We have a woof-waising Wequiem

We have a woof-waising Wequiem


norman lebrecht

September 19, 2023

The fashion for alliteration among orchestra PRs is getting a bit tedious.

This is the Philharmonia’s current slogan: ‘We’re joined by a starry line-up of soloists in Verdi’s roof-raising Requiem.’

Now imagine it recited by Roger Rabbit.


  • Nick2 says:

    What on earth is the issue? Alliteration is used in all manner of PR. Wagner also used it virtually throughout the Ring. In that sentence there are all of three words beginning with the letter r. If three words are tedious, there are I suggest quite a few more threads in Slippedisc that are a lot more so, sadly!

  • Bartok says:

    Like Pontius Pilate in The life of Bryan.

  • David Nichols says:

    Slow news day today, Norman?

  • Daniel Guss says:

    Or Elmer Fudd!

  • Zarathusa says:

    Or by the eternal Elmer Fudd??? Wacky Wabbits Wule the Woost!

  • HReardon says:

    Those mawkweting wascals are up to no good! I think most of us that love the classic arts are often annoyed by the consistently irritating and perceived “need” to package them to appeal to the novice potential attendee.

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    Methinks you take Mr. Lebrecht too seriously. He is experiencing a generational attack of dismay at the disintegration of language and thought, brought about by the superficiality of PR firms and their attempt to appeal to the Masses, who could care less about Good Music and more about Pop Idols.

    I concur, and enjoy his alliterative comeback.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    …or Roy Jenkins.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Wasn’t there a Danish project where they auditioned dogs? Couldn’t they participate in this?

  • Kenny says:

    Not to mention that is ONE movement. A ridiculous way to pigeonhole that work.

  • V.Lind says:

    Alliteration aggravates annoyed author. Appalling — innit.

  • IP says:

    Marketing is the salt of business. Unfortunately, PR people know only about salt — if entrusted with the cooking, they will not use any other ingredients. A former Pepsi executive fired Steve Jobs and almost led Apple into ruin.

    Marketing is necessary where the product is not naturally differentiated: two brands of washing powder, Coke and Pepsi (indistinguishable in a blind test), two “songs” of the kind they play in the supermarket. Take it to those who make a drama out of whether a symphony is conducted by Kempe or by Klemperer, and you can cause only irritation.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    I find it ghastly when classical music is being advertised like the latest brand of washing powder. It cheapens it and makes it tacky! As it goes, Verdi’s Requiem is not particularly ‘roof-raising’. Most of it is rather restrained in manner and dynamics, apart from the loud bits of the Dies irae, and they are only fleeting. So, this way of selling it seems rather ill-judged and obviously the work of pathetic, purposeless, purile, plonkers!