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Nigel Kennedy attacks classical music establishment for not respecting Bach

The violin player Nigel Kennedy has expressed his dismay at the lack of respect given to the work of Bach.
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The outspoken violin player Nigel Kennedy has hit out at the classical music establishment for the lack of respect they've shown to the music of Bach.

Kennedy, protégé of the late great Russian-American violin player and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, told the Guardian that his contemporaries were turning "philosophical masterpieces" into "shallow showpieces", implying that the integrity and art inherent in Bach's music was not being properly explored.

In the performance notes of a Proms piece – her recently performed Bach's works for solo violin – he explained further: "Even the description of oneself as being 'authentic' is unbelievably arrogant – and, in the case of so-called 'period' performance, misguided.

"How can music … be authentic if it is stripped of passion and made into an exercise of painfully self-conscious technique?"

It's not the first time that the leading violin player has aired his views. A few years ago he launched an attack on conductors, describing their craft as lacking in any kind of art, adding that he thought of them as being more motivated by financial returns rather than genuine creative endeavors.

Kennedy's first highly-acclaimed recording was Elgar's Violin Concerto, which was voted 1985 Record of the Year by Gramophone magazine.

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Posted on 15 Aug 2011 12:16 to category : Instruments News

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