Great beginning using a string orchestra arrangement of the second movement of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8. Wonderful music: intense, driving, cogent and permeated with Shostakovich's musical motto: DSCH, the notes D, E flat (Es in German), C and B natural (H in German). The music is so powerful that even the agitated jump-cut, music video style hand-held camera work doesn't really distract. But then, hilariously, the director comes on and starts waxing rhapsodic about, wait for it, Benjamin Britten?!? Who never in his life wrote anything half as intense or exciting as the Shostakovich. Are we just not supposed to notice how dull the Britten is in comparison? He says how "dark, terrifying and sinister" Britten can be, but the music in the background is very dull indeed. The "dark, terrifying and sinister" we just heard, was composed by Shostakovich.
Music marketing like this may pull a few more concert-goers, but if they fall for this clumsy and misleading picture of the music, then they are likely to be casual attendees. The people who know enough about the music to be laughing out loud at this are likely to be discouraged from attending, don't you think? Dumb marketing, whatever the "production values" is just, well, dumb.
The other clip, also marketing The Scottish Ensemble, is even worse, though not as funny. This one is about a collaboration with a dance group to "interpret" Bach's Goldberg Variations. Oh, if only he were still alive so his lawyer could be suing them. The message here is that if you have fancy enough slo-mo camera work and groovy enough choreography and nice looking musicians and dancers you will be able to almost completely overshadow one of the greatest compositions in Western music. It wasn't easy, but they managed it!
All I can think of is a group of musicians out busking some Bach and a bunch of little kids come along and start kibitzing and cavorting in front of them. In his best W. C. Fields voice, the leader stands up and says: "go away kids, you bother me, and you're interfering with my gig!"
In case it needs to be said, the Bach is rather a complete piece of music, needing no cavorting to be appreciated. And, it is extremely difficult to try and play it while people are leaping about right in your face. I wish I had a subscription to The Scottish Ensemble's concert series so I could cancel it!
There, I've had my say, now explain to me how I am just a mossback, curmudgeonly reactionary in the comments.