Rock sounds “classic” with laVerdi. Riehle: “Not even in the metaverse such an experience”

Music can be heard in many ways, but it is unlikely that there is one digitally capable of overcoming the emotional impact of a live classical symphonic music. The Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra will strive for this goal on Saturday, April 30 at 9 p.m. in the Milan Auditorium and demonstrate it vividly.

In fact, the fourth seasonal appointment of the review is scheduled for that date POPs, a series of concerts with which laVerdi proposes to bring to life a unique experience for those not used to the symphonic dimension, and also useful to deepen repertoires and authors of different genres. Rock Symphony will therefore play the great classics of Pink Floyd (Shine with your crazy diamond) to Deep Purple (Perfect strangers, highway star, Tokyo woman), from Queen (someone to love, love of my life, Negative pressure), to AC/DC (Thunderstruck and Highway to Hell). On the other hand, that of rock is a history of progressions and repetitions like that of classical music. But thanks to this initiative, the two musical genres have never been so close, thanks to the arrangement and direction of Maestro Friedemann Riehle, who has always had the merit of bringing symphonic music to a wider audience. Also because, he explained, we still have to wait a few hundred years for the same effect in the metaverse, the completely virtual world that everyone is watching with great interest. In the meantime, let’s enjoy Rock Symphony.

Maestro, I’ll start with a quote that inspired the event: “I don’t want to be a background, I want my music to be the only thing that matters, at least during the time you’re listening to it”. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour said so. How is that possible today in the age of streaming listening on smartphones?
A really good question. I think for people growing up with the internet and streaming it will be next to impossible to really enjoy one of Pink Floyd’s longest songs and a 45 minute symphony, but they could be heavily influenced by it live. I think of concerts under the stars, when the power of the universe takes away everyday thoughts and opens our natural antennae to new things. Gilmour probably only thought of performing in large outdoor arenas, and there will probably come a time when his music will be allowed in some of the finest cathedrals.

For this reason, he will conduct the Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra in the Auditorium in Milan on Saturday, April 30, from 9 p.m. as part of the retrospective POPs. What are the connections between classical music and rock music that we often don’t see (or don’t hear)?
You would have to write a book to answer this… Rock and classical music have always been closely linked. The motor element has been an integral part of music since the days of Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven, and the fusion of rock and classical dates back to early rock bands, no doubt inspired by the orgastic crescendos of romantic operas and symphonies. Thanks to a famous French composer, the guitar is a kind of small orchestra and this shows that rock music is also very close to opera in terms of instrumentation.

Why has classical music in the symphonic dimension lost a formerly central role in society?
I think that’s a natural thing. We don’t listen to much music from the Renaissance or even from the Baroque period anymore and therefore there will also be times when symphonic music will no longer be interesting for society. I also think that the presentation of symphonic music should be different in our time, as unfortunately most symphonic concerts are presented quite old-fashioned.

Do you think that even those who belong to the classical music world should try to experiment more with other music genres?
Yes I think some of them should. Bach and Mozart themselves transcended different musical genres, and perhaps at times this could produce spectacular new pieces of music.

It is often said that genres in music no longer exist. It really is like that?
I would say there are still many genres, although it’s impossible to keep track of them all.

Rock Symphony will be a symphonic rock concert tracing the great classics from Deep Purple to Queen, from Metallica to AC/DC. How did you choose the repertoire?
We select songs that sound great with the symphony orchestra and are equally enjoyable for both the orchestra and the audience. And of course we haven’t played in Milan yet.

What arrangements did you make on these songs?
I always try to keep all the power and mood of the original songs, but translate all of this for a symphony orchestra, which therefore has a more spherical sound and the energy of a larger group of musicians.

What is the health of classical music in the world?
After these two years, I would say quite fragile, but I really hope that things will improve quickly.

In other countries, the approach to classical music already takes place at school, while in Italy this has not been the case for many years. How important would it be to introduce this type of teaching?
I find the lessons at home and in small groups more important than the lessons at school. Also because the level and interests of the students are often very different. At the same time, we need excellent teachers who can respond to the needs of each individual student in the right way.

As we speak, the world is moving at the speed of light in certain areas. Can you imagine classical music being featured in the Metaverse, the fully virtual world Mark Zuckerberg is working on, in the near future?
Yes indeed, it can be very exciting. But it will probably be centuries before technicians can enjoy in the virtual world the acoustics of a live concert with its flow of energy given by incredible instrument sounds.

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