Maybe he means Apollo Creed? From Rocky? Remember?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a reference to the Apollo Theater in New York

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Empiricus said...

poor taste.