Classical crossover music – that genre of music that floats between Classical and Pop – comes to us in different ways. One form of classical crossover involves classically trained musicians and singers performing popular and contemporary music in the classical format in which they’re trained. This might be as simple as an opera singer performing a contemporary hit song.
Sometimes contemporary pop music is arranged and performed in Classical or traditional orchestral form. This might happen when a symphony orchestra performs the works of a famous rock band in classic orchestral style. In this case the performance may lose the original music’s rock feel and sound just like an orchestra of ages past. And then occasionally, a popular musician or singer wants to perform a Classic work – although in recent times this kind of pop musician crossover is often a rock singer recording a jazz album instead of a purely Classical work.
Some musical purists may resent classical crossover music as they feel their Classical music genre is being tainted or misrepresented, but they may be needlessly upsetting themselves. Mozart wrote music that he thought would be popular in order to draw sufficient crowds to ensure himself an income. Schubert wrote about 600 pop songs – and if they’d had a top ten hit parade at that time he would have been on it. Beethoven’s music often reflected his inner turmoil and this is no different to songwriters like James Taylor and others who compose their music from the same inner place. In other words, it’s all music!
The original composers themselves did not limit themselves to one musical genre of the day and composed freely wherever their inspiration took them. The famous composers couldn’t have been pioneers and revolutionaries in music if they hadn’t explored folk songs, short works, trios, symphonies, and so on. It was the critics who tended to stand back and posture that certain compositions were too “avant garde”.
The experimental three album series “Classical Made Modern” fulfills the Classical Crossover genre by taking a seemingly unique approach in taking famous Classical compositions and performing them in new styles of rock, jazz, hip hop and more. The method in producing these tracks involves taking old and public domain manuscripts and creating “lead sheet” arrangements (melody lines and chords) of famous Classical music compositions. Then each new “song” is imagined, arranged and performed in a contemporary style based on the “feel” of the melody and chords.
Out of the over 40 tracks in the three albums, composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann and Tchaikovsky have three of their works featured. Dvorak, JS Bach and Faure each have two compositions performed in modern styles, while composers such as Liszt, Vivaldi, Grieg, Mozart, Satie, Handel, Rachmaninoff, Borodin, Mendelssohn, Puccini, Brahms, Wagner, and Debussy also have their own space. Sometimes the new tracks work well and genuinely sound like new contemporary compositions distinct from their Classical origin, and this is purely a credit to the genius of the original compositions: that they are rich musical compositions that can indeed be moved between genres.
Some of the most played tracks in the Classical Made Modern album series include: Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor (Opus 28, No. 4), JS Bach’s “Air On a G String” Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, Chopin’s Nocturne in F Minor (Opus 55. No. 1), and Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor (Opus 3, No. 2). If you’d like to find out more, simply search for Classical Made Modern 1, 2 and 3 on iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon Digital Music, and Spotify or visit the official web site.