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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND AROUND

By Basil Tschaikov

 

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© Basil Tschaikov 2006

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Basil Tschaikov’s unusually diverse life in music has spanned more than 60 years as a performer, writer, educator and administrator. Between 1943 and 1979 he was a member of three of the world’s finest orchestras - the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia – playing with conductors such as Sir Thomas Beecham, Bruno Walter, Victor de Sabata, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, Carlo Maria Giulini and Sir Simon Rattle. During that time and subsequently he was also increasingly active in a very wide sphere of activities as a music educator, negotiator, writer and, in due course, an administrative director when he conceived, initiated and ran the National Centre for Orchestral Studies attached to Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, from 1979 to 1989. This was a radical operation enabling music college graduates to become familiar with the conditions of playing in a high quality orchestra of professional standard and to gain experience by working with outstanding international conductors and performers before taking up their careers. Additionally, he was the prime force in the creation of a unique archive, the Music Performance Research Centre, now Music Preserved. This archive of non-commercial recordings of public concert and opera performances enables many thousands of valuable performances to be preserved and made available, free, for enjoyment and study.

During this unusually wide-ranging career, Basil Tschaikov has experienced from many different perspectives the vast changes and developments that have affected the music profession, music industry, and audiences during his lifetime. The Music Goes Round and Around is a chronicle of these changing elements as seen from the inside by a musical maverick who has recorded his observations in the way that a location photographer would aim to capture the diverse elements of life around him or her. The author points out that although he starts out from an autobiographical basis with personal recollections of what it was like to play in great orchestras such as Sir Thomas Beecham's Royal Philharmonic and Walter Legge's Philharmonia, that is nevertheless the springboard for a wide-ranging look at the striking changes in musical approach and public taste that have occurred in the last 100 years, especially the massive changes technology has brought about. The historical perspective in fact extends back to the end of the 19th Century, as Basil Tschaikov includes recollections heard from his father, a distinguished clarinettist, and both his grandfathers, who were professional musicians in Europe before coming to England. Furthermore, not just classical music is covered - the classical music "scene" and public response to music is viewed in the perspective of the more recent developments of many kinds of popular and world music.

This rare panoramic view of an immensely complex vista is made immediately accessible and alive by the author’s first hand recollections of experiences involving not only great musicians but also fascinating personalities in the world of music. They have been some of the most vital driving forces that have indeed made the music go round and around.

 

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