Why Orchestras?

Philippe Herreweghe is a leader of the period instrument movement. But the conductor wonders about the use of tradional symphony orchesras. “Must we go on with these traditional orchestras? The ancient music movement is very strong. First they played Baroque music, and the attitude of the traditional orchestras was to say ‘OK, it’s not serious music. Let them do it, but they are not good enough to play real music.’ But later, we played Mozart and Beethoven. We play Brahms, Schumann and Bruckner, and we noticed that there was an interest from the public and the press. And now, when there is a concert of Schubert symphonies on gut strings here in Antwerp, it attracts a full audience with young people, but when some local orchestras play the same symphonies of Schubert or Haydn in a traditional way the hall is half empty.”