appreciation composition contemporary popular music

jennifer higdon & the beatles

An interesting article from David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer concerning composer Jennifer Higdon and her take on the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

‘Gutsy writing . . . inventive use of color . . . unusual instruments . . . still pretty unique.”

Those musical descriptions from Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon suggest a critique of Berlioz, Debussy, or some other classical composer with Mount Rushmore status.

But no – she was listening to the latest super-digitized incarnation of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an early, crucial musical influence and one that explains much about the music she composes for America’s great symphony orchestras.

By Charles Noble

I'm the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony.

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