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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: The Decadence of Classical Music

From:

Daniel Feinsmith <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 30 Mar 2000 11:41:12 -0800

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (47 lines)

>>I guarantee this, If any member of the audience coughed, or spoke
>>out louder than was normal, Sir Thomas Beecham would either stop the
>>performance, and wait for silence to resume, or he would chastise them or
>>he would just stop and leave the podium.  I just loved him.  So You know
>>the English audiences in that time were well behaved and very attentive.
>
>I'll probably get yelled at for this, but here goes...if the advocates
>of original performance practice were to really recreate the atmosphere
>of what concerts were like, no-one should be upset with some noise in the
>hall.  Indeed, clapping between movements, shouting out opinions during
>the performance, demanding that a movement be repeated, eating, coming
>and going, sleeping, and other "decadent" behaviour should be not only
>tolerated but encouraged!  The tradition of reverant silence and
>disapproving frowns at anyone who so much as twitches is, as I understand
>it, relatively recent.  Me, I kind of like it when an audience claps
>between movements.  Shows they like what they're hearing.

Been listening for some time. Another viewpoint to this question:

Real-time appreciation shows an ability to listen and to be effected by the
talent and skill of the performer(s) and composer.  It also shows that the
audience is really all there, body and mind, with a good reason to be at
that performance, not just to "see and be seen" and all that garbage.

Go to a performance of Hindustani classical music in India, and you'll
see a VERY active audience participation with exclamation, prayers, loud
shoutings of praise to different Gods and Goddesses, grunting, moaning,
very obvious facial expression of inner feeling, etc.  And the performers
love and expect this.

In fact, if the musician didn't generate this kind of response, it would
show a failure on their part to raise up the situation to a high enough
level, or it would show that the audience was incapable of appreciating
the music.  I've been to several concerts where a person in the audience
yelled something out, the whole concert stopped, and the performer(s) and
audience member engaged in verbal conversation for 5 minutes, only to
continue performance shortly thereafter.  The appreciation is not saved
for the final claps and ovations, which don't exist in their listening
style, but is constantly expressed, in real-time, the here and now.

I've also seen the performers themselves stop the performance and chastise
the audience for a lack of respect for the music shown through innatention.
One time, I heard a vocal performer chastise her western audience for
clapping after a recital.  She felt that contemplation was more
appropriate.

Daniel.

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