The Olympics Closing Ceremony

13th August 2012 | Concerts, Daily Life, Musings | 0 comments

Last night we watched the Olympics closing ceremony, basically a long pop concert with eccentric dance interludes. I assume that the singers couldn’t really hear their support groups or backing tracks in the enormous stadium – at least, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, because so few of them sang in tune. Were they miming? I don’t know, but I imagine that if so they would have been miming to their original soundtrack, which would have been in tune.

Although BritPop is a huge success, I found it sad that the organisers didn’t include any music from before the sixties. They made a point of stressing that the Olympic Games themselves have a history of thousands of years, but didn’t seem to think it was worth celebrating our own musical heritage any further back than John Lennon, which is like a millimetre compared with the mile of Olympic history. What about our own composers – Purcell, Tallis, Elgar, Vaughan Wiliams, Britten? What about all our own fine performing musicians in fields other than pop? When the end of the ceremony arrived, and the Brazilians contributed a vignette of their own music to mark the handover to Rio de Janeiro for 2016, they at least had the grace to include a soprano singing the beautiful ‘Bachanias Brasilieras’ of Heitor Villa-Lobos.

It’s just sour grapes, you’ll say; I was just disappointed because the sort of music I like wasn’t featured in the ‘Symphony of British Music’, and because my friends and I weren’t invited to take part. Exactly right. That’s how I felt.

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