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Jessica Duchen
Wednesday 27th October 2010

OK, chaps, turn on your sound, you're going to need it. I'd like to share with you three videos which prove respectively A) the vitality of music in the face of philistinism, B) the joyful instinct of a real musical gift and C) something that most musicians think should be a hoax even if it's not.

A) A Dutch orchestra turns into a flashmob at The Hague's Central Station and does a protest MAMBO against the government plans to slash them. The BBC video doesn't bother to name them, but I understand that they are members of the three radio orchestras, which are all threatened with closure since their government wants to scrap, wholesale, the hugely distinguished Netherlands Music Broadcasting Centre. When else do you see anti-government protestors smiling?

B) We don't know much about this little fellow except that his name is Jonathan, he's now about five years old, he's a Herbert von Karajan fan, and he, er, has quite a way with Beethoven 5. This video was made when he was only three. There's plenty more of him on Youtube and he's had over half a million hits. Credit to parents for keeping his exact identity under wraps: please take care of this lad!


C) And finally, a Halloween special. Most musicians' first reaction to what follows is: "Is this some kind of spoof?" A young violinist with a heap of prizes and accolades and clearly some kind of sponsorship behind her, since she's got the LSO to accompany her, the baton services of Ben Wallfisch, an eager young composer, and a film-maker to do the honours - and yet she's sparking entirely justified comparisons with Florence Foster Jenkins. If this is the future of the violin in a world that's lost touch with what good musicianship really is, and where other attributes are able to elbow that out of the way, then heaven help us. Trick or treat? Embedding disabled by request, but click here...


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jeff anderson
October 27th, 2010
3:10 PM

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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