Kenny G in concert

One of the highest selling artists of all time, Kenny G has single-handedly made the saxophone a hit amongst music lovers. Perhaps it is the raspy mid-tones of the saxophone that lend it an air of intimacy, or maybe it’s Read more

Splashy Fen is the ultimate Easter concert

It’s been going since 1990, and Easter 2015 will be the 26th year for the Splashy Fen music festival. I have yet to learn why the music event is called Splashy Fen, though I do believe that the farm it Read more

Oppikoppi, a whole series of concerts rolled into one

The small town of Northam in Limpopo Province comes to life every August. Technically it’s spring if you calculate that you are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and you don’t factor in seasonal lag, but Read more

Richard Clayderman in concert

No doubt the mysterious Frenchman’s greatest gift to the world musically has been “Ballad for Adeline.” Composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint in 1976, the co-writers could never have imagined how big the song would become, because disco Read more

Albert Hammond in concert

This is not a name that rolls off the tongue like Madonna or Michael Jackson or Elvis, but Albert Hammond has had an amazing music career anyway. A native of the UK, he has done a considerable body of work Read more

Mamma Mia! heads back to Jozi in 2015

The smash hit musical based on the music of those 4 Swedes (well, actually 3 Swedes and a half-Norwegian) returns to the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg, for a limited season run from Tuesday 24 March 2015 to Sunday Read more

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse is NOT too cool for school!

On 1 October the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City hosted Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse in concert. It’s been 30 years since his hit “Burnout” tore up the charts, and, according to the write-up for his show, 50 years since Read more


The link between classical music & heavy metal

Are Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Händel, Haydn and all the others just irrelevant dead old white men? Or does classical music still have a place in the modern world? Well, supporters of Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland would say yes. But many would argue that this art form is becoming less relevant in the modern age. The Three Tenors did a lot to popularise classical music after the FIFA World Cup in 1990 in Italy.

There has always been a clash of cultures between so-called ‘high art’ (perceived as a pursuit of the haughty) and ‘low art’ (popular music that often takes the world by storm and defines cultural periods). But surely there is a link between the two? Has the one not led to the other?

Interestingly, classical music is actually a misnomer. The music that has come about as a result of the ‘classical’ period does not encompass all the music that is loosely defined as classical today. Also, many an artist has studied the classics, in order to perfect the contemporary. Pianists and guitarists study classical composers and techniques, to be able to perfect their own modern sounds. Even modern painting and modern literature have been modeled on what has past. We cannot escape our history, and it has defined our present and our future – but in a good way.

A judge at a popular battle of the bands contest stated, for example, that heavy metal has some of its roots in classical music, particularly Wagnerian opera. This makes perfect sense, if you listen to the drama of the heavy metal, with power chords, huge sounds, and climaxes that screech through the music. The head-banging and long-hair swaying of the guitar soloists and thelead singers would match that of any diva singing her dying aria.

Some people have suggested that life imitates art. In the case of music, that seems to be true. Like it or hate it, Mozart and Van Halen, and Beethoven and Bieber, have more in common than we often care to admit. It’s all music, after all, whatever taste tickles your fancy.

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