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international news _ 13th June, 2007

Oakenfold Gets Hooked On Classics

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Paul Oakenfold is to play a concert with the Boston Pops symphony orchestra this month as part of the Orchestra’s annual 'Pops on the Edge' series.

The trance star will be performing a piece written by Felix Brenner with the orchestra accompanying him on various parts of the arrangement, Reuters reported this week, adding that both acts will be joining one of the fastest-growing musical genres -- "classical crossover".

The collaboration takes place just under three years after Radio 1 DJ Chris Coco attempted something similar, working with classical musicians in England on a series of remixes of classical pieces for a compilation that came out called Remasterpiece.

Chatting to Skrufff at the time, Chris admitted the project had been far more difficult than he initially imagined and said he frequently found himself at odds with the 'over reverential world of classical'.

"It's weird working with classical musicians because a lot of them only play or sing exactly what’s written in front of them," Chris mused,

"It's impossible to get them to improvise and hard to get them to even try a new interpretation of a classic, so there is a lot of explaining and directing and cajouling and begging. If that doesn’t work we get rid of them and get another one," he laughed.

Classical music fan Chris Lowe from the Pet Shop Boys also highlighted a problem with classical music last year, admitting that he frequently struggled to enjoy shows in concert halls.

"They're usually disappointing because it's never loud enough. We're used to amplified sound, and of course orchestras aren't amplified," Chris pointed out.

"Actually, Neil DJed a classical set in Berlin last year, at the Yellow Lounge and it was fantastic," he added, "Classical music in a nightclub is really good because you can hear it really loud."

Oakenfold performs with a full orchestra in Boston's 107-year-old Symphony Hall on June 26 and 27.

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