Please don’t leave, Elton!
Why we need popular music to be source of the new classical
EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP
It was almost a sin, a statement that would get out of the music conservatory in the 80’ when I was student there. But now I can say it loud: him, and Freddy Mercury are my biggest contemporary inspirations.
I wrote about Beethoven (in “music in every sense”): he was both Innovative AND popular. May be those guys didn’t write string quartets nor symphonies but their songs ARE innovative (meaning: a new great song IS a new item, IS therefore innovative. Ok, it’s been a long time we didn’t hear a GREAT new song but there are moments of desert in history).
Today, 2022, it is still a blasphem to put Elton’s and Freddy to the same level than Beethoven. Of course they are NOT! Not even Wagner is. But their IMPACT on the largest audience -even profesional musicians -is at least as strong. And so many “classical” musicians didn’t realize yet how much they can take from popular great creators like them -and genesis, and Pink Floyd, and and and….).
Back to Beethoven: where was the source of his genius? Long long work and processing AND use of popular sources.
That’s why I say: if future Beethoven’s are about to come one day, they better listen to Elton, Freddy and some others.
Otherwise they will have no popular source.
And without sources, there is no river…..