Walter Bitner

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The Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin

Photo © Eric Richmond

The Tallis Scholars ~ photo © Eric Richmond

I don’t like to think of myself as a critic or a reviewer, but occasionally I make a raid into the territories inhabited by these creatures. Last week the English choir The Tallis Scholars released a new CD of Josquin Masses, and as I marveled for the ten-thousandth time at the sublime accomplishment of this ensemble in the stolen moments I was able to spend listening to it, I decided not to let it pass without remark.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with them, The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director Peter Phillips, and are the world’s leading performers of renaissance polyphony. A good argument could also be made that they are the finest and most accomplished choir in the world, and the finest early music ensemble – notwithstanding their occasional foray into contemporary choral literature. (more…)

Is Music a Commodity?

money-musicOur consumer culture has a strong tendency to overshadow other human values and reduce every aspect of human life and culture to an economic appraisal. This is as true of music as it is of anything else.

I’ve thought about this a lot over the years and discussed it many times with students and colleagues. Recently it was brought to my attention when a blog post about “the value of music” and “the state of the music industry” over at The Boot from a few years ago resurfaced on my FaceBook feed. The post is called Vince Gill Discouraged by “Mind-Numbing” Country Music.