Il Divo, Josh Groban, classical crossover … Who are all these people that seem to be revolutionizing the classical music world?
Musicians have been "crossing over" almost from the moment music was invented. Mozart's famous Rondo "Alla Turca" was already using a popular style of Turkish music that was famous at the time. Later on Tchaikovsky would be inspired by gypsy violinists playing in cafés and Bach had already written music for the Zimmermann café he used to play in.
Although name labels are very useful for categorizing what type of music we are talking about, as soon as you go in a little deeper, boundaries immediately start to blur. What do we call a gipsy flamenco singer singing a famous traditional "bolero" with latin jazz legend Bebo Valdés? That is exactly what Diego el Cigala did in his Grammy-awarded CD Lagrimas Negras.
What does all this have to do with classical music? Well that is quite the point, funnily enough classical music has somehow managed to grow apart from popular music in a way that had (almost) never happened before. What this genre tries to do is take elements from different types of music (popular music, indian music … you name it) and introduce elements of classical music to visit new, exciting places.
And that, simply put, is what is happening behind the scenes when you listened to any artist that sings or plays classical crossover music, whether it is Josh Groban, Bond, Yo-Yo Ma or the IberoAmerica Ensemble.