30 July 2011

Let's have some fun... or not.

The other day I was on youtube looking at videos of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as you do. There's all sorts of amazing things on there and for some reason I had never before seen the two clips of him conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, with pieces by Berlioz and Prokofiev. They're very exciting clips, he's dancing and pulling silly faces and generally flailing about as he usually does. On top of that, the music sounds amazing.

But as we all know, people on the internet like to complain. Now, I have nothing against people who don't like Yannick, I can understand that he may be a bit too much for some people. But the comments on one of the videos were seriously some of the most hilarious and jaw-dropping things I've ever read on the internet. Most people there weren't complaining about his movements (though some were) but about his outfit. For the record, Yannick was wearing a black suit with a black t-shirt underneath. But for these 'serious' lovers of classical music this was disrespectful, you just simply cannot conduct the Berlin Philharmonic in anything less than a tuxedo, you know. One person even called it "offensive".

These type of comments are one of the reasons why I started this blog. I know I'm not a particularly good writer or have some unique insight into music, but so many people in classical music are simply too serious which can get a bit annoying. Is it really THAT important that a conductor is wearing -shock horror- a black t-shirt? Really? Is it really more worthwhile to bitch about this rather than listen to the music (or laugh at the hilarious faces Yannick pulls)? There is a person on that stage LOVING what he is doing, drawing the orchestra in with his incredible excitement and skill and some people decide to complain about his outfit?

So in honour of Yannick and not-being-uptight I will bring you some classical music videos that are not only beautiful but also a bit offbeat, to maybe laugh at and definitely enjoy:

Barbara Hannigan in György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre (funniest opera ever).

Drunken ballet, in Shostakovich's The Bolt, performed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Pekka Kuusisto and Nico Muhly in a very informal setting (the Storioni Festival) playing a beautiful Finnish folk song. I love how relaxed everyone seems to be, and how much fun they're having. This video always brings a smile to my face.

And of course Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his t-shirt:


  1. hoi renée, ik heb juist je blog herondtdekt, zo veel mooie dingen! goed bezig, ik blijf je graag volgen, kitty

  2. Wat leuk om te horen :D. Dankjewel!!