Portsmouth Sinfonia: the supremely average orchestra
My ears have just been educated and exposed to a cultural artifact from the the 1970s, which had me guffawing. Considered a milestone decade for music, this period also witnessed the birth of the Portsmouth Sinfonia, an orchestra at England’s Portsmouth School of Art that specialized in decidedly unexcellent warbled performances of well known classical standards. Prodigies need not apply: the entrance requirement into this “sinfonia” was that one had to be either non-musicians entirely, or play an instrument unfamiliar to them. The result was quite unintentionally hilarious, if not for a little bleeding of the ear that may occur thanks to missed notes. The Portsmouth Sinfonia earned quite a following and in 1974 released an album Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays the Popular Classics. Here’s their warbling interpretation of Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, the opening theme from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Jack up the volume around the 0:52 mark to truly experience mediocrity at its highest!