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From the press release:
Wednesday evening, November 19th, live from Carnegie Hall, New York, Sir Paul McCartney’s newest classical work entitled STANDING STONE will be performed. STANDING STONE is a 75-minute symphonic poem inspired by Celtic monoliths. Proceeds from the concert are being donated to “Save the Music” foundation and “The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts”. STANDING STONE has been #1 on the Billboard Classical charts in America and abroad for several weeks.
The live Webcast will feature an interview with Sir Paul McCartney which is to include questions submitted by fans on the Internet. National Public Radio (NPR) will broadcast the interview and concert on over 350 radio stations.
This event is a multi-media presentation including radio and Internet audio broadcast across the World Wide Web. As expected there is a Web Site for this event, using cutting edge technology. Fans are encouraged to visit the Official Webcast site prior to the event for behind-the-scenes coverage with Real Audio Real video, and the new Real Flash technology. The URL is http://www.standingstone97.com
Traveller Information Services will produce the Internet multimedia portion of the American premiere of Sir Paul McCartney’s Standing Stone, his latest venture into the realm of classical music. The concert is to be performed by the Orchestra and Chorus of St. Luke’s at New York’s Carnegie Hall Auditorium. The concert may also be viewed and heard live over the Internet, making the it the largest single classical music event in history.
MPL Communications has selected Traveller Information Services to produce this multifaceted presentation of radio, television, interview, and Internet audio and video.
The standingstone97.com website features a custom video document called The Making of Standing Stone which explores Mr. McCartney’s journey into the classical music idiom. This well-produced documentary, of particular interest to anyone with an interest in music of any style, is engaging in its own right. The music featured on the website is from the EMI Classics CD of Standing Stone.
The webcast will feature an interview with Paul McCartney which will take place prior to the live presentation of Standing Stone from Carnegie Hall. Visitors to this website may submit questions before the interview.
The Making of Standing Stone explores Paul McCartney’s journey into the classical music idiom. This well-produced documentary, of particular interest to anyone with an interest in music of any style, is engaging in its own right. The music featured on the video is from Mr. McCartney’s Standing Stone CD, which became the best-selling classical album in history on the day of its release in September 1997.
From Club Sandwich N°85, Spring 1988:
I am not known for my vast experience of the world of classical music. I know that Peter & The Wolf ends in tears (if you’re a wolf) and I know that the 1812 Overture ends with a bang. I also know that Mozart was a bit of a rocker and Wagner was a bit off his rocker.
But, overall, I’m no expert. However, I do know that there is a plot to these classical things. The plot is essentially this: the audience and orchestra sit down, wait and fidget; the conductor comes on and you applaud; the music begins; the music ends and you applaud more loudly and throw flowers.
That, in a nutshell, is the gig.
So how come I’m standing in the middle of Carnegie Hall and the plot is missing? All the ingredients seem to be assembled: we’ve got an orchestra, we’ve got a conductor and we’ve got classical music, Paul McCartney’s Standing Stone.
But nobody is sitting in the audience. No, the audience is standing and screaming.
I kid you not. Here we are in the most hallowed home of the classics in America and most of the 2700 audience are shrieking. They are up on their feet and shrieking “PAUL!!!”
This, of course, is because Sir and Lady have taken their seats and Carnegie Hall has gone off its trolley. I thought I was here for the American premiere of Standing Stone but America is giving it a standing storm.
As in ‘it’s going down a…’
Here we are, best bibbed and tuckered, and they are screaming the place down. Maybe, you muse – knowing that Paul last played here in 1964 with the Beatles – maybe that crowd has just stayed in here ever since, living on jelly babies (beans) for all I know.
Whatever, they are certainly behaving like a rock and roll crowd; yelling this, yelling that, snapping away on their Sureshots.
”Hmm,” said Jennifer Wada, publicist for Carnegie Hall, sidling up to me, “the last time we saw a reaction like this here was the last time he was here, six years ago for the Liverpool Oratorio”
How many concerts had they had here since then I asked. About 1800. Did anyone scream at any of them? Nope.
The point is that the show hasn’t even started yet and, what is more, it can’t start until they stop standing and, pertinently, stop screaming.
Why? Because Standing Stone is setting a new world record here tonight – more than 300 US stations are taking a live feed of the concert through National Public Radio. Several million people are sitting at home in front of their radios in expectation of hearing the dulcet bars, and said several million people are going to get freaked out beyond belief if all they can hear is all this screaming.
So we – and America – wait. We wait for a full 15 minutes, until the throats became hoarse.
Of course, you could take the view that this is the work of one of those dreadful rock and roll ruffians we are waiting to hear, and that’s why this audience is yelling, because – the classical critics would sniff – they don’t know how to behave classically. (And, by the way, have they washed?)
But I rather suspect that when young Mozart was wowing the court and the crowds with his stuff, the reaction was not a polite “Good show, Mozart”. I rather suspect that the response was “Right on, Mozart!” – ie, that the reaction he received back then was the same as I am witnessing now and that this fanfare from the common man has been modified and compromised and hushed up by critics who want classical music to be urbane and beyond the common man.
The point I’m trying to make is that instead of being in any way alarmed by all of this yelling, or worried that “it’s not the done thing”, all those associated with Standing Stone should be gladdened by it because The People are reacting to it. Here, in the seventh week of what would become Standing Stone’s 11-week run at number one on the Billboard classical chart, are The People going mad for it.
And who, pray, is classical (or any) music for if it is not for The People?
It’s surely not for the critics. You’d be mad to do it for them. Mad and bankrupt – since they don’t pay for their seats and get their CDs for free. No; music is for the punter, not the pundit. And the punter is voting with his voice. And, also, with his pennies – at the time of writing, EMI has sold 246,000 CDs of Standing Stone, which is, in classical circles, an extraordinary number of albums.
I mention this because the purpose of Standing Stone is to be more than just a commission to mark the 100th birthday of EMI. The purpose of Standing Stone is that it has brought and is bringing people to classical music who otherwise might not have known it. Standing Stone, through its composer, is popularising previously un-popular music.
And that should be the residual memory of Carnegie Hall. It matters more than the five curtain calls they gave him in the end. It matters more than the fact that Carnegie Hall has never seen anything like this reaction in the previous 1800 concerts. The point is not how Standing Stone sounded here this night, nor how it was received.
The point is what Standing Stone has started. Mark these words.Geoff Baker, Paul McCartney’s publicist
Last updated on July 6, 2020
Setlist for the concert
Movement I - After Heavy Light Years
Movement II - He Awoke Startled
Movement III - Subtle Colours Merged Soft Contours
Movement IV - Strings Pluck, Horns Blow, Drums Beat