Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>From Terry Teachout's Saturday Wall Street Journal "Sightings" column:
>Is it possible for a critic to know too much? Not a chance.
>The unhappy truth is that it's far more common for us not to
>know nearly enough about the art forms we review. (If you doubt
>it, ask any artist.) But I've also discovered that the accumulation
>of knowledge can inhibit our ability to appreciate an artistic
I am reminded of something a friend of mine said on one of his radio
broadcasts. He was about to air a recording of the Rubbra 7th Symphony,
a work he knew and loved. He said, "I envy all of you who are about to
hear this work for the first time." Indeed, the opening of that work
still seems to me to be as beautiful as the first time I heard it, but
never was it so wonderful as the first time.
One of my teachers suggested a several year moratorium on performances
of the standard literature as a means to develop a great appreciation
for the "great" works, and to force us to look for overlooked "great"
Then I think...you have not ever truly heard a Brahms Symphony until you
have listened to a Furtwangler recording...or the violence and sensuality
of the last movement of La Mer without ever having heard the Koussevitzky
New York Phil broadcast from the 1940s...or Janet Baker doing the Ruckert
Lieder...or...the Munch's broadcast of the Saint Saens Third from the
There are times that I think music might be better served by not having
programs at concerts so one could listen without as many expectations...and
that reviewers would be sent recordings without performers being named.
I wonder about how we might listen differently without such information.
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